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Iain Duncan Smith recommends scrapping jail terms of a few weeks because they do nothing to reduce re-offending

 Update: You can download the full report, Order in the Courts: Restoring Trust through local justice, from the CSJ website.


Iain Duncan Smith speakingIain Duncan Smith, the former party leader and champion of the social justice agenda, will make a speech today in which he will say that jail terms of less than two months are "farcical" and should be replaced with tougher probation courses, according to the BBC.

His premise is that jail terms of a few weeks do nothing to reduce the risk of re-offending and his speech today will endorse a new report from the Centre for Social Justice:

"The report by the Centre for Social Justice, which is headed by Mr Duncan Smith, says courts should be given the power to quickly haul offenders into prison if they breach their probation terms. It adds that there should be a stronger focus on rehabilitation and better treatment programmes for drug addicts and alcoholics

"Research by the think tank suggests that reoffending costs the country £11bn each year. Mr Duncan Smith, who has been promised a social justice role in a future Tory government by leader David Cameron, will say very short sentences are "the primary cause of churn and fuel the chaos of overcrowding".

The preview in the Daily Mail adds that the report will call for greater use of "restorative justice", where offenders are required to meet their victims to discuss the impact of their crimes and make amends.

Jonathan Isaby


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