Report calls for cut in jail numbers

A report commissioned by the Howard League for Penal Reform has called for a reduction in the number of prisoners and the closing of some jails. The report said that prison and probation funding should be diverted to tackling the causes of crime, and suggested that short-term prison sentences be replaced with community-based responses. The report said that overcrowding threatened to ‘bring the penal system to its knees’ with the prison population doubling in the past two decades to an all time high of around 84,000.