Norwich Prison

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:50 pm on 5th February 2003.

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Photo of Lord Elton Lord Elton Conservative 2:50 pm, 5th February 2003

My Lords, does the Minister realise that his assertions that the report will be acted upon are not convincing because the previous report was delivered to the same government and has not been acted upon? Does not the fact that the prison population has risen inexorably for several decades and the coincidence of this terrible, worst ever report on Ashfield—which we heard on the radio this morning—draw one to the inevitable conclusion that the only way to solve this problem is to send fewer people to prison? That means getting hold of young people before they become offenders and giving them a style of life and occupation which will enable them to become productive citizens. When will the Government make that and not the containment of people in prison a policy priority?