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Prisons and Courts Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:13 pm on 20th March 2017.

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Photo of Edward Garnier Edward Garnier Conservative, Harborough 7:13 pm, 20th March 2017

They end up in Norwich having been via Maidstone, Lewes, somewhere on the Isle of Wight, somewhere in Dorset, somewhere in Devon, somewhere in Bristol, somewhere in the east midlands and somewhere in the west midlands. They eventually end up in Norwich, from where they are released miles away from their family without having had any contact with them. A prisoner’s medical records and education records do not follow them seamlessly.

I have uttered this plea time after time over the past 10 to 15 years and, no matter what party was in government, Ministers have told me, “What a perfectly sensible thing to say.” Unfortunately, because the politics is in sentencing, not prisoners, little is done about it. I hope that on this occasion, with this new Secretary of State for Justice, we will see an advance whereby it will not take another 65 years until we have a new prisons Bill to consider that question because we will not need such a Bill. I hope that in a few years we will see a reduction in prisoner numbers, an increase in reform and a reduction in reoffending levels, for the benefit of the public and the taxpayers whom my hon. Friend the Member for Shipley and I want to protect, in terms of not only their pockets but their safety in their homes. I want an improvement to the advantage of us all.