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7 Feb 2020

Howard League responds to National Audit Office report on improving the prison estate

The Howard League for Penal Reform has responded to the National Audit Office’s report on improving the prison estate, published today (Friday 7 February).

The report concludes that the government is failing to provide and maintain safe, secure and decent prisons and its flagship initiatives to address this have not delivered.

Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “Anyone who is serious about trying to fix the problems in our prisons should read this report. It shows what happens when political rhetoric meets reality, and points to the challenges that lie ahead if ministers continue to pursue unrealistic targets.

“We need to change direction to tackle these issues, reduce crime and move forward as a nation. Building more jails will only lead to history repeating itself, with problems on an even bigger scale.

“The solution begins with a commitment to scrap short sentences and put fewer people behind bars. By reducing demand on the system, we can start to turn lives around, protect staff and make communities safer.”

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.
  1. Improving the prison estate can be viewed on the National Audit Office website from Friday 7 February.


Rob Preece
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