The Punishment of Probation- A Proposed Solution to the Prison Overcrowding Problem in England

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Since 1993 the population within prison is increasing leading to majority of prison overcrowding this meaning there is now a higher percentage of people in prison here in England than any other country in Western Europe (Howard League 2006). This is leading to re-offending as offenders are not able to receive individual rehabilitation because there are too many offenders to rehabilitate. As this becomes more of a problem in today’s society the government are coming up with new punishments which will help to reduce the overcrowding within the prisons. One of these new punishments is probation, this is a sentence which is been imposed by court and given to the offender either after the offender has served their sentence in prison or not at …show more content…
Offenders who committed more serious crimes such as murder, rape, burglary or other serious offences were sentenced to the death penalty. In the 18th century it was characterised as the era of the ‘bloody code’ even though there was a growing opposition to the death penalty for all those of the most serious crimes (Howard League 2009). However in 1850 it saw the change in which prisons were now being used to imprison individuals for serious crimes and not for summary offences and petty felonies which it was used for in the previous years (Newburn 2007).

The first prison to be built and completed was at Millbank in London in 1816 which held over 860 prisoners who were kept in separate cells however association with other prisoners were allowed during the day. Then later in 1842 saw the development of the Pentonville prison which was designed by Bentham 1791 which is still being used today.

In 1895 once the newly designed prisons were built it saw the published Gladstone report on which it stated ‘we start from the principle that prison treatment should have as its primary and concurrent objects deterrence and reformation’. This report was then led into the 1898 prison act which saw the unifying of the ‘local and convict prison systems, introduced remission of sentence and restricted the use of corporal punishment. An emphasis on rehabilitation was a consistent part of prisons policy alongside other objectives’ (Newburn 2007).


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