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Interesting times

April 25, 2006
I’ve been away (as I mentioned) in foreign countries for a couple of weeks, but thanks to the British press, I’ve been able to keep up with all the latest news.

Apart from the rat on the wall view of Leicestershire Constabulary that is due to be broadcast later this week, there have been a few other interesting articles.

The one that caught my eye was about the probation service not being able to keep track of all the serious offenders who have been released on licence or sentenced to community orders. These people go on to re-offend and the journalists seem to be surprised by this.

The Home Office in typical knee jerk response have introduced a new order to prevent these recidivists from being naughty, like that will make a difference. If three or four years inside hasn’t corrected their behaviour, then a piece of paper from the Magistrates isn’t going to modify it either.

I can’t recall which paper it was (it might have been the Guardian) but one contributor had the most sensible suggestion.

He stated that it is patently obvious that prison does not work as a deterrent. The evidence shows that very little rehabilitation goes on in prison, so his solution was simple.

Build more prisons.

Radical – his theory was (and I happen to agree with him) that no burglar ever committed a burglary whilst locked in a cell. No rapist ever re-offended whilst banged up in solitary and the chance of committing a drink/drive offence in the confines of a jail are pretty slim.

Prison reduces crime for as long as a prisoner is locked up. Stop pratting about with satellite tracking, community orders and “last chances” and send the persistent offenders down. I would rather my taxes went on something that is guaranteed to keep the drug dealer out of my area for 10 years than send them on some drug awareness scheme that serves only to provide them with a new network of customers.

Of course, it will never happen.

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