RESTORATIVE justice and breaking reoffending cycles was the top of the agenda as Wiltshire’s PCC visited Erlestoke. Prison governor, Tim Knight welcomed PCC Philip Wilkinson to Erlestoke as the PCC brings together key local partners within the criminal justice system (CJS) to ensure local needs and priorities are being met.

Mr Wilkinson was shown around the facilities by custodial manager Andy Miller.

Impressed by what he saw, the PCC said: “My visit to Erlestoke was a first for me and it was a real eye-opener.

“I was struck by the dedication and commitment of the prison staff to provide and care for their prisoners. This care coupled with the education, skills and rehabilitation programmes prisoners take part in, as part of their sentence, are key to ensuring we don’t have repeat offenders entering the system over and over again.” The PCC is chair of the Criminal Justice Board, which brings together agencies with responsibility for delivering criminal justice services across the county.

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“It is important that both my office and the prison service work together, along with all other agencies, to tackle the root causes of crime and to try and break that cycle of re-offending - it’s in all of our interests,” added Mr Wilkinson.

“By working together we can improve outcomes both for victims of crime and people who offend and deliver justice in the most efficient and effective way possible.”

Mr Knight said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the new PCC to HMP Erlestoke and we very much look forward to working with him, and those agencies represented on the Wiltshire Criminal Justice Board, as we strive to further reduce re-offending.”