Cutting crime: the case for justice reinvestment - Justice Committee Contents

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 483 - 495)



  Q483  Chairman: Mr Loader and Mr Dean, welcome. We are delighted to have you with us this afternoon and delighted that you have agreed, rather than be subjected to a very formal round of questioning, to present to us some key points within the area we have identified to you that we are looking at. Which of you is going first?

  Malcolm Dean: The professor is going first. I sat in on his wonderful master class on crime and the media last year during my fellowship at Nuffield and you are in for a treat.

  Q484  Chairman: That is a pretty good introduction. A Nuffield chairman invites you to begin.

  Ian Loader: I decided to address the question of whether it is possible to build and how one might go about trying to build, a political consensus for some alternative direction for penal policy which I understand is something the Committee have been considering. There are several reasons, which are relatively well known, for thinking the answer to that question is no and indeed answering that question in the negative has become something of a received wisdom, certainly in the trade I work in, but more widely, for a number of reasons which I will briefly elucidate on. The first is that it is often said that we have experienced for some 15 years now what has sometimes been described as a political arms race in the field of crime and punishment where the two main parties have decided to try to outdo and out-flank each other, to be, among other things, the party that protects victims, that is tough on offenders, that sends more people to prison, that passes new laws, that protects the public from criminals and so on and so forth. Even though there is now some evidence today that the will to continue in this direction is abating somewhat, to some extent the argument runs that the two main parties are locked in a place which they find it very difficult to get out of for fear of being portrayed by the other as soft and so on and so forth. In other words, this has become the field in which it has become very difficult to take political risks because the potential benefits seem small and remote and the potential political costs very immediate and potentially large. As an aside, one can make a point here, and Nicola Lacey makes it in her recent book on the political economy of crime, that if you look at advanced liberal democracies across the world, those with conflictual political systems have tended in recent years to have the highest rates of imprisonment and the harshest penal systems, those with consensual political systems have tended to have the opposite of that. You may want to ponder on that. Part of the reason for this and this arms race is the felt impression—and this brings me to my second point—that there exists a kind of media which stands ready to highlight serious and violent crime, to expose the failings of the system, to make apparent the foolishness of judges, the folly of penal professionals and people like me, to pinpoint the money which is being misspent on offender programmes and the like and therefore is seen to offer a daily reminder that moving in this field is a high risk operation and the stakes are very high. Underpinning this is the impression that politicians are today confronted with an electorate which is principally punitive in two senses. One that there is a high degree of popular support for a penal policy strategy which has the qualities which I have just described which centres the prison which is tough on offenders and so on and so forth or at the very least that section of the electorate whom political parties compete over for votes is of that persuasion and that electorate is minded to be punitive to any party which departs from that script. All this then gets reinforced by the general impression that the job of politicians in this field is somehow to translate popular sentiment into action rather than doing such things as arguing with it, tempering it, restraining it, pointing out inconvenient facts, resource limitations, suggesting alternative ways forward and so on and so forth. I do not want to suggest that analysis is entirely wrong headed but I do think that you can overplay it and you can draw what I think are erroneous conclusions from it, not least when it comes to trying to think about this thing called public opinion about crime and punishment and its implications. I briefly want to make three points in relation to this. The first concerns the distribution of crime and fear of crime. I have long thought it a mistake to think about crime as a national problem other than in the sense that it seems to me to be reasonable for citizens to worry about things happening elsewhere and in that sense be national. The reason for saying this is that we have long known that crime and victimisation and fear of crime are highly concentrated phenomena, or, to put it another way, highly unequally distributed. This was brought home, to me at least, recently by what I took to be a very interesting piece of research conducted by researchers at the LSE and Sheffield. What they have done is reanalyse all the British Crime Survey data over the last 20 years, looking in particular at the relationship between victimisation and fear and, on the basis of doing this, to cut a long story short, they divide the population into three groups. I can provide you with the details of this, if you are interested. They say that 54% of the population experience very low or no victimisation and very low or no levels of fear, in other words they are, as they describe them, the unworried. These are people who do not really experience crime, nor do they spend much of their time thinking about it, worrying about it, talking about it to their neighbours and so on and so forth. 21% of the population have low levels of victimisation but high levels of fear, those you might call, to extend a medical analogy, the worried well. 21% of the population experience high levels of victimisation and high levels of fear, in other words they are worried and they have something to worry about, to put it bluntly. I draw two conclusions from this. The first is of course the conclusion drawn by the authors themselves that both victimisation and fear of crime tend to be concentrated among those who are already worst off in our society according to all kinds of other economic and social measures and that therefore we might be wise to try to concentrate public attention and public resources on those locations, a conclusion which is of course highly relevant to the question of justice reinvestment. The other implication of this, which has been less commented on, is that there seems to be a majority of the population who manage to go from day to day, week to week, year to year without having crime touch their lives; in other words they are not being victimised and they are not constantly fretting, obsessing, chatting, talking about crime. If you stop and think about this, surely the objective of any crime and penal policy is to increase the number of the population in that category. The other point is that if you read certain newspapers, if you hear some of the public debate about crime which has taken place in our society in recent years, you would be led to believe that that category of the population simply did not exist and perhaps even should not exist. The second point to make is that there is a good case to be made for the fact that public sentiment and opinion about punishment is rather more ambivalent than we are sometimes led to believe and rather depends on the kinds of questions they get asked. This is to say that if you ask people general and abstract questions about issues of punishment and prison, if you ask whether prisons are too soft, judges too lenient, whether young people respect or disrespect adults these days, then you are more likely to produce a set of answers which makes public opinion look wholly and uniformly punitive. The more detail you give people, the more you get them to think about actual