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21 Apr 2023

Howard League responds to appointment of new Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

The Howard League for Penal Reform has responded to the appointment of Alex Chalk KC MP as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, announced today (Friday 21 April).

Andrea Coomber KC (Hon.), Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “The Howard League welcomes the appointment of Alex Chalk KCto the position of Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. As a former minister for prisons and probation, formerly a long-serving member of the justice select committee, and originally a criminal barrister, the new Secretary of State understands the challenges better than most. 

“A fresh face at the top of the Ministry of Justice should also mean a fresh look at some of the thorniest issues in criminal justice. A prison population set to balloon by as much as a quarter over the coming five years, and a staffing crisis behind bars even before this expansion takes place. The government must do something to reduce pressure on the system and allow prisons to be something other than human warehouses.

“We also urge Alex Chalk to take a long hard look at flawed legislation coming before Parliament on prisoners and parole, as well as the ongoing stain of prisoners still serving the abolished sentence of imprisonment for public protection. There is an opportunity to inject both justice and hope into our failing prison system, and I hope the Secretary of State takes action to do just that.”

Notes to editors 

  1. The Howard League for Penal Reform is the oldest penal reform charity in the world. It is a national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison. 


Rob Preece
Communications Manager
Mobile: +44 (0)7714 604955

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