Tony Blair’s penal policy condemned – by Cherie

08Jul09

Tony Blairoriginally published: 3rd July 2009

Labour’s flagship policies on criminal justice have brought about a crisis in the prison system, a group of leading penal reformers headed by Cherie Booth QC has concluded.

In a radical report, the Commission on English Prisons Today calls for the closure of many prisons and a new direction in sentencing. The commission said that the National Offenders Management Service (Noms), established five years ago after a review led by Tony Blair’s office, was “ineffective” and should be dismantled.

Noms, which brings together the management of prisons and probation, was also attacked as “unwieldy” and “over-complex”.

Instead, the commission, set up two years ago by the Howard League for Prison Reform, said the emphasis should be on imprisoning offenders locally so that communities had a financial stake in the cost of sentencing. Its report, Do Better Do Less, concludes that prisons have become “warehouses” where people with mental health problems and those with drug and alcohol addictions are “dumped”.

Read full report >

Related Reports:

Call for fewer criminals to be jailed in bid to solve prisons ‘crisis’
2nd July 2009

Prison doesn’t work, so Labour must now become the party of penal reform, argues David Wilson
3rd July 2009

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