Tue 7th Feb - Jennifer Kay from the ‘Howard League for penal reform’ group came in to college to talk about the organisation’s goals of ‘less crime’, ‘safer communities’, and ‘ fewer people in prison’. The charity is independent of the government and is funded by voluntary donations and membership subscriptions. Jennifer shocked student with figures and statistics such as the cost of keeping someone in prison for one year and how that £42,000 could otherwise be spent. Students were asked what they thought should be happening to ensure sentencing and prisons are effective, and Jennifer expanded on the issues raised such as psychiatric help, rehabilitation into life on the outside and the restoration of justice. At the moment prisons are hugely overcrowded: 12000 prisoners are currently sharing cells which are designed for one person only. The Howard League wants to change this and Jennifer was keen to explain to students the many reasons behind the organisations beliefs. The event was well attended and provoked lively debate.