A Strong Voice for Croydon Central - Gavin Barwell MP
Help me
Contact me

Ken Clarke is right to focus on reducing re-offending but locking dangerous offenders up gets them off the streets
08/12/2010 22:37:00

Yesterday, Ken Clarke published a consultation paper on his plans to radically reform the criminal justice system. The crux of his case is that in the long term our current approach does a very poor job of keeping us safe because almost half of all adult offenders and three quarters of young offenders released from custody re-offend within a year. He proposes:

- making greater use of strenuous work as part of community sentences alongside tagging and curfews;

- a greater focus on the collection of crimes;

- inviting charities and private companies as well as the public sector to run programmes to reduce re-offending on a payment-by-results basis;

- a much stronger emphasis on offenders directly compensating their victims; and

- in the case of less serious offenders with drug or mental health problems, more of a focus on treating their condition than custody.

He is right to focus on reducing re-offending but he needs to proceed slowly - we need to be sure this new approach works better. Prison may not currently be very good at reducing re-offending once people are released but it does get criminals off the streets.

I am particularly concerned regarding the issue of knife crime, where the consultation paper seems to water down the clear manifesto pledge on which he and I stood:

- the Conservative manifesto promised, "Carrying a knife is totally unacceptable, so we will make it clear that anyone convicted of a knife crime can expect to face a prison sentence";

- the consultation paper says, "We are developing a new community based intervention that is specifically designed to prevent this kind of violence. This will help to ensure that offenders who are caught in possession of a knife will face consequences and a response intended to prevent their behaviour from escalating".

I am clear which of these two approaches the people I was elected to represent want to see.

Comment on this blog



 More Blog Posts
Friday night's attack on a 17 year-old asylum seeker
  Read Story
Reflections on yesterday's attack
  Read Story
IVF services in Croydon
  Read Story
Government backs upgrade of London to Brighton railway and refuses to fund BML2 concept that would be bad news for Addiscombe in particular
  Read Story
Spot the difference
  Read Story
Second interim report on Croydon tram crash
  Read Story
Fixing our broken housing market.
  Read Story
Government provides £14m for refurbishment of Fairfield Halls and redevelopment of College Green.
  Read Story
Southern Rail latest update
  Read Story
How I will vote on the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill
  Read Story

Full list of blog posts here

Gavin Barwell, House of Commons, SW1A 1AA, Tel  020 8660 0491      © Gavin Barwell  2017       Promoted by Ian Parker on behalf of Gavin Barwell, both at 36 Brighton Road, Purley, CR8 2LG