Campaigners are urging Edward Woollard’s supporters to take part in a government consultation before it ends on March 4, and to let justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke know their views on the sentencing and rehabilitation of offenders, and why they think Edward Woollard’s sentence is in complete contradiction to the aims of the government’s Green Paper, Breaking the cycle. (Download the template letter).
Chris Rawlinson, campaigner and Edward’s friend said: “It’s clear that the Justice Secretary’s Green Paper is supposed to be aimed at ending the damage caused by locking people up by providing meaningful and ‘improved rehabilitation’ along with ‘constructive community sentences’.
“I would like to ask Ken Clarke to consider where the justice is in locking up an 18 year-old lad for 32 months for doing something, in a moment’s madness, that hurt no one, and for which Edward has always been truly sorry.
“Everyone agrees that what Edward did was dangerous and stupid, but surely he would be more use to society, and certainly less of a cost to the taxpayer, if he was able to make a positive contribution by serving a community service sentence, rather than being locked away for 23 hours a day?”
Sarah Evans fellow campaigner said: “I hope people write to Ken Clarke and let him know what they think – we need rehabilitation for offenders, especially young ones.
“With prison numbers and costs rising, it surely time to reconsider Ed’s and other young people’s sentences and to start questioning how young offenders might better serve their time, so that we can be sure that their future life chances are not spoilt.
The justice secretary’s consultation, is in response to the government’s Green Paper: ‘Breaking the cycle’, which aims to: “set out plans to plans to cut crime, create safer communities and ensure there are fewer victims. It proposes measures to break the destructive cycle of crime by locking up serious and violent offenders, making prisons places of hard work, introducing more robust, immediate and constructive community sentences, getting prisoners off drugs and improving rehabilitation by opening it up to innovation from the private and charitable sectors.”