cases or problems where they live rather than problems of society as a whole, the less the picture starts to look like that. Let me give you briefly two examples of this. One, which is now relatively well known, is that consistently, if you get the public involvement in dealing with sentencing scenarios, in other words you give them actual cases which have been considered by the courts and ask them how they would behave were they the judge, one finds time and again that despite in the abstract saying they think sentences are too lenient, people tend to sentence as the judge sentenced or oftentimes more leniently than the judge in the particular case. I have always been struck on a related point by some research I did some years back in Macclesfield where we were trying to talk to people about their levels of concern about crime, much of which was focused on the question of concerns about juvenile crime and disorder. One tended to find a similar kind of point, which is to say that when the conversation turned to questions about young people today or youth crime in general people sounded a lot harsher and much more easily reached some kind of criminal-justice-related solution. When you got them talking about the kids who hung around outside the local store, some of whom they knew or they knew their parents, they tended to be less focused upon criminal justice solutions to that problem. The lesson I draw from this is that the more local you can make crime sound, the more you can think about it as a local rather than a national problem, the less obvious it is to people that the criminal justice system, still less prison, is the way to go in trying to address the problems. The third point I briefly want to make concerns the effects of participating in the criminal justice system on people's subsequent behaviour and attitudes. The best example of this is restorative justice. Restorative justice is a field which attracts people with a certain degree of religious conviction and I have always been a mild enthusiast rather than a zealot. Nonetheless it does seem to me, certainly if you look at the experimental evidence which has been done across the world now on restorative justice, that there is good reliable evidence that restorative justice has better effects on recidivism than equivalent criminal justice disposals and higher levels of victim satisfaction. However, the broader point holds elsewhere and internationally. Let me give you two brief examples. There has been some research on US juries which demonstrates that being involved in a jury in the US increases subsequent levels of confidence in the criminal justice system and, intriguingly, people's willingness to vote in elections. There is an intriguing provision in the Canadian criminal code which allows lifers to go for a parole hearing before a jury after 15 years of their sentence. When polled Canadians will consistently tell you that they loathe this provision, they think it is soft, they think it is not right, they find it generally rather disagreeable. When you put people in a jury room confronted with a real lifer applying for parole 80% of those hearings result in that lifer being released. It seems to me rather to make the point that participation has an effect on how people think and feel about these issues and that what we sometimes too easily call punitiveness may be a consequence of people's isolation and remoteness and inability to influence or have any say on things that matter to them a great deal. Equipped with this information let me return to the question I posed about building a political consensus for an alternative. There seem broadly speaking to be two ways one might go here. The first you might call changing penal policy by stealth and this can take various forms. Let me briefly run you through what I think they are and what I think their limitations are. The first you might politely call decoy rhetoric, by which I mean continuing to tell a tough and therefore reassuring tale about how we are going about the business of punishment and running the system and so on and so forth, in order that that reassurance provides a space for other kinds of penal practices to take place on the ground. This is probably the most benign interpretation you can make of what has been going on in this field over the last decade or so. The problem with this is that as a strategy it is inherently unstable. It is unstable because those who work on the ground constantly live in fear of having their practices exposed by the media and it is unstable because no-one has a good story to tell about what it is they really would like to do were they able to run the system in a rather less constrained way. The second form of stealth I have described as playing the Treasury card, which is a way of saying that you can move in this field simply by pointing out that the resort that our society has made especially to imprisonment in recent years has been expensive, wasteful and counter-productive and in times of recession simply cannot carry on. In other words one might say that our use of imprisonment was somehow an indulgence of economic boom times and now those times have ended we need to think much more seriously about the idea of prison being a scarce resource and we ought to think much more carefully about how we use it. There are all kinds of reasons why one could go down this road, not least because there is a case to be made that the way in which we are using, and under the Titan regime will continue to use, imprisonment is a candidate for the mismanagement of public money. Nonetheless it seems to me it is a kind of attempt to make a case for doing penal policy differently, using a language which you think can persuade people who otherwise are not going to be persuaded of the merits of the case. Therefore, it runs up against the buffers if people are sufficiently exercised by crime to the extent that their response is "Fine, we'll just spend the money". The third way of doing this by stealth I call cultivating indifference. Cultivating indifference is a way of saying that we have the penal policy we have now not because of the way in which we talk about punishment, but just because we talk about punishment an awful lot, that we have become the society that has become fretfully preoccupied with questions of punishing offenders in a way, if you look around the world, that actually looks rather unusual. It might therefore be better if we just tried to find ways of getting people to think about other things, as 54% of the population seem able to do. It should be said that this is often coupled with the attempt to try, to use the word which buzzes around in my trade, re-insulate penal policy from elected politicians and re-invest in expertise, in professional authority and the like. I can think of at least two or three people in recent years who have made the argument to the effect that no good has come from the politicisation of this subject and the route to go is to treat it as being rather akin to monetary policy and to set up in the penal policy world something akin to the Monetary Policy Committee. In other words you try to put a buffer between the way in which we can deliberate on penal policy and the exposure to the whims of the electorate. It should be said, if you think comparatively about these questions and you look at those societies in the world where penal policy tends to be milder and penal systems smaller, that is precisely what happens, that politicians are not very interested in these topics and they generally get left to bureaucrats and civil servants. I had a very instructive meeting recently on a trip to Finland with the Ministry of Justice officials. The Finnish case was that the Finns do not care much about punishment and they are happy to leave it to us. It seems to me that this strategy is unlikely to work and difficult to defend in principle and it is better to think alternatively about how you chart this alternative course politically. There is some value here in trying to think about penal policy as a local issue, something we have become rather unaccustomed to doing.

