When it comes to justice, words are everything

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When it comes to justice, words are everything

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The prison population under new Labour skyrocketed—but crime rates dropped. Where now for Labour's justice strategy? Photo: Shayan Sanyal

Yesterday’s launch of Labour’s justice strategy under Sadiq Khan extends the new leadership’s challenge of new Labour orthodoxies. “Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” will no longer be the mantra now that Ed Miliband’s ‘new generation’ have taken power.

Instead, Khan suggests, the party must acknowledge that its “scorecard in office would have said: ‘could have done better’” over re-offending rates and the size of the prison population. He speaks convincingly about the need to “draw upon facts, rather than emotional rhetoric, to steer the debate”, because “it’s easy to slip into polarised… positions when discussing our justice system.”

He continues: “The work that we did to prevent youth offending, and to tackle the roots of criminality and combat social deprivation, was drowned out by debates on prisons

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