Plans to create 70 “resettlement prisons” so offenders can be held close to their home before release will be announced today by Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary.
The moves are aimed at smoothing prisoners’ return to the outside world, reducing their chances of returning to crime.
Mr Grayling said the move would mean all offenders receiving “through the gate” supervision and support to turn their lives around.
“It is little wonder we have such high reoffending rates when you have a prisoner leaving HMP Liverpool, given a travel permit to get them home to the south coast and then expected to simply get on with it,” he said.
The 70 jails designated to hold pre-release prisoners include 11 in London.
Trials of the scheme will begin in the North West in the autumn with full roll-out across England and Wales by autumn 2014.
Juliet Lyon, the director of the Prison Reform Trust said: “Resettlement and rehabilitation do matter but, until and unless you reserve prison for serious and violent offenders, you cannot hope to cut sky-high reoffending rates or maintain safe and decent regimes.”