Our Founder, Rory Geoghegan, wrote for The Spectator, excerpts below:
“While most of the country thinks we should be cracking down on crime, former prime minister Sir John Major has been busy telling the world this week that in the UK we lock up too many prisoners. In a speech at the Old Bailey for the Prison Reform Trust, Major has made the case for reducing the UK’s prison population, arguing that we should have more non-custodial sentences instead, especially for ‘non-violent’ offences.
You really have to wonder what planet he is living on. Only this year a teenage girl who was raped was forced to watch her attacker walk free from court after being sentenced to unpaid work. In Brighton, a police sergeant was violently assaulted, left with broken bones and almost lost his sight. His attacker was given a suspended sentence this month. Sir John peddled many of the lines favoured by penal reformers and abolitionists intent on reducing the size of the prison population at all costs Most people think this is abhorrent, and if anything we should be doling out longer sentences.”
“None of this is to say that we should be indifferent to the conditions inside our prisons. We should want our prisons to be well-run and well-resourced. As I’ve argued before, they can and should be places of control, order and hope.
The state of too many of them should shame those responsible. But the answer is not to abolish prison, reduce its use, or advocate for a further watering down of sentences. It is to get prisons working – and to maximise the opportunity they provide to incapacitate, to reform, and to make our streets safer.”
Read the full article here: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/john-major-is-wrong-to-call-for-fewer-prison-sentences/