Tories promise a policy that works!
Turns out that all those people in prison must have been doing a lot of bad stuff, since once they were deprived of their freedom the crime rate dropped. Last year, as the prison population swelled, the violent crime rate hit at a postwar low.
It's not hard to figure out why. Prison is a deterrent, just what it's meant to be. Saying the number of people behind bars has risen is, by itself, meaningless. It's only meaningful when compared with what the increased imprisonment is supposed to alleviate: Crime.
And as we see from the chart, it seems to do that quite well.
As for the other arguments, such as the high cost of incarceration, that's also rather trivial when you compare the far higher cost of crime to society.
I'm sure Iain Dale will be pleased with the Tories picking up on this...
Five thousand extra prison places would be built by the Tories to beat overcrowding in jails in England and Wales, the party has said.
Under its new prison policy plans, older prisons would be sold to the private sector - with the money raised paying for the building of new jails.
The Conservatives want the voluntary sector to play a much greater role in providing inmates with work ....
Send them round Boss, I have got plenty of orange overalls, a few lengths of chain and some roadside ditches I want dug...