Thursday, July 01, 2010

Ken Clarke

Secretary of State for Justice, Ken Clarke wants to send fewer people to prison and give more criminals community service instead, claiming that people are more likely to re offend if they go to jail.

Well nobody has ever robbed my house whilst they have been safely behind bars. Also nobody ever actually does community service, you simply turn up on day one, muck about a bit then go to your doctor and get signed off with a bad back. Alternatively you can simply threaten your supervisor to mark you present.

If community service meant pink overalls, chain gangs and hard graft, supervised by people who weren't actually terrified of you, then it would get my full support.


Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

Someone go round and burgle Ken Clarke's house. We'll see what influence that has on his thinking.

Lilyofthefield said...

Frank, sometimes I think you just don't care about convicted criminals' right to dignity and compassion.

Anonymous said...

The chain gangs, pink jumpsuits etc. I guess that's a leaf from Sheriff Joe. .That would be the Sheriff who's had his jail certification pulled countless times, has paid out $50M+ in damages for actions like killing prisoners, setting fire to peoples houses etc. Oh, and likes to try and intimidate those that run against him (sheriff is an elected position, not based on job performance).

Should I also mention that he's had jail conditions described as Unconstitutional, in COURT RULINGS not once, but TWICE; closes cases by arrest around 15% of the time; has had his officers steal documents from defence lawyers, and Oh yeah, even those professional nutjobs that think nail-clippers are lethal weapons, and 3.1Fl Oz of liquid will blow up an aircraft, the Department of Homeland Security, has revoked his ability to make arrests in connection with illegal imigration - the ONLY sheriff in the US they've done that to.

And what has this gotten the people he 'serves'. statistically standard re-offending rates.

All the extra cost, negligence in performing his duty, and no difference in result. As the bard said, "It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing" which sums up 'Uncle Joe's" policing strategy nicely.

Anonymous said...

I love the way some people chose to ignore the actual argument to put a slightly bizarre alternative.

You are right that nobody has ever burgled your house while they were locked up in prison. Ken Clarke was, however, making the point that upon release they are more likely to re-offend than those who receive community sentences.

Whether that's right or wrong is an argument I don't know the answer to, but it is very lazy and misleading to simply say that if X is locked up he can't come a burgling. Why? Because there comes a point when X will be released. Unless that is you are proposing a system where everybody is locked up for life for their first offence? If you are then you are an idiot, but I don't think that is what you are saying.

I hope you think your arguments through a little more when you are teaching the kids.

You are also not right to say that people always threaten probation staff or get a doctors note.

First, probation officers aren't all as stupid as they first appear and are well aware that if they are threatened then all it takes is a word with the court and the offender will be in prison very quickly... I've never dealt with a case where the offender was threatening probation (largely I imagine because probation staff are responsible for interviewing and giving the green light to a D receiving community orders).

Secondly, please try and give doctors some credit. You are either saying that they are all committing crimianl offences by providing false information so as to pervert the course of justice for people that they hardly know. Or you are saying that they are all incompetent and can't tell a bad back from a fibber (it's not that hard to assess by looking at movement ranges etc).

How would you feel if people started pointing out that teachers are mostly lazy, poorly educated and earn far more than is justified considering their huge long holidays?