The bishops of England and Wales have called on the Government to do more to reduce the number of people in prisons.
In a speech delivered yesterday at the Centre for Social Justice, justice secretary Liz Truss said prison numbers could not be cut with “dangerous quick fix” solutions.
Bishop Richard Moth, Liaison Bishop for Prisons, said in a statement that prisoners were being let down. He said: “We currently imprison more people than ever before and are categorically failing to care for them all.
“The levels of suicide, self-harm, violence and mental health difficulties in our prisons are unacceptable in any civilised society.
“I hope the government seriously consider options to safely reduce the prison population, such as earned early-release schemes. Sensible reductions, continued reform, and better resourcing are all essential to tackling this crisis – none of them can be ignored.”
But Liz Truss said that overcrowding in prisons is due to more offenders serving time for violence and sex crimes.
She called for early interventions and better reforms but not shorter sentences.
The debate surrounding prison reform has escalated since a Panorama investigation discovered chaos at HMP Northumberland.
The Howard League said the problems uncovered were seen in “almost every prison in the country”.
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