Tougher jail sentences will only come with increased prison capacity

TWO brave mothers whose sons were murdered in Stevenage will take to the streets of London on Monday to join a march organised by the Families Fighting for Justice campaign group, lobbying the Government for tougher jail sentences. Sam Owen s son, 19-year

TWO brave mothers whose sons were murdered in Stevenage will take to the streets of London on Monday to join a march organised by the Families Fighting for Justice campaign group, lobbying the Government for tougher jail sentences.

Sam Owen's son, 19-year-old Christopher, died after he was beaten up in a row over a telephone number just off Broadwater Crescent in November 2007.

His killer, Steven Bangert of Blenheim Way in Stevenage, admitted manslaughter and was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison.

Sam Faulkner's son, 20-year-old Christopher, died from a single stab wound to the heart in King George V Playing Fields in April 2008.


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His killer, Kyle Quinlan-Currie of Longcroft Road in Stevenage, was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for eight years.

While tougher jail sentences should undoubtedly be introduced, in current times it is simply impracticable to do so because prisons are overcrowded.

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Under the Government's early release scheme, prisoners are being freed before the midway point of their sentence, severely knocking public confidence in the criminal justice system.

Whichever party wins the general election, increasing prison capacity must be a priority.

There needs to be an overhaul of our penal and rehabilitation system, starting with investment in expanding prisons, allowing judges to pass longer sentences which will act as a deterrent to others and will ultimately reduce reoffending.

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