In the manifesto we’ll have a good deal to say about the anti-male bias of the justice system. For men, prison simply isn’t working as a deterrent. So few women serve custodial sentences, it can’t be a deterrent for them, either. Prisoners’ time should be used to address issues such as mental health problems, illiteracy and innumeracy, but it isn’t. The coalition has cut back on investment in these areas.
As testament to the ineffectiveness of prison, you need only look at the response of the Ministry of Justice to our recent FoI request about re-offending rates. Of the male prisoners released from prison in 2003, almost a third returned to prison within a year, almost half within three years, and 59% within 10 years.