Judges Must Not Be Constrained By Prison Overcrowding

November 16, 2007 12:00 AM

Commenting on the Lord Chief Justice's criticism of the Government's sentencing policy and prison overcrowding, Jenny Willott MP, said:

"The Lord Chief Justice has stated clearly what we have all known for some time - that the prison service is in crisis.

"This month the prisoner populations of Wales two largest prisons - Cardiff and Parc - have risen to new record highs.

"It is completely unacceptable for judges to feel constrained about putting dangerous people in prison simply because there is not enough room to accommodate them.

"The only answer is to take out of the prison system those who shouldn't be there in the first place.

"All the evidence suggests that very short prison terms are completely ineffectual, especially for those with mental health problems or drug and alcohol addictions who need proper treatment. This issue must be looked at seriously."

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