The Committee suspended from 4.35 pm to 4.53 pm for a division in the House.

  Q485  Chairman: After that interruption we invite Mr Dean.

  Malcolm Dean: I shall throw a lot of mine away because I should quite like on the spur of the moment to reply to Ian's excellent memo. Two guides are given to journalists: the first one about writing for the papers says make it juicy, make it brief and make it up. The other one, which some of try to work to, is that our purpose is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Just to remind you, I am writing a book after 38 years on The Guardian about the media's influence on social policy and I am taking nine different government decisions and trying to track them back through. The reason I started was this great concern with the power of the media in the last decade. It began at the end of the 1990s/early 2000s with Onora O'Neill's Reith lecture in 2002 saying we had unaccountable power; that is an old quote. Anthony Sampson had four editions of his Anatomy of Britain and in his fourth edition in 2005, when he went to all the power centres, Parliament, Cabinet, Whitehall, Defence, City, trade unions and so on, all 25 institutions of power were complaining at that point that they were still losing influence and the only thing happening was the growth of media power. Just to give you three historical points, if you remember when Atlee came back from the Palace, having asked the Queen for a general election, he was asked by reporters—still there in those days in Downing Street—whether he had a message for the public. The Atlee comment was "No". We moved to the 1970s when we had Peter Brown at the Department of Health and Social Services in charge of communication when I was around and he used to ration the number of interviews that secretaries of state and ministers could give the press. He even told Barbara Castle that she had had two radio interviews already that week and he thought it was more than enough. Now we live in the world of the current climate where Alastair Campbell used to tell his new members in the press unit "If we do not feed them, they will eat us". There is one comfortable paradox and one uncomfortable. The comfortable paradox is that even when I began this book we were the big beasts and now, three or four years on, we are the seriously wounded stag. The circulation of the 10 nationals has dropped from 17 million a day to 10 million.

