David Cameron speaks out about Community Sentences
In the press conference, after his statement on Criminal Justice (21st June 2011), this is what David Cameron had to say about community sentences:
‘If the public can see that community sentences are strong and meaningful…they will have confidence in them as alternatives to short prison sentences, and also, crucially, sentencers …will see that that there is an alternative to the short prison sentence, which is expensive and often doesn’t work because there isn’t much you can do with someone for a short amount of time. So I want to see community sentences that have an element of punishment in them. Where the public can see, yes, this person is getting their just deserts – I feel confident so therefore I don’t feel they have to go to prison. I don’t think we have enough of that at the moment. In some cases it’s working better, but I’d like to see more of that.’
This is encouraging, and suggests that, despite the emphasis on tough prison sentences, the government does in fact realise that community sentences have a key part to play.