Don't build new prisons, close the ones we have

Monday, 05 December, 2016

Our Director, Richard Garside, has called for a long-term plan to reduce the prison population, in a letter published in The Times on Saturday.

His letter was one of four published by the paper, reacting to a call by one of the newspaper's columnists, Alice Thomson (£), for fewer people to be sent to prison.

Richard writes:

The prison population grew on average by five prisoners a day between 1995 and 2015. A conservative target to reduce the prison population by an average of five prisoners a day... would deliver a population of about 80,000 by the time of the 2020 General Election, 70,000 by 2025, 61,000 by 2030 and 52,000 by 2035.

The aim over the coming years, he argues, should be 'to close prisons and take capacity out of the system, not continue on the profligate course of building a new generation of prisons'.