The Government’s Justice Bill designed to save hundreds of millions of pounds has already failed and the Government is now struggling to explain why its watered down proposals will protect the public and punish offenders properly.
Last week’s debate on the Second Reading of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill followed weeks of broken promises, policy U-turns and media briefings on the proposals. But unfortunately the resulting Bill has been clumsily packaged and will not result in the “rehabilitation revolution” which the Justice Secretary said he wanted.
Local MP Alex Cunningham, Parliamentary Private Secretary to Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, said:
“I am shocked that the Government seems to be putting cost cutting ahead of what is in the best interests of victims – reducing crime, punishing criminals and reducing re-offending.
“The Government seems to think they can reduce costs by putting fewer people in prison; however, it is already clear that they cannot meet their target of reducing the number by 3,500 people.
“I am concerned that if these plans go ahead unchanged they will have a negative impact on the future security of our prisons and the ability of prison officers to do their job safely. At the same time it will leave the most vulnerable without legal support.
“I am sure these plans will not be what the people of Teesside want to see and that is why I voted against the second reading in Parliament last week.”