When it comes to punishment, one size does not fit all

Make Justice Work: Criminal Justice - News . Opinion . Research

Well, the race has begun. How long will it take the parties to start playing the ‘let’s be tough’ on crime game? And it won’t be difficult to guess how some of the media will respond to the mantra.

Freudian slip today – was skipping through the Guardian and had a quick look at what I thought were the main points of the Tory manifesto (the crime bit) to discover it was Labour’s… whatever the result, our field is going to have a challenge ahead. At a seminar at the National Gallery yesterday around arts in prisons we discussed the very real concerns expressed by the voluntary sector in particular about budgetary cuts. But also arts in prisons, like community sentencing, must not be seen as a soft option and we must all take shared responsibility to get a clear and positive message out to the public and politicians that offenders, like all of us, do not just simply respond to one kind of diet. We absolutely must not see excellent work discredited simply because it does not suit the ‘one punishment should fits all’ brigade.