Community penalties are now outperforming short prison sentences, according to statistics released today from the latest edition of the Prison Reform Trust’s Bromley Briefings Prison Factfile. If government succeeds in reforming the justice system, building on the success of community measures including diversion into health treatment where appropriate, and holding prison numbers to an unavoidable minimum, it could deliver on its promise of a “rehabilitation revolution”.
People aged 60 and over are now the fastest growing age group in the prison estate. Good practice exists and can be spread but work with older people in prison is not being properly supported by government and too often depends on the goodwill and enthusiasm of individual staff, according a Prison Reform Trust report.
"It's not acceptable that, four years on from the Chief Inspector’s previous report, older prisoners still face the double punishment of being locked up in prisons that take little, or no, account of the needs of the elderly."
A report published by the Prison Reform Trust provides evidence that older prisoners face isolation and discrimination because the government is failing to meet their specialist health, social and resettlement needs, with some prisoners who use wheelchairs unable to join in day-to-day prison activities.