(TELEGRAPH) — Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, England and Wales's most senior Roman Catholic cleric, has called for prisoners to be treated with more kindness and respect.
The Cardinal questioned the "primarily punitive" nature of the British justice system, which he blamed for a rise in the prison population.
He said that the doubling of the number of prisoners in the past decade is down to a more punitive justice system, rather than any significant increase in crime rates.
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The prison system must be more "sympathetic" towards prisoners. He said: "Sometimes, good things happen in prison. Sometimes prisoners take the few opportunities that exist, to address the issues behind their offending behaviour and are able to move forward positively in their lives.