In the Media

Prison Reform Trust: harsh sentencing will not bring down UK reoffending rates

PUBLISHED May 24, 2012

The latest criminal justice statistics show nearly a third - 31.2 per cent - of defendants convicted of serious offences (Crown Court offences) last year had 15 or more previous convictions or cautions.

The Ministry of Justice's quarterly update said this figures was an increase of 13.3 per cent since 2001.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Ms Lyon said that re-offending criminals tend to commit "acquisitive" and violent crimes due to drink and drug addiction, with prison sentences rarely solving the underlying problem of dependency.

"Prison sentences have got longer, more people are going to custody - there is no evidence that that in itself works," she said.

"What we can see is that prisons have got overcrowded and they are finding it harder, because they have turned into warehouses, to deilver that reduction in re-offending that the public expects."