York & North Yorkshire

Bishop of Whitby calls for reform of the prison system

The Bishop of Whitby has called for a reform of the prison system.

The Right Reverend Martin Warner said too many people were being locked up in overcrowded conditions.

He said he agreed with the recent comments of the Right Reverend James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool, who is the Anglican church's Bishop to Her Majesty's Prisons.

Bishop Jones recently went behind bars at three jails for a new BBC Radio 4 series.

After his experience Bishop Jones called for more offenders to be dealt with by punishment outside of prison, through community payback schemes.

Bishop Warner said that too many prisons are used as "dumping grounds" and should instead be "used to restore people into being positive citizens in our society".

He said: "It seems to me we are locking up far too many people in conditions that are overcrowded. Which are not positive, in terms of seeing rehabilitation and of course it is costing the taxpayer a huge amount of money."

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