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Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Chocolate kettle.

Say you'd been doing a little decorating at home and instead of drying on the walls all the paint had slid down them and on to the carpet, or perhaps the varnish on your window frames was still tacky after a fortnight. Imagine how you'd react if, having gone down to the DIY store to complain, you were told that you should really just accept it because sometimes paint does that and actually doing exactly what it says on the tin is just an option. Anybody would be forgiven for feeling a bit pissed off, but as bad as that would be it'd pale into nothingness if someone you love was killed by some mongrel who'd been let out of prison because you couldn't really expect the criminal justice system to spend money keeping them locked up.



You'd be mad as hell, wouldn't you?

Murders and other serious crimes committed by prisoners released early from jail may have to be “accepted” by the public as part of attempts to keep down the cost of the criminal justice system, the probation watchdog suggested.
Andrew Bridges questioned whether it was worth keeping thousands of violent and dangerous offenders locked up for longer than the minimum jail term set by a court just to stop a few of them committing new crimes.
Some reoffending — even if it involved “serious” new crimes — could be the price that society had to pay for trying to cut down on the huge cost of the country’s rising prison population, said Mr Bridges, the chief inspector of probation.
So let me get this straight. Instead of looking at reducing the prison population by not locking up people for bullshit victimless crimes (e.g. council tax defaulters and publicans who've let customers light up a cigarette) and decriminalising a lot of stuff that would be largely victimless if it hadn't been fucking made illegal in the first place (e.g. many drugs offences) and basically just keeping prison for the real cunts, the idea now is to carry on as before but let everybody out at the earliest opportunity regardless of offence and future risk. Have I got that about right, you complete fucknuts?
While acknowledging that prison reduced crime, he described it as a “rather drastic form of crime prevention” and said it was time to consider dealing with more offenders in the community.
No, you bell-end, for some criminals it's the only fucking form of crime prevention. While they're locked up they don't commit crimes, and when you let them out they start again. Yes, there are some who don't reoffend, but that suggests they probably didn't need locking up in the fucking first place.

There are basically three things you can do with a prison. It can be a punishment, which is as much about making the rest of society feel better as anything else, or it can be a place to rehabilitate criminals in the hope that they reoffend. Finally, and most obviously, it can be a way in which law abiding citizens get a break from whatever criminals are locked up in there. Since this last function is probably the only one at which imprisonment is completely effective it seems a little odd to stop fucking doing it by letting criminals out. By all means let out the non-violent and those locked up more for their disobedience to the bloody state than anything else, but the only thing prison is really good at is keeping walls between those who are disarmed by law and helpless to protect themselves and those who just don't give a tinker's fuck.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just cannot believe I am on the same planet as this Bridges bloke. I mean, where do they get these people from, fucking Neptune?

Thanks for pissing me off.

Steve

Anonymous said...

Actually the three things you can do with a prison are punishment, prevention and deterrence. Not rehabilitation - what you are really doing there is prevention. For example, you might rehab a criminal in a prison to because he would kill you if you attempted it in his house.

Obviously prison isn't that much of a deterrent in UK/Aus for someone who is going to commit a crime anyway, but it should be (like in certain countries). If you've denied someone one of their rights by committing a crime against them, you should forfeit that right for the same amount of time.

Angry Exile said...

Steve, re-reading it I think I detect a hint of the usual public sector empire building. If you keep dangerous criminals locked up longer there's less for the probation service to do, at least in the short term.


"Actually the three things you can do with a prison are punishment, prevention and deterrence. Not rehabilitation - what you are really doing there is prevention."

Anon, you seem to be looking at the desired outcomes while I was looking at what prison can actually do. For example, prevention might be what you're aiming to achieve, but what you're actually doing with prisoners is rehabilitation. Prevention and deterrence did occur to me but I feel they're closely related outcomes (if you have successfully deterred then you have also prevented, right?) achieved by the punishment bit of prison - deprivation of liberty. Well, in theory anyway.

Prevention is also achieved (also in theory) by rehabilitating criminals into non-offenders, and as I said before it's an outcome of what is being done in prison. I agree that there would be a much greater prevention effect if the punishment and rehabilitation bits worked more often. You could say that the third function I gave prisons, that of locking up the bastards and giving the rest of us a break, is prevention, and I'd have to agree. It's only for as long as they're inside, but it's unarguably prevention and sadly it's the only thing prisons do with near 100% reliability - as long as they're inside they're not out committing crimes. Still, prevention is again the outcome of what you do with the prison, which is to put crims in it and lock the doors for a while.

"If you've denied someone one of their rights by committing a crime against them, you should forfeit that right for the same amount of time."

Couldn't agree more. It could be a bit tricky to work out in practice, at least for some offences, and it could imply the use of the death penalty, which is a power I'm not comfortable entrusting to an untrustworthy state. But as a sentencing philosophy it would mean punishments fitting the crime much more often, and that has to be a good thing.

banned said...

"...let everybody out at the earliest opportunity regardless of offence and future risk. Have I got that about right, you complete fucknuts?"

Yes.

Regards, A. Fucknut.

Freewoman of England / HNL said...

Its about making the population even more likely to give up freedoms in order to have peace.

Its all an orchestrated plan

Jail is for those who have to be prevented from re offending. Letting people out sooner is no punishment.

Christ, they'll be letting out serial killers next...

Clive said...

Christ, they'll be letting out serial killers next...

Leg-iron, who's a much better writer than I'll ever be, could no doubt compose something apt about that policy being applied to the next Raoul Moat.

JuliaM said...

"I just cannot believe I am on the same planet as this Bridges bloke. I mean, where do they get these people from..."

From gated estates in nice areas of town, where they never have to face the consequences of their barmy decision, of course.

JuliaM said...

There is light at the end of the tunnel, though.

From an article in CiF, by Anne Owers: "Tomorrow is my last day after nine years as chief inspector of prisons."

That cheer you just heard came from all the honest prison officers and police in the UK, as well as the poor, long-suffering beseiged public...

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