Community sentences are not a soft option

17th October 2023


Andy Cook, Chief Executive of the Centre for Social Justice, said:

We need to be clear about two things: short prison sentences don’t work. Over half of adults released from prison after a sentence of less than 12 months go on to reoffend at a cost to the taxpayer of £18 billion a year – mainly because they are not in jail long enough for rehabilitation to take effect.

And community sentences don’t have to be soft sentences. We welcome the increase in the number of GPS tags made available as the use of electronic tagging can ensure the sentence is stringent and can be used to enforce punitive measures such as monitoring the use of alcohol and enforcing a curfew, while allowing wrong-doers to work or attend education and training courses.

The Government is on the right track with this announcement, which will help lawbreakers turn away from a life of crime.

It will also free up badly needed prison spaces for serious criminals who should be kept off the streets to protect the public.

Action must be taken urgently with rapid enforcement of community sentences and swift rearrest and punishment of those who disregard court orders.


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