Responding to the Prisons Minister’s appearance before the Justice Select Committee today, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey has called on the Government to introduce “a presumption against short prison sentences and greater use of community sentences”.

The Prisons Minister, Rory Stewart, told the committee that the “wrong kind of short sentences actually endangers the public” because they increase re-offending and destabilise prisons. He also announced that the Ministry of Justice now has a new GPS tagging system that allows it to monitor offenders in the community.

 Ed Davey said:
 
“It is good to hear Tory Ministers finally admit what the Liberal Democrats have long been arguing: short prison sentences don’t cut crime.
 
“But despite the evidence, the Government is trying to create even more short sentences. Even worse, some of these are mandatory sentences, which will tie judges’ hands and worsen prison overcrowding while failing to actually prevent crime.
 
“The Liberal Democrats demand better. We need a little less talk from Ministers about ending short sentences, and a little more action.
 
“That’s why we are opposing the Government’s new mandatory sentences, and calling for a presumption against short prison sentences and greater use of tough community sentences, which have been shown to be more effective at reducing reoffending.”

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