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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Should be 'far more use of open prisons' - Justice expert on UK prison e...

Watch the full episode here: http://bit.ly/1tOxQpI

Professor Richard Garside, Director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, talks to Afshin Rattansi about the state of the British prison system. He says the headlines are misleading and fewer people are absconding from temporary release than 10 years ago, and the papers are sensationalising everything. He argues that in fact the vast majority of people could be kept in open prisons rather than high security conditions. He disagrees with privatisation and thinks the power to imprison someone should be kept entirely to the state, and private prisons have a poor track record, bad staffing, and are more expensive than people claim them to be. Because the private firms have signed long-term contracts, if a new government wants to imprison less people it becomes difficult for them to do that, as the private company has an interest in locking people up. And mandatory sentencing, recently suggested for knife carrying, doesn't work in practice but works politically - which leads to an inflexible sentencing regime leading to more prisoners with no increase in the safety of the country.

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