Bishop Richard Moth has spoken out as the landmark Prisons and Courts Bill continues its passage through Parliament. The bill aims to streamline the UK justice system. As the bishop for prisons, Bishop Moth continues to encourage government to understand prisons as places of reform and growth, and not just of punishment. As the bill progresses, Bishop Moth will continue to engage closely with the legislation.
He said: "Prisons should never exist purely to punish offenders. It is extremely welcome that the most significant reform of UK prison law for over 50 years is introducing a statutory duty for prisons to provide reform, rehabilitation, and preparation for life outside. We have been engaging closely with this legislation, bringing the Church's vision and experience to the debate.
"In particular we are highlighting the importance of regular contact with families, good access to chaplaincy, and a prevailing standard of decency within prison walls. All of this is essential to rehabilitation and to respecting the dignity of those in prison - a dignity which is never lost despite what crimes may have been committed.
Many MPs have raised these issues in Parliament already and I am especially grateful to those who have highlighted the vital role that prison chaplains play. We will of course continue to engage as the bill proceeds through parliament."
Read more about the Prisons and Courts Bill here: www.gov.uk/government/news/prisons-and-courts-bill-to-improve-access-to-justice-and-better-protect-the-vulnerable