UK: Prisoners' Association criticises White Paper
* Subject: [prisoner-rights] UK: Prisoners' Association criticises White Paper
* Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 15:07:26 +0100
The Association of Prisoners
Immediate Release - No Embargo
criticises White Paper
An organisation campaigning for the rights of prisoners has criticised the
White Paper, "Justice for All", published this afternoon by the Home Secretary.
General Secretary of the Association of Prisoners, John Hirst, said today:
"Justice for All is not the piece of carefully
considered legislation that we need. It amounts to
little more than knee-jerk reaction to public concerns,
many of which are unfounded."
Mr Hirst, who is serving a life sentence at Sudbury prison in Derbyshire,
also criticised plans to increase magistrates' sentencing powers to twelve
months. "If you want a plan guaranteed to increase the prison population
overnight, then you've found it. It will also lead to more people opting
for a Crown Court trial in the hope of being found not guilty - but costing
the taxpayer millions."
"What is needed is a concerted effort at reinforcing public confidence in
the criminal justice system, then allowing a reduction in the prison
population. For as long as the public see a community penalty as a 'let
off', a reduction in the prison population would be political suicide," he