Following David Gauke’s speech today calling for an evidence-led approach to sentencing to tackle reoffending, Liberal Democrat Justice spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

"David Gauke is one of the few progressive thinkers in the Tory Cabinet, but unfortunately his influence is limited. He is right about short prison sentences, but he hasn’t been able to translate that into action and bring his entrenched colleagues behind a complete change in attitude to our penal system.

"Sadly, the worst is yet to come. Prime Minister Johnson seems certain to replace him with someone who ignores the evidence on what works to cut crime.

“The evidence is now clear. Short prison sentences are expensive and counterproductive. They contribute to the overcrowding in our prisons that hinders effective rehabilitation for all prisoners.

“So why are we still spending millions locking people up for a few weeks or months?  

“The Liberal Democrats demand better. We won’t just talk about ending short sentences; we’ll bring forward the legislation to do it.”

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