Crime and Prison Figures Show we Must Focus on What Works

April 26, 2007 3:39 PM

Commenting on the latest figures for recorded crime released by the Home Office today, Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, said:

"If tough talk, government gimmicks and endless legislation could cut crime, Britain would be the safest country in the world. But these figures show that is very far from being the case, with robberies and vandalism rising month by month.

"If we really want to cut crime, we don't need to get tougher, we need to get smarter.

"This week, the prison population swelled to 80,000 - our prisons are officially full. Rehabilitation under such circumstances is near impossible and two-thirds of prisoners reoffend within two years of release from prison. There can be no clearer sign of the failure of our criminal justice system than this.

"We need to tackle repeat crime by making education and training compulsory in prisons. More prisoners should work and pay into a compensation fund for victims, and we should significantly extend treatment for drug and mental health problems like that offered at Cardiff Prison's Detoxification Unit.

"It's time to focus on what works, instead of what sounds good."

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