UK prisons must be guided by ‘penal moderation’

A fundamental shift in the approach to prisons in England and Wales is needed to move away from ever-increasing use of imprisonment, according to a major new report.

In its final report, published at the end of a two-year investigation in the UK and abroad, the Commission on English Prisons Today recommended that prison policy be guided by a new underlying principle of ‘penal moderation’. This would place ‘the humanity of victims and prisoners at centre stage’ and lead to a smaller, less punitive penal system where imprisonment is used only as a last resort.

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