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Petty Offenders Twice As Likely To Be Jailed In Cornwall And Devon

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7:00am 27th April 2013

Pirate FM has learnt petty offenders in Cornwall and Devon are twice as likely to be locked up.

Statistics show 841 were jailed by magistrates in 2011.

That is despite a push towards community sentences.

It is leading to claims of a postcode lottery.

Andrew Neilson from the Howard League for Penal Reform, which put the figures together, says prison does not work: "They tend to lie in their bunks all day doing nothing, people acquire drug habits while they're in jail, they're mixing with people who have also committed crime where often they will have committed more serious crime. What all that means is that the re-offending rate is very high, around two thirds will leave prison and go on to re-offend.
 
"The reasons why community sentences work so well is because they are actually targeting the underlying causes of why someone commits crime. So, for example, drugs and alcohol can often fuel crime and community sentences can involve people going on treatment courses to deal with those addictions and problems and it also gives people the opportunity to pay something back."

7:00am 27th April 2013

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