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Report and Government response published.
The Committee agrees with Justice Secretary David Gauke that there is a very strong case for abolishing sentences of six months or less altogether.
Re-offending costs an estimated £15 billion a year; the report recommends that there must be a focus on investing services to reduce this, thus cutting crime and reducing the overall size of the prison population - which is increased through repeat imprisonment.
The report argues that the Government’s focus on addressing safety and decency in prisons has come at the expense of rehabilitation.
The Ministry of Justice needs to refocus its efforts to enable a dual approach to maintain both safety and decency, as well as improve rehabilitation.
Ministers need a clear plan of action to tackle the problem of rising prison populations and the health and safety of prisoners.
The Justice Committee welcomes the Government’s agreement with the issues raised in its Prison Population 2022: planning for the future report, but says ministers have failed to commit to a sufficient plan of action to effectively tackle the crisis faced.
This inquiry into the prison population focuses on:
Evidence given by Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer, Neil Richards, Head of Custodial Contracts, Paul Newton, Governor, HMP Birmingham, HM Prison and Probation Service, and Jerry Petherick, G4S; Rory Stewart MP, Minister of State for Justice, Ministry of Justice, and Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer, HM Prison and Probation Service (at 11.00am).
Justice Committee criticises the Government’s lack of a plan for dealing with the prisons crisis