I am determined to make sure families feel safe in their homes and can walk their streets freely and without fear. It is the first duty of government to protect the public and ensure that those who play by the rules are kept safe.
Prison is about punishment, first and foremost, and also gives vital respite for communities and victims of crime. But it needs to be about more than that. It needs to reform and rehabilitate prisoners so that when they come out, they are less likely to fall back into crime, creating more misery and more victims.
The government wants prisons to be places of punishment with a purpose. Instead of prisoners sitting in their cells, we want them to work hard and reform themselves. Prisoners working productively towards their own rehabilitation will contribute to the UK economy and make reparation to society.
Many businesses, large and small, already make use of prison workshops to produce high quality goods and services and do so profitably. They are not only investing in prisons but in the future of their companies and the country as a whole.
I urge others to follow their lead and seize the opportunity that working prisons offer.
David Cameron, Prime Minister