HMP population may be reduced by 2017, says a report published by the Ministry of Justice. This is due in part to significant changes in the justice system.
Previous 2017 predictions put the figure at 95,000 inmates — an increase of 10,000 — however experts believe that by 2017 the HMP population might be closer to 90,000.
The projections — which focus on a six-year period from November 2012 to December 2018 — are based on assumptions about future convictions and include expected impacts of current and future prison policy changes.
The Ministry of Justice believes that the more modest-than-expected figures are partly due to the Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, which became law in May 2012 and is intended to improve and develop existing sentencing policies.
Yet, while the new predictions are likely to be welcomed by many HMP reform lobbyist groups, the bigger picture of HMP changes and minimal room in facilities need to be addressed.
The Ministry of Justice highlighted in its report that the projections may help change the minimal room conditions as well as ‘aid development, capacity planning and resource allocation.’
How does the significant changes in the justice system improve the reduction of population within HMP?