Prison expansions: Cost of Conservatives’ failure on crime

Responding to the Government’s announcement of plans to create 4,000 more prison spaces, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said: “This is the cost of the Conservatives’ failure on crime. The UK already has more people in prison than any other country in Western Europe, and now the Government is spending an extra £4 billion because crime is rising.

Alistair Carmichael MP

“These new places won’t even do anything to reduce the huge overcrowding in prisons, because of the rising prison population. Only by ending overcrowding can we rehabilitate prisoners properly and break the cycle of reoffending.

“Just building more prison cells won’t do anything to make our communities safer. Instead of trying to sound tough, Ministers should focus on restoring effective community policing where officers are visible, trusted and focused on cutting crime.”

In 2012, then Prime Minister David Cameron made a speech endorsing the principle of rehabilitation over increased prison numbers, saying: “When this Government came to power we were spending £40,000 a year (per person) just on banging people up. With payment by results, your money goes into what works: prisoners going straight, crime coming down, our country getting safer. It’s such a good idea I want to put rocket boosters under it….” What’s changed? Find out more about rehabilitation at from

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