Too many women, many of whom are mothers, are sent to prison every year to serve short sentences for non-violent crimes, often for a first offence, a new Prison Reform Trust (PRT) briefing reveals.
The briefing marks the launch of a drive by the Prison Reform Trust, supported by a £1.2 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund, to reduce the number of women who are sent to prison for minor non-violent offences.
Commenting on the HM Chief Inspector of Prisons annual report 2014-15, Juliet Lyon, Director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:
“No mystery that violence, self-harm and suicide rise when you overcrowd prisons, reduce staff by almost one third, cut time out of cell and purposeful activity. The backdrop is a more punitive climate, increased injustice and uncertainty which have sucked hope out of the system for prisoners and staff. Solutions lie in good strong leadership from the new Secretary of State through to prison governors, a commitment to treat people in prison with humanity and respect and a determination to make prison an effective place of last resort.”
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A rapid expansion in the prison population in England and Wales over the past twenty years is placing a growing burden on the taxpayer while reoffending rates out of prison have remained stubbornly high, according to a new report by the Prison Reform Trust.
Analysis published in Prison: The Facts estimates that in 2014 the cost of holding that increased population at today’s costs was an extra £1.22bn compared with twenty years ago—a cost of over £40 per year for every UK taxpayer.
This extra funding of prison places is equivalent to employing an additional 56,000 newly qualified nurses.
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