A vital intervention

prisonYesterdays Evening Standard announced plans by the Mayor of London to spend half a Million pounds on a scheme to dramatically cut re-offending rates by women in the Capital City. This is a vital intervention and we need to see similar schemes being created across the UK by Police and Crime Commissioners in every County. The social cost of imprisoning women in all but the most extreme circumstances is huge and in Sussex because there are no prisons which can accommodate women prisoners, every woman who is arrested is taken many miles from home and any positive support network that exists to help them to stay in touch with life outside of their sentence and to prepare for a future that avoids a return to life in an institution. Even in London many of those imprisoned are moved out of the capital. Whilst dealing with prison and reoffending for women is desperately needed, the focus must not end there. In 2008 I helped set up a charity called Sussex Pathways which is the sort of charity that the Mayor of London is intending to use to help offer support to people leaving prison to find a way forward for their lives that does not include a return to the behaviour which got them sentenced in the first place. We need schemes like Sussex Pathways to be supported in a meaningful way in every policing area, we also need the Police and Crime Commissioners in every area to play a more active role in the way in which the prisons in their area are operating and we need to hear the PCC’s calling for a different type of solution than moving prisoners from one prison to another at a moments notice, simply because of the severe over crowding and poor management that operates some of the private sector prisons. Every move disrupts the links to supportive families and friends and to any rehabilitation provision. In truth £500,000 represents a huge amount of public money, yet it is a drop in the ocean compared to the size of the problem. Indeed it represents the cost of sending a small number of people to prison each year. The recent discussion over Trident shows that each missile (even when it goes in the wrong direction) is £17M so 34 times the sum announced by Sadiq Khan. Our Government is not so short of money that it cannot find what is needed for weapons that are never intended to be used, let us see meaningful sums being found for constructive purposes.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Community Safety, Parliament and Democracy, Police & Crime Commissioner, Policing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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