In response to the news that the Government are planning to introduce mandatory prison sentences for repeat shoplifting, Pavan Dhaliwal, Chief Executive of Revolving Doors commented,
“It is remarkably short-sighted, to say the least, that the Government’s proposed solution to low-level crimes driven primarily by poverty lies in sending even more people to already chronically overcrowded prisons. Evidence has long shown that short prison sentences not only fail to address the root causes of criminal behaviour but rather exacerbate these drivers at huge cost to the individual and their families, as well as the public purse – sending someone to prison for a year costs almost £47,000 a year.
“Locking up individuals for shoplifting in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis simply ignores the underlying problems which are forcing some individuals to make desperate choices to survive. Instead, we should prioritise addressing the root causes of the crime, namely poverty, by investing in education, skills training, and employment opportunities to empower those at risk of engaging in criminal activities. Put simply, people need to be diverted to services to be supported, not processed through a justice system already on its knees.”
Notes to the editor
Revolving Doors is a national charity working to break the cycle of crisis and crime. We advocate for a system that addresses the drivers of contact with the criminal justice system, including trauma, poverty and discrimination. We bring independent research, policy expertise and lived experience together to champion long-term solutions for justice reform.
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