  The Committee suspended from 4.56 pm to 5.06 pm for a division in the House.

  Q486  Chairman: We can resume, with profuse apologies to Mr Dean. It is not the same experience as writing for The Guardian; you get interrupted in different ways here.

  Malcolm Dean: I was only trying to reassure you that although we started off as a big beast, we are now a very seriously wounded stag and that is not just newspapers but television. We have been leaching readers, viewers and advertising. Those which are not in a trust, which is fortunate for The Guardian, have plummeting share prices; a 90% fall even for those papers which are successful. Local papers are being shut or being turned from evening dailies into weeklies. Huge cuts to journalists. All this has been accelerating over this decade. It took four decades for us to lose three million circulation and it has taken only the last decade for us to lose four million in a decade. We are no longer quite the big beast that we might have been but we still sell 10 million papers so it cannot just be ignored.

  Q487  Chairman: When we were in Finland the point was made to us that since Finnish newspapers are largely bought on a subscription basis the sales pressure was not quite so immediate or significant, in particular in terms of requiring headlines to appear on the paper which would increase sales.

  Malcolm Dean: That is very interesting. There is a fantastic research study comparing Finnish, Danish, British and American newspapers and TV and looking at both hard and soft coverage in both types of media. The Finnish and Danish put us to shame and looking at domestic and foreign, we were somewhere in the middle, that is much better than America but not as good as the Scandinavians. That is really interesting. On Ian's, yes, the political answer began 15 years ago, though it is very interesting, you may not know an intriguing thing, that Rod Morgan and David Downes produced a very interesting article on the fact that we have not had partisan politics for long. They looked at all the manifestos post Second World War and said that there was nothing before and throughout the 20th century it was non partisan; law and order policy was regarded as something so complicated that it ought to be done neutrally. The first break with that, the first time any party put anything in their manifesto about law and order—they might have put in capital punishment but no law and order policies—was 1970. There was only one line even then of the most benign nature in the Conservative manifesto saying that the current Government, that is the 1964 to 1970 Labour Government, could not be excused from all responsibility for some of the rise in violence and crime. Whereupon an aggrieved Labour asked how the Conservatives could diminish this important non-partisan law and order policy. It is beautifully set out in the Oxford Handbook on Criminology. The most depressing thing I find is that if you look between 1951 and 1991 the prison population increased by 11,000 in those four decades. Between 1992 and 2002 when the rhetoric began and the heat began in the rhetoric we increased the prison population by 22,000, in other words it went up eight times as fast; it was twice as big in one decade which is four times as short as four decades. What was causing that was the political rhetoric. What was the result? Andrew Rutherford did a study showing that judges listen to political rhetoric. They see the rhetoric going out and there is a consistent increase in length of prison sentences. At the end of this 15 years of high rhetoric the one thing you can say is that penal populism has not worked because two thirds of the people wrongly believe that crime is still going up and they blame the Government; one third rightly believe that crime is going down but do not give any credit to the Government. More interestingly still in a way, the people with the most knowledge were the least anxious and the people with the least knowledge were the most anxious. If only we could be straighter with them about the limits of prisons, we could go quite a lot further. In terms of a hostile media, yes, it is hostile and it has seven sins and I will not go through them now. The media now thinks its role is to be adversarial to the current government, whichever that government is going to be. It has a group think, so at the end of each briefing, whether you go to the Home Office, Health, Education, the reporters group together and decide the story. That is more from insecurity than confidence. It is about not getting the midnight call "Why have The Express and The Telegraph got this story and we haven't?". There is usually a consensus as they leave these briefings about what the story is. In the Home Office there used to be two groups of people; the broad sheets and the tabloids would meet separately to decide what the story was. However, given what has been happening with the broad sheets—and I am not there these days—I suspect they might even be comparing notes with each other. We concentrate on the negative. All these sins are not new, they are very much more enforced that they used to be and we are more interested in politics than policy. The difficulty of getting policy across becomes very much greater. We have all the newspapers on computers now. I typed in "re-inventing justice" to see how many pieces had been written this year. I only tried one way of doing it and I got three responses. I did not try "restorative justice". There might have been more stories on "re-investing justice" but the number will be tiny compared with all the other policies which are going on.

