MJW responds to PRT’s prison overcrowding statistics

This morning the Prison Reform Trust (PRT) published the latest statistics on prison population and reported that 77 out of 131 prisons in England and Wales are overcrowded.

Make Justice Work shares PRT’s view that building more prisons is not the answer. In order to see a decline in the number of people sent to prison we must see an increase in the use of effective alternatives to custody.

Sending offenders to prison for minor offences is an ineffective use of resources with a very poor track record in terms of rehabilitation.

Make Justice Work’s report ‘An economic analysis of alternatives to short term custody’ found that providing intensive alternatives to custody for all eligible young adults would save £500 million, over five years. Not only do community sentences cost less they are also up to 8% more effective at reducing reoffending than short term prison sentences.

Sending offenders to prison for minor offences is senseless and offers very little in terms of rehabilitation at a great cost to taxpayers.