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One in three serious offenders has 15 or more convictions of cautions


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#21 meditate

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 09:40 PM

Stewie I would agree with what you are saying. One of the conundrums is around balance between punishment and dealing with re-offending. I am not arguing for a light approach across the board. There are some crimes where I think the sentences are an insult to victims and the length of incarceration unduly light. Equally I feel that more ought to be done in dealing with people who could benefit from interventions but do not get much meaningful support. Support interestingly does not have to mean leniency either. If we want to warehouse people then we will need more prison spaces. With the economy the way it is this will incur a cost but so will intervention programs. There is no easy answer and rhetoric from govts about dealing with reoffenders will stay just that I fear. In answer to why we should care about what happens to offenders I would base on what happens if we dont? If we accept that prisons are not a cheap option then we need to be looking at alternatives if at all feasible. In some ways I feel that the way our system works does count against people. At a low level example one only has to look on this site about how a single act committed as a teenager can have an impact on your whole life via an enhanced CRB. When we look at the recent PCC elections Simon Weston who wanted to stand could not because of something on his CRB from many years ago and another person had to pull out due to his CRB but I understand then got it overturned and allowed to stand. My point being that whilst we do have a tendency to be too lenient at times on the punishment of crime we also have to look at the other side of the coin and see the damaging effects that both labelling and non intervention can have. When some of us look back on our earlier lives sometimes it will be there but for the grace of god go i.


Edited by meditate, 24 February 2013 - 09:42 PM.


#22 morek54

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 09:52 PM

You are very good at using terms such as 'do gooder' and 'hug a hoodie' in a sarcastic manner as a put down for any view that on the face of it does not seem to fit what could be construed as your ultra conservative right wing ramblings. In effect you are putting forward a black and white perspective that is saying people are either completely law abiding or, must be habitual criminals. For the sake of clarification are you saying that all 'poor souls' who fall on the wrong side of the law are all habitual criminals? Because that is how it is reading IMO. Such a statement would be nonsense. Whilst there will always be those who will not benefit from interventions other than being locked up are you saying this is the case for all? I would like to see your evidence where rehab is a complete waste of time and just locking them up works (I dont need to hear the whilst they are locked up they are not doing crime argument as we both know they will come out at some point). 

Ouch!  I think I hit a nerve there...

 

Let me put your mind at rest, though:  I'm do not use the term "do-gooder" sarcastically, rather as a term I feel adequately describes those I am referring to.  I can think of nothing more apt.

 

Secondly, simply arguing that we should have a tougher, more robust criminal justice system does not necessarily make me ultra conservative or guilty of right wing ramblings.  Despite the obvious amusement those comments caused me, I did then start to wonder -  maybe you're trying some meaningful intervention on me here.  That is trying to rehabilitate me into a liberal "hug-a-hoodie" type.  Well, good luck with that...

 

On a serious note though, I think you don't particularly grasp the points I've been making.  Clearly, not all those who fall foul of the law are habitual criminals.  I have never said that.  If you look at the original post though, it's about prolific offenders and how we deal with them.  My view is, the sort of leniency shown here tends to breed contempt, fails to adequately set boundaries and that there should be a more impactive punishment at a much earlier stage in the offending cycle.  I'm not talking about chopping their hands off.  Or stringing people up for stealing a car.  You'd think I was though.  I'm simply talking about less tolerance, effective punishment and a justice system that delivers justice first and foremost. Hardly right-wing ramblings, as disparaging as I am of the liberals "do-gooders", who always seem to know best and tend to dismiss, I might add, any view which doesn't fit with their own as insidious right-wing propaganda (or ramblings, as you put it). 

 

Someone who makes a one-off mistake, unless very serious, is unlikely to end up in prison.  In terms of rehabilitation we are largely talking about those who haven't made a one-off mistake, rather those who have repeated their mistakes time and time again.  The problem is, many who end up in prison only end up there once the Judge or Magistrates have little choice left other than to send them to prison because all the "soft" alternatives (reprimands, cautions, community service, curfews, drug rehabilitation orders etc.) have been a distinct and unremitting failure.  That we arrive at a point where the focus is on trying to rehabilitate those who have chosen a life of crime is in itself indicative of a failing system that has simply failed to keep their behaviour in check in the first place.  But the point I make, when we talk of prison and rehabilitation here, in reality we're not talking about someone's who's made a one-off mistake.  Those that have and end up in prison likely fall in the category of those who are unlikely to re offend in any case, primarily because they are likely to be the one's who cope least well in prison and never want to go back. 

 

So can I suggest focusing on the topic and considering my views, whether you agree with them or not, in the context of the topic at hand - and that is habitual offenders committing crime time and time again.  Which brings me back to my original point: sort them out before it ever gets to that stage.  Dare I mention short, sharp, shock?.. Maybe not..

 

When all is said and done though, I do have extensive experience of working in the Criminal Justice System.  I have no idea if you have comparative experience, perhaps you can enlighten me.  Each view is as valid as the next.  But if you choose to dismiss my views out of hand, that's fine. You might at least acknowledge I do speak from a position of roughtly 20 years personal experience of dealing with criminals, the justice system and the courts.

 

In conclusion this is a Police forum and whilst I appreciate you don't want to hear that whilst they're locked up they're not out committing crime, you might be in the wrong place - because that's a fact


Edited by morek54, 24 February 2013 - 09:55 PM.


