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Fergus McNeill

While this report addresses the problems with the impact of austerity on the prison system in the United Kingdom, it offers a valuable source of information on how to combat budget cuts in correctional spending. “This paper revisits the much argued question about the relative merits of prison and community sentences. We decided to write it out of a sense that debate has become trapped in an unproductive Punch and Judy fight about which of the two sentences ‘works’ better. To anticipate our conclusions, assessed in narrow instrumental terms the arguments are more finely balanced than either side usually recognise. However, pro- and anti-prison camps are really arguing – in an oblique sort of way – about broader values, and if this paper helps to promote a more mature debate about penal policy that recognises this, we shall have succeeded in our task.” (p. 5). Sections of this publication include: introduction; who is right—general deterrence, the impact of punishment on the punished and differences in reconviction rates, keeping people who offender out of circulation and incapacitation, and cost-benefit analysis; and community or custodial sentences and what is their purpose.

Intelligent Justice: Balancing the Effects of Community Sentences and Custody Cover

“This paper revisits the much argued question about the relative merits of prison and community sentences. We decided to write it out of a sense that debate has become trapped in an unproductive Punch and Judy fight about which of the two sentences ‘works’ better. To anticipate our conclusions, assessed in narrow instrumental terms the arguments are more finely balanced than either side usually recognise. However, pro- and anti-prison camps are really arguing – in an oblique sort of way – about broader values, and if this paper helps to promote a more mature debate about penal policy that recognises this, we shall have succeeded in our task” (p. 5). Sections of this publication include: introduction; who is right—general deterrence, the impact of the punishment in the punished and differences in revocation rates, incarceration and keeping people who offend out of circulation, and cost-benefit analysis; and the purpose of community or custodial sentences.

Balancing the Effects Cover

While this program takes place in Scotland, it has valuable insights that can be used in your agency. "The exit at the prison gate often appears to be a revolving door with nearly 60% of released prisoners re-offending within two years of their release. Prisons and probation departments have, almost literally, tried everything in efforts to rehabilitate offenders over the past century, but the results have been uniformly bleak leading many to conclude that “nothing works.” In the past ten years, however, a group of criminologists have hit upon what should have been an obvious source of inspiration for prisoner rehabilitation: the other 40 per cent!" Allan Weaver, an ex-offender and current probation officer, discovers how other ex-prisoners break out of revolving cycle of criminal activity and recidivism. Weaver also looks how ways of changing criminal behavior can be incorporated into criminal justice interventions.

The Road from Crime cover
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