Tougher community sentencing urged – AOL News

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Significant up-front investment in tough community sentences is needed if they are to be more effective than short prison terms in stopping persistent low-level offending, experts have said.

Offenders can find intensive periods of community service harder than a short spell in prison but the sentences must meet “the necessary standards of rigour” if they are to be effective, a report by campaign group Make Justice Work found.

It comes as the prison population in England and Wales reached a record high on Friday, with a total of 86,842 people behind bars.

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has announced plans for a “rehabilitation revolution” to cut the reoffending rate which currently sees three in five offenders jailed for less than 12 months reconvicted within a year.

But the Community Or Custody report warned: “If the Government is serious about starting a rehabilitation revolution, corners cannot be cut.

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