Clarke vows to cut prison population
In a speech to prison reformers, Mr Clarke will admit that prisons are experiencing huge difficulties because of rising numbers of inmates and say that alternatives to custody must be used more widely.
This comes as prison officials face serious problems with overcrowding as a result of the prison population topping its maximum capacity in recent weeks of 77,000 jail places.
This has meant that the prison service has been forced to convert jails previously used for women into male establishments. Emergency plans have also been put in place to use police cells if the population rises much further.
Prison reformers say too many offenders, especially young people, are being sent to jail for trivial offences such as shoplifting and drug abuse because of government pressure on courts to get tough on anti-social behaviour.
The Government's youth justice chief has already warned of an increased risk of suicide and self-harm in youth jails because of a huge rise in numbers over the summer.
A Home Office source said that Mr Clarke will use a speech to the Prison Reform Trust in London to argue that community punishments are not a soft option and that they must be used more widely for low-level offenders. He will also stress that new ways must be found to stop people offending in the first place.
The source said: "He is going to acknowledge that there are pressures on the system which are creating difficulties and that we now have community sentences which are much tougher and could be used more widely, but he also wants to ensure that less people get involved in offending."
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...