On 10 May 2013 there were 83,151 people in prison – nearly double the number inside twenty years ago.  Many people in prison have pressing social needs and certain groups are disproportionately represented, including people who have spent time in care, those with no qualifications, people with mental health problems or learning disabilities, young adults and people from minority ethnic groups.

Overcrowding in 69 of the 124 prisons in England and Wales leaves many prisoners languishing in their cells and achieving nothing.  Nearly half of adults and about three-quarters of children leaving prison are proven to reoffend within a year of their release.  Short prison sentences perform even worse in reducing reoffending, while community sentences have been proven to be more effective.  Recent surveys have found strong public support for community solutions to crime.

What do you think? Want to find out more?

Where Do You Stand? is a package of authoritative and engaging information and materials aimed at non-experts aged 16 and above, on which to base discussions about prison and community sentencing in schools and community groups.

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Developed by the Prison Reform Trust in collaboration with the U3A, the aim of the materials is to help people build their knowledge and engage in informed debate.  The pack contains facts and figures, guidance and supporting materials including personal insights from victims of crime, practitioners, prisoners and their families, photographs and film material.  

The resources make use of the Prison Reform Trust’s flagship Bromley Briefings Prison Factfile, an authoritative, regularly updated publication, kindly supported by the Bromley Trust and full of facts drawn from government statistics about the UK’s prison system – available for free download here

Download Where Do You Stand? using the form on this page, or contact us for a free DVD containing Where Do You Stand? and What Can I Do? (the guide to volunteering and effecting change in the criminal justice system, published jointly with Pact) as well as the Prison Reform Trust’s popular short films, Talking Justice: Talking Sense and SmartJustice for Women, which present the case for making prison a genuine last resort and explore the scope for community solutions to crime.  

The Prison Reform Trust would like to thank the Monument Trust, our supporters, partners and all contributors for supporting the Talking Justice programme to inform debate and equip people to get involved in improving outcomes in our criminal justice system.

For more information and to tell us what you think, contact us by email or call Katy Swaine Williams on 020 7689 7738