Prison: the facts

Topic Selected: Crime and Justice

General Article icon Type: General Article

Bromley Briefings Summer 2014.


Facts and figures provide a better basis than tough political rhetoric or media scaremongering for policy and practice change. The facts chart the extraordinary rise in prison numbers over the last 20 years, inflation in sentencing and the social and economic consequences of overuse of custody. Revealing as they do the state of our overcrowded prisons and the state of people in them, the impact of drastic budget cuts and the pace and scale of change in the justice system these figures, drawn largely from government sources, indicate the scope for community solutions to crime.

Opinion polls show strong public backing for measures that reduce crime and disorder from better supervision of young people by their parents to making amends to victims, from mental health and social care to treatment for addictions. It’s time to put prison back where it belongs – as an important place of absolute last resort in the justi

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