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Probation reforms are failing

September 27, 2016 3:01 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Reforms to probation services are far from complete and there is no clear picture of how the new system is performing in important areas, the Committee of Public Accounts says. Commenting on the report, Liberal Democrat Justice spokesperson Jonathan Marks QC said:

"With no Liberal Democrats in the Ministry of Justice driving forward reform and making cutting the cost of reoffending a priority we have seen progress grind to a halt.

"Approximately 60% of those serving sentences of less than 12 months go on to reoffend within a year of release. This is a massive waste of public money, disastrous for the public and not working well enough for those stuck in the cycle of reoffending.

"It is outrageous that the Government has taken no steps to reduce the prison population. The evidence is clear - short sentences do not work and probably do more harm than good. That is why the Liberal Democrats want to see the introduction of a presumption against sentences of less than 12 months in favour of robust community sentences and greater use of tagging. The public should see justice being done and not taxpayers money being wasted.

"Our prisons are dilapidated, squalid, understaffed and overcrowded. There is not enough education and appalling violence. It is no wonder that many are academies of crime."