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ckn

A failure of justice

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It's cause and effect though, isn't it?

Does mild punishment cause low crime rates or does low crime rates cause mild punishments?

I'd suggest the latter.

In comparative studies in the UK, the evidence strongly suggests, when other factors are controlled for, that non-custodial sentences with strong rehabilitative elements (eg probation, restorative approaches) have lower recidivism rates than prison.

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I think there are two distinct needs being discussed here; the need to punish and the need to rehabilitate. IMO I do think we need both. Punishment alone only appeases the victims and those of a daily wail disposition, but alone won’t solve the problem. 
 
The OP was clearly addressing the punishment case. There are many ideas, but far from all, in the OP that I find myself in agreement with.  I think the stuff about parental responsibility for the under 16s a very good idea. In addition I think there should be an automatic accumulator system. 1st offence get off with a fine/community service. 2nd, doubling of the punishment of the first. 3rd jail. 4th, double the jail term of the 3rd etc. persistent offending should lead to greater punishment. 
 
On the flip side of that there does need to be more of an effort made to try and rehabilitate criminals. At the moment if you serve less than a year in jail all that happens at the end of your term is that you are shown the door with £46 in your pocket. That’s it, no support whatsoever. £46 doesn’t last very long these days, so without support or money or perhaps even a home and probably with little in the way of employable skills and likely with mental health problems or drink and/or drug addiction problems it isn’t really surprising these people go straight back to the crimes that landed them in jail in first place. This week the government did announce that they were going to address this by making it an obligation that offenders who serve custodial sentences of less than a year will be put under supervision for 12 months after their release.  However, true to their nature, this government is pushing the responsibility to do this on the private sector and charities. 

 

 

I think there are two distinct needs being discussed here; the need to punish and the need to rehabilitate. IMO I do think we need both. Punishment alone only appeases the victims and those of a daily wail disposition, but alone won’t solve the problem. 
 
The OP was clearly addressing the punishment case. There are many ideas, but far from all, in the OP that I find myself in agreement with.  I think the stuff about parental responsibility for the under 16s a very good idea. In addition I think there should be an automatic accumulator system. 1st offence get off with a fine/community service. 2nd, doubling of the punishment of the first. 3rd jail. 4th, double the jail term of the 3rd etc. persistent offending should lead to greater punishment. 
 
On the flip side of that there does need to be more of an effort made to try and rehabilitate criminals. At the moment if you serve less than a year in jail all that happens at the end of your term is that you are shown the door with £46 in your pocket. That’s it, no support whatsoever. £46 doesn’t last very long these days, so without support or money or perhaps even a home and probably with little in the way of employable skills and likely with mental health problems or drink and/or drug addiction problems it isn’t really surprising these people go straight back to the crimes that landed them in jail in first place. This week the government did announce that they were going to address this by making it an obligation that offenders who serve custodial sentences of less than a year will be put under supervision for 12 months after their release.  However, true to their nature, this government is pushing the responsibility to do this on the private sector and charities. 

there's another

the need to protect the public from dangerous people

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there's another

the need to protect the public from dangerous people

That's true. Though I was thinking (although I didn't say it) more about those who make up the majority of the prison population, the persistent low level offenders.

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Have some compassion, one of these lads is a father of two. Think of the effect his incarceration will have on his children and their mothers.

I would suggest these lads could use some character building rural pursuits.

So, spray them with "Scent de la fox", set them free in the countryside, and let the local hunt take over.

At least I'd be on the side of the unspeakable for once.

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In comparative studies in the UK, the evidence strongly suggests, when other factors are controlled for, that non-custodial sentences with strong rehabilitative elements (eg probation, restorative approaches) have lower recidivism rates than prison.

Yes but you are talking about Scandinavia not the UK plus you haven't allowed for the fact that recidivist rates don't tell the whole story. Shoplifters in prison don't shoplift but that doesn't show up in recidivist rates.

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On the radio this morning it was discussing the Huhnes (?) release from prison after serving 8 weeks of an eight month sentence, and one commentator made the statement that in British prisons there is the 'general rule' that if you are sentenced to any term up to 4 years you only serve a quarter of that time, and between 4 and 7 years you only serve a third.

Maybe a prison term that means what it says would be a start.

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A.22 rimfire behind the ear, cheap and effective, no messing about, no fanfare, just get rid.

7.62mm will get them both with one round.

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On the radio this morning it was discussing the Huhnes (?) release from prison after serving 8 weeks of an eight month sentence, and one commentator made the statement that in British prisons there is the 'general rule' that if you are sentenced to any term up to 4 years you only serve a quarter of that time, and between 4 and 7 years you only serve a third.

Maybe a prison term that means what it says would be a start.

Maybe not a completely cast-iron rule, though. You should allow an early release (maybe not that early, though) if the prisoner has warranted it with exceptionally good behaviour, in order to encourage them to make an effort.

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There's no point in spending over £150,000 (and I reckon it was a lot more)  on a court case where, even when found guilty, the defendants serve only eight weeks apiece.

 

Their prison-time probably cost us another £12,000.

 

The case hasn't even had any salutory significance for the general public. The conclusions that can be drawn from this showpiece trial are: -

 - that anyone can get away with swapping speeding points so long as neither party blabs.

 - even the most intelligent of women can exhibit gross stupidity.

 - politicians tell lies.

 

I don't know about you, but I knew all these things without any need for the Police and the CPS to demonstrate it via a show-trial.

 

An absolute waste of "time".

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On the radio this morning it was discussing the Huhnes (?) release from prison after serving 8 weeks of an eight month sentence, and one commentator made the statement that in British prisons there is the 'general rule' that if you are sentenced to any term up to 4 years you only serve a quarter of that time, and between 4 and 7 years you only serve a third.

Maybe a prison term that means what it says would be a start.

Those two are text-book cases of people that aren't a threat to public safety and really were over-sentenced to prove a point.  I'd have thought a suspended sentence and a very large fine would have been far more appropriate for them both.  What purpose does it really serve to have them in jail beyond costing the taxpayer a fortune.  For wealthy, white collar people who go almost instantly to open prisons, an asset stripping punishment would be far harsher than a few weeks mellowing out reading books in a situation that's far more comfortable than most squaddies in barracks get.

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That's true. Though I was thinking (although I didn't say it) more about those who make up the majority of the prison population, the persistent low level offenders.

 

 

That's true. Though I was thinking (although I didn't say it) more about those who make up the majority of the prison population, the persistent low level offenders.

exactly

 

prison is as much a dumping ground for the mentally ill, the socially inadequate, and the dependant substance abuser as it is for locking up dangerous people.

 

Thousands of people don't belong in prison, but there is nowhere else for them to go, and/or no other initiatives in place to deal with these people.

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