February 29, 2008 12:00 AM

Commenting as the prison population reaches another record high, and the number of prisoners released early under the End of Custody License Scheme rises over 18,000, including 939 from Welsh prisons, Jenny Willott, Lib Dem Justice Spokesperson and MP for Cardiff Central, said:

"18,000 criminals have been released from prison early in just seven months, including nearly 1,000 in Wales and yet the prison population has reached yet another record high.

"None of these short-term panic measures will do anything to solve the Government self-inflicted prison overcrowding crisis.

"We need to take a smarter and more effective approach to the criminal justice system by moving drug addicts and prisoners with mental health problems into proper accommodation where they can be treated, and use the extra space to ensure that serious offenders are kept behind bars."

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