The justice secretary, Ken Clarke, will today launch a scathing attack on the Victorian “bang ’em up” prison culture of the past 20 years. […] Clarke will warn that simply “banging up more and more people for longer” is actually making some criminals worse, without protecting the public.
Tory hypocrisy aside, this stat is actually pretty shocking when you consider that crime, except violent crime, has fallen in the last fifteen years:
Clarke was last in charge of prisons when he was home secretary between 1992 and 1993, when the prison population in England and Wales stood at 44,628. He says today that the current population of 85,000 is “an astonishing number which I would have dismissed as an impossible and ridiculous prediction if it had been put to me in a forecast in 1992.”