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3 Nov 2016

Howard League responds to prison reform proposals

The Howard League for Penal Reform has today (Thursday 3 November) issued a statement ahead of an announcement on prison reform by the Secretary of State for Justice, Elizabeth Truss.

Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “The proposals being announced today appear to offer a mixed picture for those hopeful that we might see real change in our violent and failing prisons.

“There are welcome commitments on accountability and improving outcomes, although there is a danger efforts to measure performance will distract from tackling the daily carnage we are seeing in prisons across the country. The Howard League will be responding in detail on how to avoid this and focus efforts on what is actually going to work.

“It is also welcome to see the government reversing previous decisions on cuts to staffing, although it remains to be seen how quickly things improve on the prison landings. The levels of deaths and violence are such that it will take more than just bodies in uniform to turn things around.

“What we desperately need is a real commitment to trying to lower prison numbers and reduce overcrowding. Instead, the government seems set on repeating the mistakes of previous administrations in seeking to build its way out of the problem. It has never worked before and will not work today.”

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
Campaigns and Communications Manager
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