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Prison needs alternatives

France is not “screaming out for more jails” (connexionfrance.com, April). Yes, overcrowding is a major problem but simply building more prisons will not turn the situation around. 

We should look at other ways of reducing the prison population such as electronic tagging etc, which may well be better for rehabilitation and which could save money. Keeping people in prison is costly both for taxpayer and prisoners’ families.

Prison often has no effect on future behaviour and the many prisoners serving short sentences do not benefit from rehabilitation programmes but vastly increase the number of prisoners.

Connexion readers could make a positive contribution by thinking of becoming prison visitors. Many prisoners speak English as a first or second language, and some not a word of French.

Contact the probation and rehabilitation service (SPIP) of your local prison or the national prison visitors association (anvp.org).

Paul UNDERWOOD, Somme

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