YEP Says (June 1): Important helping hand to break the cycle of reoffending

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All too often those who enter the criminal justice system get stuck in a revolving door of custody, release, offending and then back into custody.

If this destructive cycle is to be broken then there must be a concerted effort to rehabilitate offenders. Of course, much depends on whether an individual actually wants to turn their life around. But where they do, it’s vitally important that they are given the help and guidance they need to make it stick.

That is why every right-thinking member of society should welcome the award of a grant to a charity which strives to do exactly that.

The £160,000 provided by the Big Lottery Fund will enable Developing Initiatives for Support in the Community, or Disc as it is known, to put together a business plan that could eventually see it receive as much as £10m from the same fund.

Given that Disc believes that nearly half the estimated 3,000 people in West Yorkshire who are in need of help currently have “ineffective” contact with support services, their intervention could have a major impact.

And while some might question the value of pumping millions of pounds into helping those who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law, that is a surely drop in the ocean when compared with the money that will be saved if groups such as Disc can keep them on the straight and narrow.

Consultants need nursing support

News that consultant numbers at Leeds hospitals have increased by 12 per cent over the past three years is heartening in that it means more operations can be performed.

Yet it is striking that such growth hasn’t been mirrored when it comes to the number of nursing and midwifery staff.

Consultants still need the support of nurses if they are going to be able to do their jobs effectively.

The impression remains that the NHS spends too much on bureaucracy and well-paid managers and not enough on frontline staff – a view borne out by the fact that overall staffing levels over this period have fallen.

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