Source: (2002) RSA Transmission in Association with the Economist. Edited Transcript of the Event.

This panel discussion, occurring 26 September 2002, involved an expert in crime reduction, an ex-offender, an expert in youth justice, and director general of the prison service. Together they discussed the realities of prison and assess its effectiveness or lack of effectiveness in reducing crime and preventing re-offending. In general, the judgment was that prisons are not working, thought they could be made to work better. Hence, the panelists considered those strategies that have demonstrated genuine effectiveness in preventing re-offending. Research largely shows that those approaches work best in community settings, but they can be used with success in prison settings as well. Additionally, they identified other areas in the criminal justice system that need reform – such as sentencing guidelines, and emphasis on restoration instead of retribution – to meet the goals of reduction in crime and re-offending better.

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