Prison Reform And The Cost Of Drug Prohibition

The Adam Smith Institute Blog

The decriminalization of drugs has the potential to save the British taxpayer money, and simultaneously improve the security and health of the general public.

By Karthik Reddy, Guest blogger

Faced with the dire need to restore discipline to British public finances and a rising rate of reoffending among prisoners, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke announced yesterday broad changes to the way in which the government administers criminal justice. The prison population of England and Wales recently surpassed 85,000 inmates this year, a historically unparalleled number that is expected to continue to grow even further in coming years. As a proportion of their populations, England and Wales lock up nearly 150 of every 100,000 residents, a number that represents one of the highest rates of incarceration in Western Europe.