England's criminal merry-go-round

 

More than a quarter of criminals re-offend, according to a new Ministry of Justice report.

 

The probation watchdog says criminals sentenced to short prison terms are locked in a ‘merry-go-round’ that leaves the public at risk.

Data shows that out of almost 1,651 offenders in Telford & Wrekin alone, 482 went on to reoffend within a year.

The figures, for July 2016 to June 2017, account for criminals either released from prison, receiving a non-custodial conviction at court, or cautioned by police.

Between them, they committed 2,070 new offences. They had each committed an average of 16.8 crimes previously.

In Shropshire 910 out of 3,469 offenders between July 2016 and June 2017, went on to re-offend. Those offenders had either been released from prison, received a non-custodial conviction at court or were cautioned by police.

A report from HM Inspectorate of Probation highlighted shortcomings in the system for managing offenders in England and Wales. The figures show that extra monitoring of offenders had failed to stop them returning to crime.

Earlier this year, Justice Secretary David Gauke said there was a “very strong case” for abolishing sentences of six months or less, with some exceptions, such as for violent or sexual crimes.

Chief Inspector of Probation Dame Glenys Stacey said that such a move was “unlikely to be effective without other changes. She added: “In my view, a system-wide approach as well as much more purposeful probation supervision is needed. Without it, individuals are locked in an expensive merry-go-round of criminal justice processes and the public are left at undue risk.”

Attempts to improve re-offending rates by monitoring criminals more closely have failed, according to figures.

It was announced today that rules would now be relaxed on allowing inmates to go on work experience, helping them into employment at the end of their sentence.

A report from HM Inspectorate of Probation highlighted shortcomings in the system for managing offenders in England and Wales.

It includes figures showing 64 per cent of adults released from custodial terms of less than 12 months re-offended within a year, committing crime estimated to cost the economy £7 billion to £10 billion per year.

The Justice Secretary David Gauke has suggested that one method of tackling the problem could be getting rid of sentences of six months or less, with some exceptions, such as for violent or sexual crimes. But that idea has been rejected by Chief Inspector of Probation Dame Glenys Stacey, who said that such a move was “unlikely to be effective without other changes”.

 


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