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WGC Justice & Jurisdiction project impacts House of Commons report

17 May 2019

Research carried out by Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre has been “of great assistance” to an inquiry into prison provision, according to Welsh MPs.

The House of Commons Welsh Affairs Committee report published today draws heavily on the work of Dr Robert Jones of the Wales Governance Centre, and includes a recommendation that the UK Government work with him and others to publish Wales-specific data on imprisonment.

Dr Jones’ work on drug and alcohol finds, the geographic dispersal of prisoners, and prison capacity is also referenced in the report, which according to MPs, “concludes that poor collaboration between the UK and Welsh Governments has led to significant issues in Welsh prisons, such as high population density, gang violence, inadequate healthcare and insufficient prison provision for Welsh women and Welsh speakers.”

Since 2018, pathbreaking work of the Wales Governance Centre’s Justice & Jurisdiction project has helped generate a new understanding of the criminal justice system in Wales, with research from the project informing policy development in the National Assembly for Wales, Welsh Government and UK Parliament.

Dr Robert Jones commented:

“By publishing ‘factfiles’ which present a picture of imprisonment and sentencing in Wales, we have drawn upon previously unpublished data, often retrieved through requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

“But as Welsh MPs have recognised, a much more systematic approach to the publication of data is required if elected politicians are to properly scrutinise the operation of the prison system in Wales.

“I welcome the report, and look forward to the UK Government responding to the various recommendations.”

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