Commenting on the Prime Minister’s speech on prison reform today, Diane James MEP, UKIP’s Justice and Home Affairs spokesman said: “When he was Justice Secretary Ken Clarke relaxed sentences and let out prisoners early yet the Prison system is still overwhelmed and creaking at the seams. Unless the Government takes steps to reduce overcrowding David Cameron’s justifiable concerns will be seen as nothing more than crocodile tears.
“On almost every level the Government is failing the Prison service. Staff, particularly at public sector jails, have been consistently cut over the past few years and we are now witnessing the consequences. Suicides are up. Recidivist rates are up. Assaults on staff up. Violence in prisons is up.
“In addition, high immigration levels means we have no idea of the numbers of people coming here, so no way of estimating crime rates to plan resources.
“At the very least we need to be deporting EU and foreign criminals to serve sentences in their home countries but the work of human rights lawyers means that increasingly foreign criminals who come to Britain make a mockery of our Justice system
“Only when Mr Cameron addresses these issues seriously and stops making prisons policy on the hoof, from a collection of sound bites, will it be possible for the Government to construct a penal reform policy that is both effective and efficient.”