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Re-thinking Criminal Justice: Reducing Crime and Re-offending
04 Jun 2008
A CBI Public Services Forum event

Crime costs the UK £60bn a year and re-offending rates currently stand at more than 60%. With a prison system at capacity, reducing re-offending and measures to reduce prison overcrowding beyond crisis management must be priorities for criminal justice reform. The release of the CBI report Getting back on the straight and narrow, represents the first critique the CBI has made of the criminal justice system. Neil Bentley, Director of Public Services at the CBI bluntly stated his organisation’s position: “We believe the Government’s prison and probation policies aren’t working and must be reformed if crime is to be reduced and public confidence restored”, he said. Taking exception to some of these views, and in particular the comment that “prison is little more than a glorified bed and breakfast”, the Rt. Hon David Hanson MP, Minister of State (Criminal Law and Prisons), responded by saying that: “We are doing a good job and the prison officers...are committed individuals who have a shared objective to turn round people who are very often some of the most difficult and dangerous in our society”.