As the population in custody in England and Wales hits a record high, a report from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies questions the role of community sentences in controlling or reducing prison numbers. Community sentences: a solution to penal excess? argues that there are inherent limits to what community sentences can achieve beyond relatively minor adjustments to the numbers in custody.
At a time of spending cuts and continued increases to inequality, a new report argues the prison population is likely to rise further, despite the coalition's expressed aim to contain and manage prison numbers. Reducing the numbers in custody argues that the key levers for reducing record high prison numbers are located in wider social and economic policy and not in changes to community sentences or reforms to criminal justice policy.