  Q488  Chairman: That was looking at newspaper content was it?

  Malcolm Dean: Yes. You pull up all the newspapers and then just ask the computer to find the stories there have been on justice re-invested; not just at the beginning of the story either. I asked for it to be in any part of the story and I got three, one of which was actually The Guardian's public policy monthly. I was not just looking at The Guardian but across all the 10 national papers. I could do a more thorough search, if anybody wants that. I agree with his 15-year political arms race, I agree that we are a hostile media because there is a general feeling that we have to hold governments to account. I agree with Ian that although the electorate is perceived to be punitive it is not as punitive as we think. If you look through the findings of Rethinking Crime and Punishment there is really quite a lot of optimistic stuff there on trying to have a more progressive system. They did surveys on what people thought should be done to the system and prison came eighth out of eight options to reduce crime; much higher up were better parenting, more police on the beat, better discipline in schools and constructive activities for young people, scoring much higher in those surveys, over 40% to 57% in those four big first categories with prisons being reserved for the eighth position with about 10%. Most people were thinking that people come out of prison worse than they go in which is a prompt to remember the 1980 White Paper where Mr Waddington, who was no liberal, said prisons were an expensive way of making bad people worse. The other optimistic thought I have is that just before this period we had Douglas Hurd as Home Secretary who did manage to reduce the prison population by 5,000. It had reached 45,000 and he was persuaded by his policy makers in the Home Office that was an incredibly expensive and wasteful use of resources and Hurd persuaded Margaret Thatcher and he got her approval. So in the late 1980s we did manage to cut the prison population from 45,000 to 40,000. To end on that optimistic note, it is not quite as bad as it might look at first sight and there already seems to be a growing consensus that it would help to have an independent crime statistics agency where there could be seen to be no ministerial fingers touching the statistics or one knows there is very little. At least it would look better in terms of the public. That comes under cultivating indifference, which sounds a bit like Willie Whitelaw accusing Labour of stirring up complacency, if you remember that.

  Chairman: I think it was "stirring up apathy". Thank you very much.

  Q489  Mr Heath: May I ask a very basic question and I strongly support the idea of localism and entering into the debate? Do you think there is a public appetite for the rhetoric of what works as opposed to what sounds sound? In other words, does it push the right buttons with the electorate actually providing the evidence for different disposals in penal policy or will that always be trumped by the Daily Mail headline saying "They are being soft on criminals"?

  Ian Loader: If you want a short answer, the short answer is no. The difficulty of a discourse organised around the idea of what works is that it does not sufficiently connect with the ways in which people think about crime and punishment. When people are thinking about crime and punishment it is entangled with all kinds of other things about how they think the world is organised, should be organised, with what Government should be doing or not doing and only one consideration amidst all that stuff, some of which is very emotive, is whether or not policy X can be demonstrated to have worked. Of course we also now live in a culture where definitively saying that policy X worked is itself now subject to various forms of controversy. That can be so when you are talking about natural science, food safety or something. It is even more so when you are talking about the question of whether or not a crime policy has worked. I do not draw the conclusion from that that the question about whether or not something has worked is irrelevant or should be disregarded or we should not devote any public money to try to find the answer to that question. All those things are important. My feeling is that if you are interested in how to go about trying to chart an alternative course for penal policy then what works cannot be your main story. It might be one of your stories but it rather seems to me—and this is the point I made in a rather garbled way in conclusion—that you have to find some other public language that enables you to describe why we might want to alter the direction in which we have been going for the last several years. We can have a long discussion about what that might be and localism might be one of them. My comment about being a public language is that it has to find some way of resonating how people feel and think about these issues and I just do not think that the "What works?" notion resonates very well with how people think and feel about these issues.

  Q490  Julie Morgan: I want to ask about localism as well. Was this the result of actual research that showed that people responded differently when they thought about things in a local area? I have had some not very pleasant experiences dealing with some local people in response to crime in the area and I wondered how you approached this at the local level.

