Austerity does not work, and at last this is being recognised by the EU creditors
Once upon a time, Britain had a Home Secretary by the name of Michael Howard. He based his work largely on the proposition that "prison works". He repeated it constantly and quietly but with what seemed a curious hint of a threat behind it.
If there was a threat, it must have been aimed at the judges - a hint that they should impose longer sentences. In fact, anybody who has given five minutes' thought to the subject knows that prison doesn't work. Specifically, long sentences don't work.
There may once have been some validity in the argument that long prison spells kept criminals out of circulation. That argument no longer holds good. Prisoners have mobile phones (and heaven only knows how many other gadgets) and conduct the operations of their gangs from their prison cells.