Think-tank pans Government plan to axe short jail terms and instead urges £2 billion clean-up of drug-riddled jails


MINISTERS’ plans to axe short prison sentences were panned last night – as they were urged to spend £2 billion cleaning up drug-riddled jails.

In a blistering report, a think tank laid bare the extent of the violent culture behind bars.

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The Centre for Social Justice think tank urged ministers to spend £2 billion cleaning up drug-riddled jails[/caption]

The Centre for Social Justice called for body scanners and waste-water analysis at every single jail to win the war on drugs.

And it said 70 per cent of the public would rather more was done to build new prisons to lock up criminals than seeing fewer offenders sent to jail in the first place.

The CSJ added that 53 per cent do not believe short-prison sentences should be axed until new, more effective community sentences have been put in place.

Justice Secretary David Gauke has called for anyone sentenced to less than 12 months to escape jail – claiming it’s the only way to cut reoffending.

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Over half of the public don’t believe in short-prison sentences[/caption]

Under pressure from record levels of knife crime, he has conceded he may still jail those who use a blade in street violence.

Rory Geoghegan, CSJ head of criminal justice, said: “Prisons can work.

“We know they can, the latest research from Norway evidences that prison can cut crime and change lives.

“But it needs to provide a safe environment, in which offenders can genuinely move from a life of crime towards sustained, often first-time, employment on release.”


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