New survey on sentencing reform

Tories too soft on crime ?

Recent research suggests that the public do not agree with the current Government’s intention to reduce prison occupancy by increasing the amount of community sentences instead.

In a recent poll of more than 2,000 adults, 8 out of 10 state that community sentences are a “soft punishment”, and the figure is higher among police officers and most thought that prison life should be made harder as a deterrent to reoffending, borne out by the fact that 58% of those asked stated that they believe that prison does not work. Most of those polled also seemed to think that crime had risen over the past 14 years.

Without doublechecking, the above figures seem to the writer to be pretty consistent with previous polls over the years, in which the public generally seem to have similar views, yet it is unclear whether the public are fully aware of the very high cost of keeping individuals in prison and that there is an overcrowding problem already in prisons. This debate seems intractable and is always a highly political issue, so it remains to be seen whether the government will alter it’s position for political reasons or maintain the position as part of the stringent legal cost cutting now starting to kick in. Watch this space !

Many thanks for this legal advice.