Prison is not working

Justice secretary Ken Clarke has said the "broken penal system" is to blame for the riots that swept across England last month.

All this in the wake of his announcement that he is to cut approx 2000 prison places.

In an article for the Guardian, he revealed that almost three-quarters of those aged 18 or over who were charged with riot-related offences had a prior conviction.

More than 60 per cent of young male thugs and muggers are convicted of another offence within two years of ending their sentence. Three quarters of young male burglars and thieves also reoffend, according to the Home Office figures placed unannounced on its departmental website. More convicts reoffend after release from jail - Times Online

Reoffending rates are highest amongst those with short term sentences.

How does he intend to reduce crime ? Firstly, a criminal has to be convicted, then their sentence depends on the crime and judge. A 7 year sentence means the criminal will serve 5 but be released after 2 - 3 years.

Is this a viable alternative ?
Jail scheme slashes re-offending rate | News
Prison populations worldwide
World Prison Population Rates per 100,000 of the national population

Prison populations worldwide (More)
BBC NEWS | In Depth

UK is midway in the league.

Even the famous jail in Arizona run by Joe Arpaio has a number of reoffenders. It seems that comitting crime is a way of life.
The harshness or leniency of the punishment is a secondary issue to the likelihood of getting caught. If they only stand about a 1:200 chance of actually getting caught, then people are going to carry on thieving.
What's the point of voting Tory when you get commie faggots like CLARKE writing nonsense like this in the Guardian?
If prison reverted to it's proper purpose, punishment and containment of scum then it would start to work. Bring back hanging and it'll all make sense. The socialist idea that you can "forcibly re-educate" people died out with Pol Pot, Ken CLARKE needs to be replaced with a conservative.


It worked for Nelson Mandella-he hasn't re-offended yet!


Gallery Guru
Clarke privatised prisons last time Tories were in power, they have terrible staffing levels and are unsafe, Clarke is going to do the same this time. It wouldn't surprise me if Clarke has shares in group4, serco or one of the other companies that will win the bids.
I still think my idea of sending recividists to Ascension Island where there they could build their own accommodation, no chance of escaping, no visiting rights and no drugs. Any offence whilst on the island would result in extended time there. It would need a minimum of prison officers and if the Americans complained about the security of their base then the answer would be to fence it off. It would not be insurmountable using a British Island hundreds of miles from anywhere else which as no indigenous population and is a healthy place. Prisoners would work [farming - much as the Marines did many years ago and fishing] to support themselves. Shipping them down there would probably be cost effective given how much money is spent on each jailbird in the UK with a facilities some law abiding pensioners can only dream about. All it takes is for the government to grow a set of cajones, ignore the bleeding heart liberals, put two fingers up to any foreign nay-saying and make it happen.
Wasn't all of this known anyway?

Prisons should be made way more unpleasant. Floging with the lash and hard labour should be brought back for all violent and repeat offenders.

It would help if TV and films stopped glorifying criminals, crooks, gangs, gansters, and prison culture too.
I think the problem starts with many in school, failing to attend, failing to listen and ultimately failing to achieve any qualifications, which means that even if they find employment, they would only be looking at min wage.

Key areas I would look to address would be

Discipline, respect and moral values. It appears that those with the shorter sentences are more likely to reoffend. I suppose once you have embarked on a life of crime, that will become your career and being arrested/imprisoned is an occupational hazard.

The key thing is to stop offending in the first place, or making prison such a nasty place that no one will want to return. It has been noted that offenders who are imprisoned for minor crimes, will progress to more serious crimes as they gain knowledge and associate with inmates who are more experienced.


Prison over here is rubbish as well. I went to a jail to visit someone once and they said that some men have it better there than home. (the men with lower incomes) He said it's like grounding your kid, making them stay in their room but still giving them 3 square meals a day and giving them TV in their room as well. I've known a few men who have committed crimes just to get back into jail. I can't speak for jail there but in's rubbish.
Scandalous bit of opportunism, that doesn't seem to have got past the first responding Arrser.

If you let the rioters crack on, then round up the usual subjects because you have their prints 'n DNA on file of course those who carry the can will all be ex cons.

That Mandela quip actually illustrates a serious point. Nelson has kept his nose clean because his "offence" was taken off the SA statute books and he was able to find meaningful employment as President. Of course a similar approach over here wouldn't be any use to Boris when he's trying to justify tax breaks for his already tax dodging City mates so they'll back his Mayoral campaign.
To quote Inspector Gadget:

"There is nowhere else in the world where a criminal with literally dozens of previous convictions is entitled to automatic bail, can guarantee a discounted sentence for a guilty plea and will almost certainly face no added penalty for offending on Bail. This happens every day in Britain."

Prison doesn't work because it's run by the same idiots that run the rest of the country.

The only way we are going to make prison work is to make it a harsher more uncomfortable existence, particularly in youth detention centres. If Youth Prison was a horrific frightening experience with butter on your bread being classed as a luxury we would start to get a grip of the problem.

