More imprisonment does not equal less crime, argues Irvin Waller. It's time to invest in solutions that work
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'.
The text of the speech Richard Garside gave yesterday to the Friends of Le Monde Diplomatique
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.
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.
Our Director, Richard Garside, today welcomed comments by the former Chief Inspector of Prisons, Lord Ramsbotham, on the crisis in the prisons system.
In remarks reported by the i, Lord Rambotham said that the 'avoidable crisis' in prisons had 'been made a great deal worse by the deliberate actions of ministers and their officials'.
The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies is one of a number signatories to a letter in The Guardian today calling for 'an immediate moratorium on prison construction and a national debate about how to build a safer society and secure communities instead of continuing with a failed policy of criminal justice expansion'.
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.
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.