Posts Tagged ‘reoffending’

Khan is right: prison doesn’t work, but welfare does

07/03/2011, 05:36:49 PM

by David Talbot

In today’s Guardian, Sadiq Khan, the shadow justice secretary, signalled a shift in Labour’s approach to criminal justice. New Labour, Khan argues, made a mistake by “playing tough” on crime and allowing the prison population to soar to record levels during its time in government, instead of tackling sky-high reoffending rates. His central argument is that New Labour relied too heavily on hardline rhetoric and the supposition that rising rates of imprisonment were in itself a desirable policy. His welcome, and overdue, foray represents the first attempt by a senior Labour figure to detail the party’s new direction on penal policy.

No doubt part of the reason New Labour trumpeted this tough stance was the fear that rehabilitation and reoffending would be seen as “soft on crime”, which meant that New Labour did not do anywhere near enough to explore approaches which could have been more effective in reducing crime. First, it involves rejecting the idea of a simple equation between a rising prison population and lower crime; and second, looking beyond the criminal justice system is crucial to reducing crime. (more…)

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