Pact Responds To New Plans To Reduce Pressure On Prison Spaces



Pact responds to new plans to reduce pressure on prison spaces

The Justice Secretary, Alex Chalk will make a statement to MPs this afternoon about plans to abolish short-term prison sentences to try to free up space in jails.

This follows from his article in the Sunday Telegraph (15 October 2023) - Alex Chalk to bring Texas-style justice to the UK (

Ahead of today’s Government announcement about new measures to reduce the prison population, Andy Keen-Downs, CEO of Pact (Prison Advice and Care Trust) said: 

“There are a number of sensible measures here that will help to relieve some of the acute pressures on our prisons.  

“In particular, a reduction in short-term sentences and the early release scheme are welcome developments. Short sentences do more harm than good - community sentences are significantly more effective at reducing reoffending than a short stay in prison. Equally, releasing prisoners slightly early and with the right support, in reality, poses no additional risk to the public. We and other voluntary sector partners stand ready to support this and make it a success.

“The Justice Secretary deserves credit for pushing ahead with these common-sense measures. Many people in the sector have been calling for these changes for years. 

“However, it’s a shame that it’s taken a crisis for ministers to realise that we simply lock up too many people for too long. Decades of short-sighted policies to get ‘tough on crime’ have left us with the highest rate of imprisonment in western Europe and prisoners too often languishing in overcrowded, inhumane and dangerous conditions. Without enough of a focus on rehabilitation, that has just meant more reoffending and communities that feel less safe for everyone.”