Of course we would just re-elect them but man I got to wounder about this mad cow disease and its effects...take away guns...pay criminals..... 'Go Straight' Deal for Prisoners? Mon Jul 1, 8:59 AM ET By Astrid Zweynert LONDON (Reuters) - UK prisoners leaving jail could be asked to sign "going straight" contracts to stop them committing more crimes, according to a government report on Monday. Re-offending accounts for an estimated one million crimes a year in Britain, or 18 percent of recorded crime, at a cost of 11 billion pounds ($16.8 billion), according to figures released in the report by the Social Exclusion Unit (SEU). To tackle chronically high re-offending rates, the SEU proposed prisoners should sign contracts on sentencing, promising future good behavior in return for support and a range of benefits on their release. "What this is really about is reducing re-offending, because you get too many cases of prisoners coming out of prison having served the sentence and then going straight back and committing crime," Cabinet Office Minister Barbara Roche said. Official data in the report showed jail sentences have not succeeded in turning offenders away from crime, posing a challenge to Prime Minister Tony Blair ( news - web sites)'s pledge to tackle the "revolving door syndrome" in the criminal justice system. The problem is most acute among male prisoners, with 72 percent of 18-20 year olds re-convicted within two years of leaving prison and 47 percent receiving another jail sentence. The SEU, set up by Blair to tackle the growth of an underclass, said unemployment and homelessness were the root causes of re-offending, with many prisoners having experienced a lifetime of social exclusion. One solution to combat homelessness would be to enable more prisoners to claim housing benefit to allow them to keep their homes while they are in jail, the report said. The report contained no details of specific cash amounts, prompting claims from campaigners that ministers were backtracking on plans for cash handouts. Mark Leech, founder of reform charity Unlock, said the ruling Labour Party's 1997 promise to be tough on the causes of crime meant nothing without figures. "If they are going to help ex-offenders...let's have the figures, let's see what we're looking at, let's put the proposals on the table and let's see a government with the courage to deliver," he told the BBC. Paul Cavadino, from the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders, said ex-offenders could not claim benefits until two weeks after their release. "That greatly increases the chances they will go back to crime quickly because they have no money," said Cavadino.