Reducing the numbers in custody: looking beyond criminal justice solutions
Helen Mills and Rebecca Roberts (January 2012)
This is the second and final paper in the Reform Sector Strategies project funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. The two papers produced as part of this work intend to generate debate among those committed to reducing the prison population on how to tackle prison expansion in England and Wales and bring about a reduction in the prison population in the longer term.
The first paper in the series, Community Sentences: a solution to penal excess?, was published earlier this year. This second paper explores a different explanation for prison numbers than that commonly considered: that of social and economic explanations for the numbers we imprison. It considers the implications of this perspective for those engaged in work to reduce the record numbers in prison in England and Wales.