A new report published by the thinktank Civitas claims that increasing the length of prison sentences for burglary and fraud reduces offending. But this simple analysis hides a much more complicated problem. According to the Civitas research, increasing the average sentence for burglary by one month would reduce offending by about 0.5%. In our experience at Nacro, all that prison does in these cases is to delay the next offence from taking place. A slightly longer sentence just means a slightly longer delay in reoffending.

© Guardian News & Media Ltd

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