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14 Jul 2016

Howard League welcomes new appointment at Ministry of Justice

The Howard League for Penal Reform has today (Thursday 14 July) welcomed the appointment of Elizabeth Truss as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice.

Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “There are huge challenges faced  by the incoming Justice Secretary but this is a time to speak of the opportunities: an opportunity to refashion our justice system so that it is better focused on those who commit more serious crimes, offers reparation to victims and communities and helps turn lives around.

“The problems to be found in our overcrowded prisons can be overcome with imaginative thinking and bold action to stop throwing so many people into these failing institutions, where they are swept away into deeper currents of crime by the boredom, drug abuse and violence behind bars.

“It is to be hoped that Elizabeth Truss is the person to take these opportunities on and we welcome today’s appointment by the new Prime Minister. It was heartening to see Theresa May highlight the issue of race and disproportionality in the justice system in her remarks outside Downing Street and we hope her government continues to regard tackling this as a priority, as well as the broader case for prison reform, as David Cameron did.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the tenure of Michael Gove as Justice Secretary. During his period at the Ministry of Justice, we have seen a welcome change in the rhetoric around prisons and prisoners and the reversal of some misguided policies of the previous Coalition government. It will be up to Elizabeth Truss as his successor to continue on the direction of travel set by Mr Gove, while also marking her own stamp in the details of policy announcements to come.”

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.


Andrew Neilson
Director of Campaigns
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