Our Director, Richard Garside, has called on the government to develop a long-term plan to downsize prisons across England and Wales. The government should aim to at least halve the number of people locked up over the next twenty years, he said.
Looking ahead to 2017, our Director Richard Garside said:
There is a growing consensus that criminal justice is not working.
Thousands of our fellow citizens are unnecessarily imprisoned each year, often in squalid conditions. Probation in England and Wales is in a mess following an ill-conceived privatisation. All too often, gaps in other services are leaving the police to act as social service of last resort.
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.
The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies is publishing a new report today on the role of inspection in preventing torture and mistreatment in custody.
The Centre's Director, Richard Garside, has today called on the government to get a grip on the problem of a rapidly deteriorating probation service.
His call comes in response to the latest report from the Probation Inspectorate, into probation work in North London.
The Inspectorate found that the service had deteriorated since its previous inspection in 2014, prior to the 'Transforming Rehabilitation' privatisation of probation.
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.
On Friday, 25 November, well over a hundred people met at the Williamson Street Community Centre in Holloway to begin discussing how a community vision for the former prison site might be developed.
The endless calls for tough community sentences do more harm than good, argues Richard Garside
'The overwhelming priority is for the Government to take a strategic view and set the path to reduce the number of people in prison over the long term', our Director Richard Garside told the Sunday People over the weekend.
Richard's comments came as the newspaper reported on concerns over a rise in racial violence in prison, and claimed that groups were being set up to target Muslim prisoners.
Richard told the paper:
Today's prisons White Paper marks the beginning of a new era of prison expansion and is the opposite of what is needed, according to our Director Richard Garside. Richard said:
Liz Truss is today firing the starting gun on a new era of prison growth and more punishment. This is the opposite of what is needed.
If the government is sincere in its desire to cut levels of violence, self-harm and suicide in prisons, it should be placing a fall in the number of prisoners and a reduction of prison capacity at the heart of its plans.