Can longer prison terms cut crimes? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 04, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:39 AM, February 04, 2020

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Can longer prison terms cut crimes?

Incarcerating criminals behind bars for longer period of time will not cut crime and will only pile pressure on overstretched prisons, expert campaigners have recently commented regarding the UK government’s proposal.  The Prison Reform Trust issued the stark warning just days after the government unveiled hardline proposals to lock up some serious violent and sexual offenders for longer by scrapping automatic release halfway through a jail sentence.

Introducing a new report, the Prison Reform Trust (PRT) director Peter Dawson said that the government was looking in the wrong places to restore confidence in the justice system. He further stated that longer sentences haven’t improved public confidence or safety before; rather, they have helped produce a prison system that fails to deliver either safety or rehabilitation.

Prof Ben Crewe and Dr Susie Hulley from the University of Cambridge and Dr Serena Wright from Royal Holloway, University of London found a dramatic increase in the number of people serving life sentences. According to the findings, fewer than 100 people a year were handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 15 years in England and Wales between 2000 and 2003.

The findings of the report indicate no clear evidence that the latest rise in lengths of tariffs is linked to changes in the nature or severity of offending. The research claims growing numbers of people serving long sentences mean that prisons are now likely to remain overcrowded for the foreseeable future.

There goes a saying that prisons are expensive ways to bring in negative changes in people incarcerated. Additionally, longer terms in the prisons negatively impact the criminal justice system. Even though the campaigners’ opinions were formulated keeping the situation persisting in the United Kingdom in mind, the same is relevant for almost any legal system in the world in terms of seeing criminal justice system with new specs.

Compiled by Law Desk (SOURCE: GUARDIAN.ORG).

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