Nacro has responded to the government’s consultation on proposed changes to community sentences. Speaking about the consultation, Graham Beech, strategic development director at Nacro, said:
‘We know that community sentences are more effective at reducing crime than a short stay in prison. But we now have an opportunity to make community sentences even more effective and improve the way in which they are delivered. At the moment, we still see too few of those sentenced start their community sentence. Too many drop out part way through, and too many reoffend.
‘A new system of community sentences needs to be balanced and appropriate to the individual offender. This means that sentences should not just focus on the need for punishment, but also include interventions which tackle the causes of crime, deal with drug, alcohol and mental health problems, provide reparation to the victims of crime, and embed community sentences in communities. Only by getting this right can we ensure public confidence in community sentences, reduce attrition and successfully reduce crime.
‘This must involve a clear focus on the community element. By engaging the community in the delivery of these sentences, we will increase public understanding and for that to happen, community sentences need to be rooted firmly in the community and clearly visible to ordinary people. This calls for radical new thinking about how we deliver community sentences: where they are delivered; what is delivered; and how they engage offenders.’
You can read a full version of Nacro’s consultation response here.