Labour admits sending too many to jail


originally by: Politics.co.uk
7th March 2011

Labour has admitted that it sent too many people to jail while it was in power and failed to tackle reoffending. In a speech marking out the start of a new crime policy for the opposition, Sadiq Khan, shadow justice secretary, will tell a Fabian Society/Prison Reform Trust event that the party will establish a new working group on punishment and rehabilitation.

“I feel it was a mistake to not focus more on the issue of reducing offending. We became hesitant in talking about rehabilitation and the merits of bringing down reoffending rates,” he will say.

“A focus on rehabilitation and reducing reoffending was seen as being soft on crime, when in fact it is effective in reducing crime.”

He will add: “We did send more people to prison and for longer. While we successfully reduced crime, we did not manage to reduce the prison population.”

Frances Crook, director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, commented: “I welcome Sadiq Khan’s admission that Labour got their prison policy wrong. Sending more people to prison is nothing to be proud of and the unnecessary use of prison exacerbates problems rather than solving them.”

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