High-risk sex offenders 'being freed from prison without treatment'

Sex offenders are being released from prison before going on treatment schemes designed to change their behaviour, inspectors have said.

There was a "disturbing" situation where work to reduce the risk posed by criminals after their release was not happening to any meaningful extent in many jails, according to a report by prison and probation inspectors. Fears that prison staff were being groomed or intimidated by gangs and high-risk sexual and violent offenders also meant greater supervision should be offered by managers, it said.

The report, which said opportunities to reform inmates were being missed, found there were no plans to deliver treatment to one in three sex offenders who neededit. The Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick, said the report made for a "very disturbing read".

"What's happening on the ground now in terms of offender management is too poor in too many places and needs to be galvanised," he said. "On the face of it, it is just really disturbing. Sex offenders are being released without adequate interventions to reduce the risk that they will reoffend."