The number of people in prison in England and Wales hit a record high of 74,543 last week. As usual there are calls for a reduction in custodial sentencing, more community service orders, etc, in order to reduce the prison population.
But surely that is simply papering over the cracks. We need to look at why people are committing crimes in the first place, and put in place preventive measures to dissuade people from turning to crime. It might involved community youth schemes, increased visibility of PCs and WPCs walking the beat, or any number of other options.
Once people have committed crimes, society has failed. And the prison population is but one symptom of that failure.