By Mike Hough, Rob Allen, Enver Solomon

Tackling legal overcrowding is a reaction to debatable proposals for prisons and sentencing set out in by way of Lord Patrick Carter's "Review of Prisons", released in 2007. The Carter overview proposed the development of gigantic 'Titan' prisons to accommodate the fast challenge of criminal overcrowding, the institution of a Sentencing fee as a mechanism for retaining judicial call for for felony locations in accordance with offer, in addition to extra use of the personal region, together with deepest region administration equipment. "Tackling criminal overcrowding" contains 9 chapters via best educational specialists, who disclose those proposals to severe scrutiny. They take the Carter report back to job for construing the issues too narrowly, when it comes to potency and financial system, and for failing to appreciate the broader problems with justice that want addressing. They argue that the concern of criminal overcrowding is firstly a political challenge - bobbing up from penal populism - for which political ideas must be found.This obtainable file may be of curiosity to coverage makers, probation practitioners, teachers and different commentators on legal policy.

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Additional info for Tackling Prison Overcrowding: Build More Prisons? Sentence Fewer Offenders? (Researching Criminal Justice)

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The fact that the numbers sentenced for violent offences rose by 40% between 1995 and 2005, while the numbers sentenced to custody rose by 53% , could be interpreted as evidence that the violent cases coming to court now are more serious than they were a decade ago. However, using average sentence length as a crude indicator of seriousness suggests that this is not the case: average sentence length has fluctuated between 16 and 19 months over the entire period. For drugs, the numbers sentenced to custody rose by 47% over the same period but this conceals a very mixed underlying picture in which the numbers sentenced for drug offences peaked in 1999, fell in 2000 and 2001, peaked again in 2003 and fell again in 2004 and 2005.

The way that the government has managed the news agenda on ‘law and order’ has been part of the problem. The consequence of pandering to ‘penal populism’ in the short term by building more prison places is that the financial costs of the building programme will be much greater than the forecast because it will feed rather than meet demand. The longer-term cost of leaving penal populists to frame the debate entirely in terms of punishment versus leniency will be felt in terms of reduced public safety.

2006) ‘The dog that did not bark: Punitive social views and the professional middle classes’, Punishment and Society, vol 8, p 287. Carter, P. pdf Cavadino, M. and Dignan, J. (2006) Penal systems: A comparative approach, London: Sage Publications. Councell, R. and Simes, J. (2002) Projections of long-term trends in the prison population, Home Office Statistical Bulletin 14/02, London: Home Office. , Maresh, J. and Williiamson, K. (2007) Prison population projections 2007–2014: England and Wales, Ministry of Justice Statistical Bulletin, London: Ministry of Justice.

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