PRISONS: Longer sentences are no deterrent

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The Independent Online
The threat of longer jail sentences will not deter people from committing crime, according to two studies based on experience in the United States.

Nick Flynn, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said the reports, on Florida and Texas, showed that incarcerating large numbers of offenders cost huge amounts of money and created overcrowding but failed to achieve its desired purpose.

The study of Florida showed that despite a massive prison-building programme, the fall in crime was consistent with national trends and was small in relation to cost.

The Texas report showed the state having the highest incarceration rate in the US, but 14 other states had achieved higher rates of crime reduction.

The Florida Sentencing System: A Double Edged Sword; Texas: Testing the Case for Incarceration, pounds 2.50, Prison Reform Trust, 15 Northburgh Street, London EC1V OAH.