Richard Garside

Reducing the numbers in custody: looking beyond criminal justice solutions

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.

UK Justice Policy Review: Volume 1

The first in an annual series by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, supported by the Hadley Trust, tracking year-on-year developments in criminal justice and social welfare across the UK. Combining analysis of the main developments with key data on issues such as spending, staffing and the numbers going through the criminal justice system, UK Justice Policy Review offers an accessible overview of UK-wide developments.

UK Justice Policy Review: Volume 2

The second in an annual series by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, supported by the Hadley Trust, tracking year-on-year developments in criminal justice and social welfare across the UK. Combining analysis of the main developments with key data on issues such as spending, staffing and the numbers going through the criminal justice system, UK Justice Policy Review offers an accessible overview of UK-wide developments.

Downsizing prison

Last week I wrote that a coherent plan of action to control and reduce the prison population in the UK was desperately needed to arrest the alarming drift towards ever higher prison numbers.

So what might such a plan look like? How can we downsize prison?

Here are my suggestions, in the form of five propositions.

Nine prisoners a day

I’ve been tracking the UK prison population since the beginning of the year to get a sense of some of the underlying trends.

My interest here is the UK prison population, not just the prison population of England and Wales, a figure more commonly the focus of London-based policy elites.

I’m also interested in the total population under a prison sentence. This includes those serving a Home Detention Curfew: the latter stages of a prison sentence served under a form of house arrest.

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