Lord Falconer of Thoroton, the head of the new Ministry of Justice, held out the prospect yesterday of shorter sentences for “non-dangerous” prisoners to ease jail overcrowding.
On his first day as the Secretary of State for Justice, it was confirmed that the number of prisoners in England and Wales had reached 80,303, an all-time high.
Lord Falconer said that “dangerous people have to stay in prison until they cease to be dangerous – if necessary remaining in prison for life”.
But he would be looking at ways of helping to prevent re-offending by non-dangerous criminals, such as shorter jail terms or effective community penalties.
Jail population hits new high