The Prison Crisis – what are the alternatives to incarceration?

As the prison population in the UK, which is now the highest in Western Europe, continues to escalate, we must ask ourselves whether our criminal justice system is fit for purpose. Why are our prisons overflowing? Is imprisonment meant to be rehabilitative or punitive, and what measures would help to prevent criminalisation and recriminalisation? If other international approaches to social problems based on criminalisation and punishment are proving successful, what can we learn from those countries whose policies and practices are producing more satisfactory results? Richard Garside is the Director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, where he set up the Crime and Society Foundation, and is the lead author of the Centre’s keynote annual publication: UK Justice Policy Review. He is also Senior Visiting Research Fellow at The Open University. Richard is in favour of the long-term abolition of prisons and the development of practices that are socially transformative, rather than punitive, and he writes and broadcasts regularly on issues of crime, criminal justice and social harm.  See Guardian references.

Monday 5th February