As for how you end up in prison. Three Strikes and you're fair game sounds good to me. Depending on the seriousness of the crimes I would try and allow people to make three mistakes (By mistakes read be found guilty of minor to mid level offences) in their life without a prison sentence. After that we can then say they have been given a chance to change their ways and they are now fair game.

For every offence after that an extra punishment needs to be added on for being a repeat offender. If you have been found guilty of a couple of burglaries and you get found guilty of stealing a motorvehicle which someone is defrosting (You may have cottoned on this is a real example) you should not get your third fine that you won't pay, nor should you be put on a 7-7 curfew when you committed the offence at 0830hours. You should spend a minimum of 5 years in a prison sharing your room with 7 other people. Any offences you commit in prison should result in your sentence resetting back to day one as you clearly forgot the lesson the court tried to teach you. As such if you are found guilty of being concerned in the supply of a class A controlled drug three weeks before the end of your sentence (Another real example) you should not still be released from prison and then be given the opportunity to make good your escape to Ireland whilst 'out on licence' never to be seen again (Or at least for the last 18months or so).

Sadly the people in the know on this subject are talking to a brick wall. ALL Public service departments are now ran on a 'what is cheapest' basis and nothing else. Even if they wanted to change things they wouldn't dare in case costs went up.
Any punishment that involves a lot of access to the gym, a pool table, an X Box, a TV, monitored internet access and a lot of free time isn't really a punishment at all.

Can you imagine The RSM saying "Oi **** Nuts - Get off my square! Get yourself back to your pit, put your feet up and whack a DVD on if your bored!"

Prison. Besides the risk of being bummed it actually seems alright. The one and only potential punishment and that comes from other criminals rather than the Prison Service or the government.
You can make prisons as tough as you like, but do you really think it will be on a crim's mind when they commit the offence? If they engage in any rational thought at all it's only likely to be whether they are likely to get caught.

Crimes are (or should be) crimes because they create victims, if our society promoted empathy more and rewarded the greedy & self serving a little less it might help.
I was listening to an article on the radio a little while back about a charity that supports newly released prisoners. One of the 'clients' of this service had said that previously he would be released from prison, he'd have no money, no way to get food, no roof and the easiest thing for him to do was to get caught and locked up again; then he had a relatively safe environment, food and a bed. Whilst I certainly think the idea of supporting released offenders we should also make prison a thoroughly unpleasant place to be where it will be safe, food will be simple and functional and amenities all based around activities that will serve some purpose on release - IT skills, artisan etc. I also think that prison should have a sentence of 2 halves - the first is the punishment phase and the second is the rehabilitation phase. At any point (as C_J has stated) the sentence can be reset to day 1.

The 3 strikes rule would be the filter whereby prisoners don't get to get to the rehab phase as they will never be released.
Early release for good behaviour should be stopped. If someone behaves they get out on their due date, if they misbehave they should have time added on.
I think their just playing with the statistics you can say 3/4 of those rioters have form but whats that in reality how many of them just have minor traffic convictions or drug and booze related and i bet the majority of those have never recived a serious prison sentance which is probably why they thought they could get away with it after all most of them probably have more ASBO's than GCSE's which would add to the monkey see mokey do problem of plod being practicaly toothless in their response to it all.
If were short on prison spaces then the solution would be to build more to the average non civil servant how long would it take to throw together some WW2 style prison camps as a medium term solution barbed wire and prefabs after all the goverment is the biggest land owner in the country, and to pay for them do what the yanks do prison labour why cant they be growing their own food or working in a prison workshop or even just breaking rocks. 12 hours a day of unpaid hard work for 2 years would probably turn your average chav around and help make the prison service more cost effective.
rant over
Prison staffing problems - That's the problem with putting everything out to tender, cheap is rarely cheerfull and the lowest bidder is probably the one who had the least knowledge of the requirement.
The answers are simple but nasty.
1 Stop paying scum to breed more criminals. If someone who cannot look after herself (and lives on the dole) decides to get pregnant the child should be handed over for adoption at birth.Sterilsation and castration as punishments, eg want to go riot? Kiss your balls goodbye.
2 No training or education in prison. State funded education should be the preserve of those who play by the rules, bad behaviour should not be the ends to advancement.
3 Stop importing no hopers. Strict UK entry points system, one conviction equals goodbye.

Liberals have been allowed to get away with the bollocks idea that ciminals can be forcibly re educated out of crime, that a bit of money spent on education can save the costs of crime. Scumbag convicts play up to this idea as they prefer a few english literature lessons in a warm classroom to 8 hours on a rockpile. Even the twat Ken CLARKE admitted that he wants to see "hard labour" returned. Unfortunately he believes that this could be achieved on community punishments. Prison education provides an easy job for liberal do gooders, an easy way for convicts to serve their sentences, and a punishment for the honest working man who has to compete for work against the newly qualifed parasite.
Some foolish people on here still seem to think the "Justice System" has something to do with administering justice . Pah!!

All the real money in the legal system is vested in defending the criminals. It is in the legal profession's interests to encourage as much criminality as possible!
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