Thousands of Brits needlessly jailed annually

Thousands of Brits needlessly jailed annually

Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:57AM GMT

New figures show that tens of thousands of people are needlessly being held in British jails each year, Press TV reports.

According to the figures obtained by the Howard League for Penal Reform charity from the Ministry of Justice through a Freedom of Information request, over 35,000 people who were kept on remand — held in jail until their court case — in the year 2013 went on to be acquitted or given non-custodial sentences.

Statistics from both Britain’s crown and magistrate courts show that a total of 72,877 people were held on remand in 2013.

“There has to be some concern, I think when people are being locked up, when either A. they are found not guiltily or B. that they wouldn’t have got a prison sentence for that in the first place. Of course that is going to have an impact on costs in relation to the money that is spent in looking after offenders or alleged offenders in prison but there are other factors involved. It is really a quite a complex calculation of different factors that lead to a bad decision being made,” Former Scotland Yard Detective Charles Shoebridge told the Press TV correspondent.

“Certainly, if people are going to be sentenced to prison and more people are being put in prison and that included the people that are on remand, then of course the facilities and the resources have to be in place …. we say give proper exercise to the duty of care that the state has to those people,” he added.

The charity estimates the cost of these needless remands to reach £230 million pounds a year.

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