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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gary Gibbon on Politics: Short sentenced: Clarke talks policy

Gary Gibbon on Politics: Short sentenced: Clarke talks policy

One by one, government ministers are outlining their plan of action – tomorrow, it’s Justice Secretary Ken Clarke’s turn to talk about sentencing policy.

Number 10 got into a bit of a fluster after Ken Clarke’s TV interview about too many short sentences being handed out – one Tory MP dismissed it as “drivel.”

So don’t expect too much controversy in the Clarke text … but the direction of travel will be clear.

It’s the end of the “prison works” Tory mantra of Michael Howard. There isn’t enough money around to keep increasing prison populations and it doesn’t get you very far anyway, Mr Clarke believes.

If it did, the prison population rise would be matched by a crime drop.

It hasn’t been, Ken Clarke will say. So we need a sentencing review (which will probably recommend non-custodial sentences for lesser offences) and much more emphasis on rehabilitation.

Much like private sector companies were encouraged to come in and help to get the unemployed back into the labour market so, the government hopes, the private sector will step in and come up with innovative programmes to rehabilitate offenders and be paid by results.

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