Full to bursting prisons have become academies of crime
Responding to comments by the president of the Prison Governors Association that prisons in England and Wales are "full to bursting" and the number of inmates should be reduced, Jonathan Marks QC, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson, said:
“The Government must listen when people on the front-line speak up. Prison numbers are sky high and it is this overcrowding that has led to the violence and complete lack of control and discipline in our prisons.
"It is time that Theresa May and her Cabinet stopped pandering to the right-wing press and started doing what works to turn prisons into places of rehabilitation.
"Today’s Chief Inspector’s report shows once again that our prisons are in deep crisis. Unless the Government get a handle on this, our prisons will simply continue as academies of crime, cutting prisoners off from society for a while, then letting them out to re-offend, with new criminal contacts and new criminal skills.
"We must turn our prisons into places for reform and rehabilitation, education and training and tackling prisoners' issues. If we don't we will just increase the misery crime inflicts on victims, offenders and all their families and communities.”
Frank Little, Liberal Democrat candidate for Neath in the 2017 general election, added:
The rise in the prison population has led to suspension of the programme of closing old unsatisfactory prisons. It could also lead to "category creep" in the super-prison to be built in the Swansea Bay area, so that what is planned as a Category C gaol would be pressed to take overspill of career and violent criminals from England.