A network of 70 resettlement jails that will prepare offenders to be released into the area in which they live has been unveiled by the Justice Secretary.
Existing prisons up and down the country will function as resettlement prisons with a trial starting in the north west of England in the autumn, as part of a prisons shake-up.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling hopes the move will cut the risk of reoffending.
- So how would this reduce the risk of reoffending?
Mr Grayling has also announced plans to build a £250m super-prison in North Wales, and a raft of prison closures covering some 2,600 inmate places in January.
Mr Grayling said: "Rehabilitation in the community must begin behind the prison walls and follow offenders out through the gates if we are to stand a chance of freeing them from a life of crime."
"Currently a local area could expect to receive offenders from dozens of prisons across the country - this is hopeless."
"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."
"This approach is a significant step forwards in our reforms to tackle reoffending and lays the groundwork for building a genuine nationwide network of 'through the gate' supervision and support for all offenders."
The Government wants every offender released from custody to receive statutory supervision and rehabilitation in the community.
The Offender Rehabilitation Bill (PDF) currently before Parliament will extend statutory supervision to 50,000 short-sentenced offenders each year, who will serve their time in custody in a resettlement prison and come out to a tailored package of supervision and support.
The women's estate is subject to a separate review announced by the Justice Secretary in January, which will report later in the summer.
Paul McDowell, chief executive of crime reduction charity Nacro and a former Governor of Brixton Prison, welcomed the move and said: "We are still sending too many people to prison when they could be better dealt with in the community - especially many of those serving short prison sentences."
"But putting communities at the heart of the criminal justice system through the development of resettlement prisons is a step in the right direction."
Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan MP said: "The idea of resettlement prisons is a good one - prisoners being integrated back into communities where they have family and friends could lead to reduced re-offending and fewer victims of crime."
"However, this is another example of reality being very different from rhetoric. These plans amount to a substantial reorganisation of our prisons system, and it's not clear how it will be funded. Nor is it clear what will happen in London where there is an estimated shortfall of 8,000 places."
Juliet Lyon, 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."