Cardinal attacks prison system31 October 2012
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor this week accused the Government of emphasising punishment rather than rehabilitation in the criminal justice system.
Delivering the Sir Harold Hood memorial lecture in west London's Allen Hall, the cardinal blamed politicians and the media for using "harsh words" when it came to justice, emphasising punishment above all else.
Cardinal Murphy-O'Conner noted that the prison population had grown by 12,000 in the last eight years "not because of significantly more crime but because we have become more punitive - increasing the length of sentences, introducing mandatory sentences and seeking imprisonment earlier for those who in the past would have received a fine or told to do community service," he said.
The cardinal painted a picture of overcrowded prisons with inmates in many cases turning to violence and self-harm.
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