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'Prisons in the UK are too soft on criminals' Discuss

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Jim B

on 24 November 2013

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Transcript of 'Prisons in the UK are too soft on criminals' Discuss

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
'Prisons in the UK are too soft on criminals'

Minor Crimes
Highest Recidivism rates (many serve multiple short sentences) 60%
Short sentences are not effective
Comparison with Canada - Juvenile Bootcamps
Major Crimes
Sentence often doesn't fit crime
Prisons described as 'holiday camps (£40,000) Crime, Punishment and the People
Comparison with China - Death Penalty
White Collar Crimes
Often goes unnoticed in society
Moneyed criminals often get a lesser sentence
Prisons are too weak to defeat widespread problem
Comparison to Germany - tax avoidance
Non-Custodial Sentences
Lord Chief Justice said “neither the public nor sentencers have sufficient confidence in the community alternative”.
Rigorous community programmes can be more challenging and demanding than a short prison sentence where nothing is expected of the offender.

For Adults there are 5 community payback orders:
Community Rehabilitation Order
Community Punishment Order
Community Punishment and Rehabilitation Order
Electronically Tagging
Drug Treatment and Testing Order
Additionally there are also fines, compensation orders, exclusion orders etc…

Minor Crimes
Major Crimes

Crime - an act harmful to individual/community/state which is forbidden and punishable by Law.
We have divided crime into three main area;
Minor Crimes - theft, breach of peace, drunk driving etc
Major Crimes - murder, rape, torture, kidnapping etc
White Collar Crimes - fraud, tax evasion, blackmail etc
Definitely clear that there is two sides to argument.
We believe each type of crime deserves its own conclusion;
Minor Crimes - non-custodial sentences are more suitable ie. rehabilitation methods
Major Crimes - sides to both argument
White Collar Crimes - punishments are too soft for these criminals

Useful Links




Minor Crimes in the UK account for around 64% of all crime. Prisons cost the tax-payer £27,000 per prisoner a year, more than per student at state funded schools. This highlights that cheaper alternaties to prison for minor crimes is a more suitable alterntive.

Non-custodial sentences are in fact used for the large majority of offenders in the UK. Every day around 485 convicted offenders begin community sentences supervised by the Probation service in England and Wales.
The latest criminal justice statistics (2012) show nearly a third – 31.2 per cent – of defendants convicted of serious offences (Crown Court offences) last year had 15 or more previous convictions or cautions.
The Ministry of Justice's quarterly update said this figures was an increase of 13.3 per cent since 2001.

This shows that re-offending criminals tend to commit more violent crimes due to drink and drug addiction, with prison sentences rarely solving the underlying problem of dependency.

"Prison sentences have got longer, more people are going to custody – there is no evidence that that in itself works," she said. What we can see is that prisons have got overcrowded and they are finding it harder, because they have turned into warehouses, to deilver that reduction in re-offending that the public expects."

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