Cuts ‘will mean more prisoners’


all credits: ITN News
published: 7th October 2010

Savage cuts will lead to more people serving short jail terms, according to the probation union. Harry Fletcher, [National Association of Probation Officer’s] assistant general secretary, said 25 per cent cuts to the probation service budget will lead to a lack of resources and courts being forced to hand down short prison sentences despite the Government’s plans for a rehabilitation revolution.

He added that it was “inevitable” that probation officers will vote for strike action at their annual conference in Scarborough, and they could join with other unions in “days of concerted action”.

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke wants more offenders to be given community sentences rather than short jail terms, but Mr Fletcher said this could be compromised if Government spending cuts of 25 per cent are announced on October 20. Napo said it believed courts would be forced to use short prison sentences if fewer resources were available for community orders.

Mr Fletcher said: “The immediate effect will be redundancies, fewer court reports recommending non-custodial options, and a rise in the short-term prison population. “Napo members are committed to the concepts of rehabilitation and protecting the public but these aims will be compromised when the cuts take place.”

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