Bishop Richard Moth, the Lead Bishop for Prisons, has recently commissioned a report – A Journey of Hope – to explore how sentencing policy in England and Wales can be reformed, in order to create a safe, decent, and rehabilitative prison estate. The report, which will be launched on Thursday 18 October, calls for victims to be placed at the heart of criminal justice system, whilst also setting out a case for reducing the prison population.
Across England and Wales, prisons are struggling to cope; high levels of violence, substance misuse and a shortage of officers are creating undignified, un-rehabilitative conditions for prisoners. Overcrowding is also a major concern and is driving the problems currently facing the prison service. Decisive action is needed if this ongoing going crisis is to be resolved.
This new document, which draws on input from a wide range of experts, including senior politicians, legal professionals, charities, Church groups and people with experience of working in prison system, serves both to challenge public attitudes towards prisoners and the use of custody, as well as making a number of clear policy recommendations to the Government.
One charity, that works with ex-offenders, and has been part of the discussion group for the document has said, “A Journey of Hope: A Catholic Approach to Sentencing Reform” will challenge leaders to establish a criminal justice system that is genuinely rehabilitative, without being a soft approach.”
Bishop Richard Moth, lead Bishop for prisons states that he hopes that this report will “serve to widen and inform the debate around sentencing in this country, and contribute to finding the solutions we desperately need”.
A Journey of Hope: A Catholic Approach to Sentencing Reform can be downloaded by clicking the link above.