Bishop of Carlisle asks about alternatives to prison sentences

The Lord Bishop of Carlilse asked a question on what the government is doing to promote alternatives to prison sentences, during a debate on prison capacity on 6th December 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, my friend the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Gloucester much regrets that she is not able to be present today. I know she shares my concern over this Statement since we, like others who have spoken, believe that the emergency use of police cells for prisoners is deeply worrying. We greatly welcome the increase in the number of police officers but feel that it is connected to the larger number of people going to prison, and that that should not be the case. Initially I wanted to ask about rehabilitation, but that question has already been addressed. I accept that the question of sentences is for the courts, but can the Minister help us by saying what the Government are doing to promote community and non-custodial sentences, rather than people simply going to prison?

Lord Bellamy (Con): My Lords, as I have just said, that is an area for the courts. Judges, of course, have fairly extensive training in sentencing and I think I can fairly say that no judge would send anyone to prison if a community or other sentence was a realistic option.


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