We want to build a more humane and effective response to crime that provides justice to all and helps to reduce reoffending.
Our overriding ambition is to move the dial on punishment away from cruelty and towards building a more humane and effective response to crime that provides justice to all and helps to reduce reoffending.
We recognise that law is the product of power; and that it criminalises and punishes some behaviours, people and groups more than others. This undermines the legitimacy of our entire criminal justice system and demands challenge in the interests of fairness and equality.
We understand that our current systems of punishment are often unjust, cruel and counter-productive; and that they make our communities less, rather than more, safe. We want to see a reduction in the use of punishment, specifically a very significant reduction in the use of prison and much better conditions and opportunities for those who remain there.
With the prison population in England and Wales projected to rise to more than 106,000 by 2027, we have a five-year strategy that focuses on the acute crisis in prisons. However, we will continue to recognise the challenges presented by the overuse of community supervision and the harms that it can cause to individuals and society. We understand that 100 years of ‘alternatives’ have ultimately fed more people into, rather than out of, prison.
We believe the answers to crime lie not in the criminal justice system, but in a more fair and equitable society, one investing in education, housing, employment and health. We believe that everyone is better than their worst moment or decision, and that excessive punishment harms the fabric of society. We believe in second chances and in the ability of people to change.