Commenting on new government plans for prison closures and building, Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:
"Closing prisons and reducing prison numbers offers major social and economic gains but it would be a gigantic mistake if the Justice Secretary were to revive the discredited idea of titans and pour taxpayers' money down the prison building drain, when the Coalition Government could invest in crime prevention, healthcare and community solutions to crime.
"Small community prisons tend to be safer and better at reducing reoffending than huge anonymous establishments.
"Prison is an important place of last resort for serious and violent offenders not, as it has become, a place to dump people who are mentally ill, those with learning disabilities, addicts and vulnerable women and children."
Plans to build three 2,500-capacity "Titan" jails by the previous government at a cost of £2.9 billion were scrapped in 2009 following representations by the Prison Reform Trust and allied organisations. Read our briefing here.
A new prison service instruction is set to improve sentencing planning for prisoners, especially for those serving an Indeterminate sentence for Public Protection (IPP) and for people who have a learning disability.
A YouGov opinion poll, released today by the Prison Reform Trust, reveals strong public support for effective community and public health measures to prevent crime and disorder.
The poll is launched ahead of the delayed announcement by the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, confirmed today in Parliament for early in the New Year, which is expected to introduce radical changes to the probation service and the way in which community sentences are delivered.
Treatment for drug addiction, intensive supervision of community orders, and mental health care were the top three solutions to get public backing in the poll commissioned by the Prison Reform Trust.
A YouGov opinion poll, launched today by the Prison Reform Trust, reveals strong support for public health measures to tackle women’s offending. Treatment for drug addiction, help to stop alcohol misuse, and mental healthcare, were the top three solutions to get public backing for reducing offending by women who commit non-violent crimes.
The Prison Reform Trust is launching these poll results on the day that Dame Elish Angiolini delivers the Prison Reform Trust lecture 2012 on Reforming Women’s Justice. You can watch the lecture here and read it here.