MJW’s letter published in the Times
Tough and intensive community sentences punish offenders but also force them to address their behaviour
The judges revolt has set up a false debate about criminal justice reform (“Tensions mount over crime and punishment”, April 12). Prison sentences will always be costly and ineffectual at reforming lower-level offenders. Tough and intensive community sentences punish offenders but also force them to address their behaviour. They, therefore, not only reduce reoffending but are a much better use of taxpayers money.
Judges should instead be asking whether there will be enough money to invest in making sure robust community sentences are available to the courts. Without investment, Ken Clarke will fail in his laudable aims to reduce reoffending and the cost of our criminal justice system will continue to spiral out of control.
Director, Make Justice Work.