Prisons: Overcrowding — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords on 10th December 2008.

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Photo of Baroness Howe of Idlicote Baroness Howe of Idlicote Crossbench

My Lords, I thank the Minister for that Answer. I am sure that we will all be pleased about the community sentences. The prison population, as the noble Lord has told us, is going up, which is perhaps not surprising when more than 1,000 new imprisonable offences have been created since 1997. The number of places is going up, but we are told that the amount of money available is going down by £1 billion over the next three years. Will the Minister confirm that the only results of these realities are that prison conditions will get worse, the rehabilitation service will be spread more thinly and prison will become even more ineffective? Would it not be more sensible to make these savings by scrapping the plans for Titan prisons, which are universally unpopular? I am sure that the Minister will have noticed that only yesterday they were condemned all around the House.