Thursday, January 25, 2007

Prison overcrowding

It is utterly ridiculous that the Home Office have yet again tried to interfere in the sentencing ability of Judges. It is the job of the Home Office to make sure that there are sufficient prison places for those whose offences mean that they should serve a prison sentence. There is no doubt that the constant interference of the Labour government in Criminal Law has made the current situation much worse. There have been over 3000 new criminal offences created by the Labour Government, combined with increasing interference in sentencing. The flood of sentencing provisions over the last 10 years has resulted in the Government chopping and changing its mind as it struggled to be seen to be doing something - without tackling the real causes of the problems. In order to seem tough on crime the Government has sought to underfund the "community options" available to Judges. This has led to the public, quite rightly being suspicious of a system that appears to fail to tackle criminal offending. The current overcrowding of prisons is a sign that the government failed plan for the consequences of their legislation, and also dramatically affects the possiblity of rehabilitating those who are in prison. The current situation is a disgrace - and the Labour government only has itself to blame.