Getting bonused to cut recidivism is a good place to start in getting those in corrections to do their job that much better. Could we penalize private companies contractually by this scheme?
A ground-breaking "payment by results" scheme will turn most prisons into self-governing bodies that will win cash rewards - including bonuses for governors - if they cut reoffending rates among former inmates, David Cameron pledged yesterday.
In a shake-up of criminal justice policy, a future Conservative government would allow prisons to hire private companies or voluntary groups to steer inmates away from a return to crime - or risk a reduction in funds.
Successful prisons, which prevent former inmates from reoffending for two years after their release, would be paid a "premium tariff payment" - a sum equivalent to the amount the state spends on processing an offender through the criminal justice system again.
Prisons that failed to meet their targets would be denied the extra payments and would have to rely on the "basic tariff" paid to house each inmate.
Nick Herbert, the shadow justice secretary, said the system would cut reconviction rates by 20% and cost the taxpayer nothing because it would redirect £259m that would be spent on future offenders into the new programmes.