How can we reduce reoffending?
Reoffending by criminals serving short sentences costs the UK taxpayer up to £10bn a year, says a report. Is prison the right answer?
Around 60,000 prisoners are jailed for less than 12 months each year, mostly for theft and minor violent crimes. But 60% go on to commit another crime within a year of release.
A report by the National Audit Office says inmates are not given "appropriate assistance" to help them turn around their lives. About half spent almost all day in their cells, rather than being engaged in training and rehabilitation.
Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said: "The evidence is clear that community penalties, treatment for addicts, mental healthcare and sorting out housing and employment all work better than a short prison sentence."
How can we reduce reoffending? Should inmates receive better rehabilitation? Should we scrap short sentences and give community penalties instead?
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