Monday, August 01, 2011

Jim Devine Released

On May 26th MP David Chaytor was released after serving four and a half months of his 18 month sentence for fiddling his expenses. Today Jim Devine was released after just 4 months of his 16 month stretch for the same offence.

So you now get out after just one quarter of your sentence- that really sends out a stern message to budding criminals. Still it keeps the statistics down which is all that really matters.

Is it just me who thinks that a 16 month sentence should mean er... 16 months?


Anonymous said...

You are surprised by this? I suggest looking at the police blogs like <a href=">Inspector Gadget's</a> (although I recommend avoiding the "Dawn will break (eventually)" post as it will either depress you a lot or raise your blood pressure a lot).

Admittedly a quarter seems a bit lower than usual, but half the sentence "on the packet" is very common.

Anonymous said...

oops, forgot a " there. Let's try again.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, Britain has historically allowed the possibility of remission--classic 'carrot and stick'. In the soft copy of this 1907 book is an extract of contemporary prison regulations, which included:

... He shall be allotted marks according to the degrees of industry, seven marks for a fair, but moderate day's work, eight marks for a day's steady hard labour and the full performance of his allotted task. A prisoner can thus by good conduct shorten his sentence by one-fourth. ...

Even those convicted of a hanging offence and later reprieved could look forward to release:

A prisoner under sentence for penal servitude for life must not expect his release until he has completed twenty years' imprisonment, nor will any number of marks be taken to represent his sentence. However, his marks earned will be recorded, and in due time considered by the Secretary of State. ...

Of course, these days it's almost all carrot and hardly any stick; but when prisoners will always outnumber their guards, there has to be some carrot.

Anonymous said...

'So you now get out after just one quarter of your sentence'

Sorry Frank, there's no 'now' about it; it's been like this since at least 1997.

And they only went inside in the first place because they are being made an example of, last week, I met a criminal with 8 convictions for burglary who had never served a day's adult detention in his life!