Source: (2004) London: International Centre for Prison Studies. King's College London.

In the Restorative Prison Project we set out to question the retributive model of imprisonment, to test the extent to which prisons might be based on restorative principals and thereby to contribute to grater public safety and cohesion. The project showed that it was possible to develop these principles. However, the reality is that prisons can only ever have a relatively small role to play in ensuring public safety and generating social cohesion. In the course of the RPP many of those involved became aware of series of major dysfunctions in the criminal justice system. Most crime is committed locally by local persons. The victims of crime are local and the effects of crime are felt locally. Yet at present the important decisions about criminal justice policies and expenditure are taken at the national level and local authorities have no control over how the £4.5 billion of public money currently spent on prison and probation is allocated. (excerpt)

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