CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Sunday, January 28, 2007

CrimProf Barry Mitchell Gives Solution of UK Prison Overcrowding

From Coventry University CrimProf Barry Mitchell recently addressed the fact that Prisons in England and Wales are now at bursting point – hovering around their 80,000 capacity – and hundreds of people are being housed overnight in police stations and even court cells.
More young people are being locked up under this Government than ever before. 

CrimProf Mitchell believes the solution could come from focusing on community orders and "retributive justice". In other words, making the punishment fit the crime.

He says: "The Government is trying to protect the public from dangerous people, but we cannot keep building more and more institutions to accommodate offenders. It doesn't seem to be a long-term solution because of the reoffending rate, we need to find alternatives."

He says rehabilitation programmes and supervision orders offer a viable alternative, in some cases, to prison. "If you look at reoffending rates, some of the non-custodial sentences are more effective than a custodial sentence.The problem is when it comes to looking at dangerous offenders. Deciding who is dangerous and the risk assessments involved are very difficult. It's not an exact science, even the most able experts cannot produce that kind of certainty." 

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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