law pages of Bournemouth and Poole College.
Professor Pease said community sentences have no evident effect on reconviction rates in their current form.
Using community sentences to replace short prison sentences simply “freed the group most likely to reoffend to do so sooner, with no evidence of a current treatment benefit from community sanctions to offset that.”
Pease said arguments for fewer short sentences failed to take into account that jailing persistent offenders gave the public a respite from crime.
Whether prison helps cut crime has been distorted by “convenient fictions” that it is expensive and less effective than community sentences.
Far from paying a higher price for custody, a greater price is paid for the failure of community sentences to reduce criminality.
And once a prison sentence has been served the deterrent effect has gone.
The report goes on to say that well-resourced and well delivered community sentences can work whereas some people in prison find it much easier than on a community sentence where they have to get up in the morning and do something useful.