Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Ipswich: MP urges cut in prison numbers

13:30 11 February 2013

Ben Gummer

Ben Gummer


TWO decades ago his party pioneered the “Prison Works” concept of justice – but now Ipswich Conservative MP Ben Gummer is calling for fewer criminals to be locked up.

Mr Gummer said the fall in the level of crime had not resulted in a reduction in the number of people being locked away in prison, often for trivial offences.

He said: “We have to end the revolving door with people, often quite young people, going into prison, coming out of prison but being unable to get a job, claiming benefits, going back to crime and ending back in prison again.”

In America, some right-wing Republicans had realised that prison was not the answer, and was an expensive solution to the problem of rising crime, he said.

Mr Gummer added: “Some of those who are most associated with the right of the Republican Party now say that there has to be an alternative to prison in many more cases.”

He emphasised that for some people, especially violent criminals and those guilty of other serious offences, prison would remain the only appropriate sentence.

He felt that was especially the case for those guilty of “white collar” crimes and high-profile offenders, for whom being sent to prison was a particularly tough ordeal because of the shame they would feel.

And he felt his party was in the best position to try to change the penal system. “Labour have no idea what to do about prison policy – to be honest their supporters are less keen on looking for alternatives than most Conservatives.

“From an economic point of view, it does not make sense to lock more and more people up, and the more people go to prison the more they get used to it.”

He felt some people saw prison as another form of welfare handout – providing free housing.


  • Prisons should be much more Victorian and the warders should all be hefty ex-servicemen who detest a lack of personal discipline. Warders at the moment seem like a cross between hotel porters and carers. Anyone caught making the lives of decent people a misery should be locked up for as long as possible. Gummer should wake up!

    Report this comment


    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Rather ironical that he should mention the 'American' model ! It's Cameron & Osbourne following the 'American' economics model that is making the rich richer in this country and the poor can go to the wall ! I could add that if you create a society of 'Haves' & 'Have nots' then the 'have nots' have got nothing to lose by taking ! (I'm not condoning this, just pointing out the consequences) ! It is NOT a good model to follow, we British need to really consider what type of country and society we want ! Unfortunately since Thatcher our society has become a grab everything, trample over who ever gets in your way !........where does need end and GREED begin ?

    Report this comment


    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Prison may be a more effective deterrent if was a tough regime and not the soft touch it is now. It is well known that many criminals have a better life in prison than does an elderly war hero in a Care Home. So out with the TVs and the softly-softly approach and make prisoners work hard on basic rations and not want to come back. And if they riot, add big additional sentences.

    Report this comment


    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Please log me out

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • You will never do it while people are on the subsistence wages that they are today, coupled wit the fact that we have to subsidise these low wages with benefits. Tories living in a dream world again !

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • How about boot camps for petty drink related crimes,shoplifting,and young offenders with drug problems.when released 6 months on tag with early curfews latest being 10 o'clock depending on the seriousness of the taxpayers and the like millions of pounds.this would make room for the serious offenders in prisons.perhaps even the youngsters that believe crime is ok,could be sent to a boot camp instead of getting cautions and reoffending.

    Report this comment


    Monday, February 11, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Sandy Jackson - Mark Westley Photography

British Gas has been forced to backtrack after repeatedly billing a 91-year-old great-grandmother for hundreds of pounds more than she owed.

Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue team search for Corrie McKeague just outside Troston Slades Covert. Photo Mark Westley

Specialist RAF search officers are joining the hunt today for missing airman Corrie McKeague.

Archie Joe Darby and Daniel-Jay Darby. Archie, four months, was killed and Daniel-Jay was seriously injured after being bitten by a dog at their Colchester home.

A four-month-old baby was snatched from his mother’s arms by the family dog and mauled to death, an inquest has heard.

Stuart Bacon pictured sitting on the cannon from the wreck on the Dunwich Bank in 2009 - it was for many years a feature outside his shop.

Remains of a ship that sank to the seabed off the Suffolk coast around 500 years ago have been categorised as being “at risk” in an updated list of the nation’s heritage treasures published today.

Tom Reynolds of Marks Tey, who took part in the Arnhem bridge attack during world war two, with some of his memorabilia.
Pic: Clifford Hicks.

One of the last few veterans of the ill-fated Arnhem campaign in 1944 has died after a short illness at the age of 96.

Gemma and Lauren with their cats as they prepare to open a Cat Cafe.

Two young businesswomen are planning to open the region’s first ‘Cat Cafe’ in Bury St Edmunds.

Thumbs up from Freddie Sears after the Ipswich Town v Burton Albion (Sky Bet Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 18 October 2016.    Picture: Steve Waller

At last! Ipswich Town have scored some goals – and after 10 months Freddie Sears even managed to grab one as well, much to the delight of himself and his teammates.

Most read

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out


Most commented


Show Job Lists

Don't miss


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24