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Too many women, many of whom are mothers, are sent to prison every year to serve short sentences for non-violent crimes, often for a first offence, a new briefing reveals.
A new report by the Prison Reform Trust says rapid expansion in the prison population is placing a growing burden on the taxpayer while reoffending rates remain high.
Ministry of Justice figures show a complex picture of a prison service making heroic strides in some areas while struggling to cope with the impact of rising prison numbers and cuts to prison staff and budgets.
A new report by the Prison Reform Trust, supported by the Bromley Trust, shows the system under significant strain with fewer staff, worsening safety and fewer opportunities for rehabilitation.
People in the justice system with learning difficulties do not get equal access to the law or support through accessible information, says the Prison Reform Trust.
Overcrowding and high reoffending rates are the norm in the prison system according to an analysis of recent statistics by the Prison Reform Trust.
Sentencing reforms and other "sensible" changes proposed by the Ministry of Justice are under threat from Prime Minister David Cameron and his advisers.
Penal reform charities have has expressed broad support for the green paper on punishment and rehabilitation but have also made key recommendations.
The government is seeeking to limit the right to vote to prisoners serving sentences of less than one year
The Prison Reform Trust has commented on the government's proposals for all offenders sentenced to four years or more to be automatically barred from registering to vote.