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CJA Statement: Prison overcrowding in England and Wales at record high

Recent data reveals a concerning situation in England and Wales, where two-thirds of prisons are officially overcrowded. Mark Blake, Policy Manager at the Criminal Justice Alliance, said:

The revelations regarding the prison accommodation crisis come as no surprise to the Criminal Justice Alliance, nor to our many members supporting people in prison and campaigning for penal reform. Equally, the government cannot claim surprise, as their own predictions foresaw this crisis.

While the government attributes the current position to the coronavirus pandemic and barrister’s strike action, the root causes run far deeper.

Politicians from all corners have, for too long, promoted longer custodial sentences as an answer to crime. What we truly need is an independent, comprehensive examination of sentencing policies, the prison population, and effective strategies for crime prevention and rehabilitation support.

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