  Ian Loader: It was no part of my point to say that when people think about issues locally they suddenly sound like criminology professors. Thinking about crime locally provides all kinds of ways in which people can get cross, angry, all sorts of nasty things to happen to them. That does not disappear out of the window. I think two things: one is that it is easier to play this issue rhetorically nationally than it is locally. There is a good deal of evidence from the States that if you think about the contrast between what happens to crime federally and what happens to crime at the state level, there is some evidence to back that up and I can point you in the direction of that. The other thing is that in a sense what thinking about issues locally does is just confront people with the consequences of what they have to say. It confronts politicians more with the consequences of what they have to say and it engages people in a discussion about the place in which they live rather than in a discussion about crime in England and Wales. Therefore, the discussions might still be angry, might still sound harsh and nasty but my wager is less uniformly so and less easily and that there is more of a space, if you think about these things locally, for trying to forge an alternative way of thinking about how to deal with crime questions.

  Q491  Alun Michael: Some of the complexity of what happens at a local level it is self evident that things do work if they are managed properly and there is communication at local level but some of this is about contrasting statements. People have a capacity to keep two things in their minds at once so if you have a discussion in the local area which has problems with crime they will start off by saying something ought to be done about it, they ought to be hung drawn and quartered, whether it is the neighbours, the kids or whatever and a little later they will start to say there is nothing for the kids to do round here. People can actually have the two sides of the equation if you create a proper debate. The problem is that we only have one press and media and Mr Dean's comments about the way in which there is an evil consensus about what the story is actually is not new, that has been around since my days as a journalist which is now 40 years ago but it is pernicious, it discourages objectivity. Has either of you got the answer about how, in order to have the sort of different debate, without totally abandoning the press and media we have at the moment and inventing a totally new lot? That is the only means of communication other than local ones that we have, whether "we" is members of parliament, governments, oppositions or researchers, for actually communicating ideas and policies.

  Malcolm Dean: There was Ian's idea of these buffer agencies. There seems to be a growing consensus, does there not, towards having an agency for statistics?

  Q492  Alun Michael: It is playing at the edges in any event. We know the statistics.

  Malcolm Dean: Then we could add to the duties of the current sentencing council, which are to monitor current sentencing, so you do not have the judges being put on the front page of The Sun. I agree that it is a pretty open situation. Do you remember the famous Sun front page? "These are the guilty men" and inside were 12 judges and they had selected one of their many, many judgments and said they were the criminals because of their over lenient sentencing.

  Q493  Alun Michael: Is the answer to my question no?

  Malcolm Dean: I think it is.

  Ian Loader: I am reluctant to say that the answer to your question is no but answering it with a yes is a tricky thing. The reason why it might be no is partly because of the reasons you alluded to by contrasting it with Finland, journalists think crime sells stories and failing criminal justice systems sell stories. It is also because when a newspaper has got it in for a government of any particular persuasion crime becomes one of the statistics it can use to beat it with. If it was not crime it would be something else. How can we get out of that? Just a couple of things off the top of my head. One is that in a sense the media, even the tabloid press, do not seem to me to be all of a piece. My thing about the Treasury card was meant to some extent seriously and we may now be entering a moment where there is not heaps of public money lying around to continue to spend on prisons. One consequence of this moment might just be that the public appetite for continuing to spend public money on prisons might just be slightly less than it was five years ago or 10 years ago and you might be able to find ways in.

  Q494  Alun Michael: I honestly do not think there is much of a problem with the public.

  Ian Loader: The point is that you might be able to find journalists on certain newspapers who are sympathetic to a different kind of story which partly comes out to what I was saying in response to David Heath. One reason why, to use a contemporary example, The Sun finds things that it thinks are appalling going on inside prison, theatre class or a Christmas, and bangs on Jack Straw's door, is in part because they think that Jack Straw will sit up and say this must be stopped and he will stop it. They might be less likely to do that were they persuaded that a government knew what it was trying to do with the penal policy and had a strong and confident story to tell about why certain things which go on in prison might not be amenable to certain newspapers but in terms of rehabilitation and assistance and cutting re-offending just happen to be good ideas.

  Alun Michael: A qualified no.

  Q495  Chairman: At which point we thank you very much indeed and again apologies for having to abbreviate the session.

  Malcolm Dean: May I just add to Ian's point that not all journalists are honest. You probably know of the organisation Smart Justice which has run for six years and is about to come to an end was quite successful in persuading some journalists on some popular papers, particularly The Mirror to do quite positive stories about prisons and the dilemmas that prisons found themselves in.

  Chairman: Thank you very much.

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