downsizing prisons

Close prisons rather than try to fix them

Our Director Richard spoke about the prisons crisis at a meeting of the Friends of Le Monde Diplomatique earlier this week.

Richard said that that 'the prisons crisis is not, fundamentally, a crisis in prisons: one that can be resolved if the right reforms, the right action, is taken. It is a crisis of prisons: of our unbending attempts to treat a complex set of social problems - violence, drug, alcohol and mental health problems, poverty and disadvantage, social antagonisms - as if they are a simple set of crime problems, be resolved through punishment'.

Our submission to prison population 2022 inquiry

Our submission to the House of Commons Justice Committee inquiry into the prison population in 2022 has been published on the Committee's website.

Submitted in partnership with the analytical services organisation, Justice Episteme, our submission offers an analysis of the historical trajectory of the custodial population in England and Wales from 2003, and a projection for the period to 2022 and beyond.

More mega-prisons won't fix a broken society

In an article for the OpenDemocracy website, our Senior Policy Associate, Rebecca Roberts, has criticised the government's plans to expand the prison system by 10,000 places and build new prisons, arguing that it will do little to solve the ongoing crisis in the system.

Rebecca describes how the prison reform programme is part of the wider public sector reform of asset stripping, privatisation and deregulation in which the burden of austerity is imposed on individual prison governors under the guise of greater autonomy. 

Downsizing prison the reform challenge of this generation

The Centre's Director, Richard Garside, today said that a major prison downsizing programme was the reform challenge of this generation.

His comments came in reaction to a call by senior politicians for the prison population to be halved. The call was made by the former Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, the former Justice Secretary, Ken Clarke, and the former Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, in the letter published today in The Times newspaper.

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