We have too many prisoners, says new PM Starmer

by | Jul 6, 2024 | Politics

28 minutes agoBy Paul Seddon, Political reporter Getty ImagesSir Keir Starmer has said he wants to reduce the number of people going to prison through renewed efforts to cut reoffending.In his first press conference, the prime minister said too many people found themselves back in jail “relatively quickly” after being sent there.He added that intervening to prevent young people committing knife crime would be an early priority for his new government.But he said there would be no “overnight solution” to prison overcrowding, adding: “We’ve got too many prisoners, not enough prisons.”It comes after he appointed a businessman as his prisons minister who previously said only a third of prisoners should be there.James Timpson, boss of the shoe repair chain, said in an interview with Channel 4 earlier this year that the government was “addicted to punishment”.Labour, which won a landslide election victory on Thursday, has promised to review sentencing after regaining office for the first time since 2010.It has also inherited a ballooning crisis in Britain’s jails, and has already committed to keeping the previous Tory government’s early release scheme in place to ease current levels of overcrowding. The Prison Governors’ Association (PGA), which represents 95% of prison governors in England and Wales, warned last week that jails were due to run out of space within days.Details of the review are yet to be unveiled, but Mr Timpson’s appointment has offered an early signal that a change of approach may be on the cards in this area.The businessman, whose firm has a policy of recruiting ex-offenders, has previously said too many people were being sent to jail.Sir Keir has appointed him a member of the House of Lords, allowing him to take up a post as prisons minister at the Ministry of Justice.He told a Channel 4 podcast in February that prison was a “disaster” for around a third of prisoners, and another third “probably shouldn’t be there”.He said too many people being in prison for “far too long” was an example of “evidence being ignored because there is this sentiment around punish and punish”.”We’re addicted to sentencing, we’re addicted to punishment,” he added.Prison ‘escalator’Asked about his comments at a Downing Street press conference, Sir Keir did not offer a view on whether he agreed with those estimates.But he added: “We do need to be clear about the way in which we us …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nn28 minutes agoBy Paul Seddon, Political reporter Getty ImagesSir Keir Starmer has said he wants to reduce the number of people going to prison through renewed efforts to cut reoffending.In his first press conference, the prime minister said too many people found themselves back in jail “relatively quickly” after being sent there.He added that intervening to prevent young people committing knife crime would be an early priority for his new government.But he said there would be no “overnight solution” to prison overcrowding, adding: “We’ve got too many prisoners, not enough prisons.”It comes after he appointed a businessman as his prisons minister who previously said only a third of prisoners should be there.James Timpson, boss of the shoe repair chain, said in an interview with Channel 4 earlier this year that the government was “addicted to punishment”.Labour, which won a landslide election victory on Thursday, has promised to review sentencing after regaining office for the first time since 2010.It has also inherited a ballooning crisis in Britain’s jails, and has already committed to keeping the previous Tory government’s early release scheme in place to ease current levels of overcrowding. The Prison Governors’ Association (PGA), which represents 95% of prison governors in England and Wales, warned last week that jails were due to run out of space within days.Details of the review are yet to be unveiled, but Mr Timpson’s appointment has offered an early signal that a change of approach may be on the cards in this area.The businessman, whose firm has a policy of recruiting ex-offenders, has previously said too many people were being sent to jail.Sir Keir has appointed him a member of the House of Lords, allowing him to take up a post as prisons minister at the Ministry of Justice.He told a Channel 4 podcast in February that prison was a “disaster” for around a third of prisoners, and another third “probably shouldn’t be there”.He said too many people being in prison for “far too long” was an example of “evidence being ignored because there is this sentiment around punish and punish”.”We’re addicted to sentencing, we’re addicted to punishment,” he added.Prison ‘escalator’Asked about his comments at a Downing Street press conference, Sir Keir did not offer a view on whether he agreed with those estimates.But he added: “We do need to be clear about the way in which we us …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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