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WGC imprisonment report shapes Welsh justice policy

16 October 2018

The outside of a prison facility

The Welsh Government held a National Assembly debate (October 9th) on the Wales Governance Centre report “Imprisonment in Wales: A Factfile”.

Assembly Members from across the political spectrum spoke to welcome the report, whilst expressing concern at its findings on prison disturbances, self-harm incidents and assaults.

Previously, the Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services, Alun Davies AM, said that the research by Dr Robert Jones “could form the basis of future justice policy”.

Following the debate, Assembly Members voted to note the report’s findings, which are now likely influence the development of justice policy in Wales.

During the debate, Alun Davies AM, responsible for Welsh Government policy on justice, commented:

“All too often, at the moment, we find ourselves in a situation whereby neither the United Kingdom Government nor the Welsh Government is able to deliver a coherent approach to policy and a coherent and holistic approach to dealing with people who are in the criminal justice system.

“The report of the Wales Governance Centre provides us with a snapshot with the understanding of that. It is our role, as the elected representatives of the people of Wales, to articulate a way forward.”

Dr Robert Jones commented:

“It’s encouraging to see the findings in the Factfile being debated by the Welsh Government, and I welcome the serious engagement by Assembly Members with our research.

“The issues highlighted within the report are of vital importance to the functioning of public services and to wider society. I hope that policymakers will continue to engage critically with the justice system in Wales in the coming period.”

Since its publication in June 2018, the report has informed the public and political debate on the performance of prisons in Wales, and has been discussed by the House of Commons’ Welsh Affairs Committee and by the elected Police and Crime Commissioners.

The Wales Governance Centre continues to research the operation of the justice system in Wales through its ESRC funded Justice and Jurisdiction research project.

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