#23 meditate

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:07 PM

I have taken my diazepam now (legally of course!). I am a bad buddhist and could have been a bit more 'considerate' in my response perhaps? Moving on to the serious points though it must be disheartening in your job to see the someone walk with a slap on the wrist for committing the 17th crime or whatever.  Personally I think the judiciary have a difficult balancing act to achieve. It is not unheard of for a sentencing Judge to say he is constrained by sentencing guidelines and has to give a more lenient sentence than they would have wished. Equally you get Judges rulings at the other end of the spectrum where you question their judgement in their awards. 

 

I dont have any real experience except what I read in the papers (so it must be true!). Seriously though, the closest work I have done is work in a Regional Secure Unit for a short while where the decisions about effectiveness of interventions and trust in the person was pretty high stakes. Pretty limited experience granted. Like most of the population though individuals tend to have a view along a spectrum of where they stand on the subject.



#24 intheblitz

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:30 PM

I always love the comment "whilst in prison, they're not out committing crime". True as that may be, plenty of crime is committed IN prison, but somehow it's against "bad people" so that really doesn't count. However these "bad people" are normally released one day and join the good side again. Locking people up if just geography. Proper rehabilitation actually stops the crime occuring in the first place.

#25 DoubleG

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:39 PM

How about some people are just bad and will always be bad. Rehab or no rehab.

#26 stewie_griffin

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:33 PM

...plenty of crime is committed IN prison, but somehow it's against "bad people" so that really doesn't count.

 

Couldn't have put it better myself.



#27 SimonT

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:45 AM

".plenty of crime is committed IN prison, but somehow it's against "bad people" so that really doesn't count."- I dont really mind this all that much. Its almost as if prison is not the nicest place to be. There is also the possibility that its part of rehab, letting the criminals know what its like to be victims of crime. 

 

At the moment the only guaranteed way to prevent prolific offenders committing crime is to put them in prison. If someone can come up with another way then thats fine, but no one has.



#28 Sub-seven

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:59 AM

Lethal injection?



#29 morek54

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 10:04 AM

I always love the comment "whilst in prison, they're not out committing crime". True as that may be, plenty of crime is committed IN prison, but somehow it's against "bad people" so that really doesn't count. However these "bad people" are normally released one day and join the good side again. Locking people up if just geography. Proper rehabilitation actually stops the crime occuring in the first place.

What is proper rehabilitation?  Does it exist at present?  If the re offending rates are anything to go by, it either doesn't exist or it doesn't work.  Therefore, where is the basis in fact for saying that "proper rehabilitation" works.  There seems to be little to make that judgement against.  But what is clear is that it doesn't stop crime in the first place as rehabilitation, or attempts at, will normally follow crimes having already occurred.  Naturally.

 

I appreciate there is a discussion to be had in respect of the criminal justice system and what does or doesn't work.  Or what might or might not work.  But we shouldn't also loose sight of the fact that the criminal justice system is first and foremost about holding those who break the law to account and duly punishing them for the crimes they have committed.  And when all is said and done, there surely has to be a degree of effectiveness at that point which seems lacking.  Rehabilitation, as I say elsewhere, is more as I see it a lame attempt to shut the barn door after the horse has bolted.  The point I make is that many offenders, by the time the go to prison, are hardened and entrenched in their ways and life style.  To think that can be easily turned around is fanciful idealism.  In my opinion.  It's not as simplistic as that.  There has to be a willingness to change or reform on the individual - and many of these people grow into and exists within a sub-culture, which they will always be a part of primarily because their outside life revolves around and is influenced by that particular life-style.  A life-style, I might add, that few on the outside who never encroach daily into their lives can ever really understand or appreciate. 

 

Of course, there will always be those who have simply gone through a bad time, rebelled in their youth for example, and grow out of their offending.  Meet a girl, settle down and have kids.  Grow up for want of a better word.  There might also be those, who continue offending to some degree or another but manage to avoid being caught again.  On the face of it, someone might claim credit for rehabilitating such individuals - but rehabilitation really does depend on the individual.  Others can only do so much - and what they cannot do is alter external influences once the offender returns to his/her life on the outside. Of course, we also have to acknowledge some people are just plain bad.  They always will be.  For others, crime pays.  Prison is but an inconvenience.  But it's how they earn their bread on the outside.  At the higher end of the scale, some enjoy far better life-styles than many of us here.  These are life choices, let's be realistic, which will never be easily relinquished.  Let's not kid ourselves.

 

I just think there is undue focus on the term rehabilitation and that the assumption that it is somehow the solution to the problems is severely misguided.   Especially when there appears to be no due consideration paid to what it actually looks like and what can realistically be achieved. 

 

Rehabilitation, as far as government ministers are concerned more to the point, means deflecting the blame elsewhere.  That is, pointing the finger of blame towards those working within the system who have presumably failed in making those who come through the system into better humans, when in reality they (and successive governments) have repeatedly neglected to address the real issues.  Smoke and mirrors, if you like.  As ever.



#30 Sub-seven

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 01:39 PM

What is proper rehabilitation?  Does it exist at present?  If the re offending rates are anything to go by, it either doesn't exist or it doesn't work.  Therefore, where is the basis in fact for saying that "proper rehabilitation" works.  There seems to be little to make that judgement against.  But what is clear is that it doesn't stop crime in the first place as rehabilitation, or attempts at, will normally follow crimes having already occurred.  Naturally.

I have 17 years service and find that the same names crop all the time whether it be druggies, house breakers, drug dealers or breach merchants and now I find that the sons (and daughters) have followed the same career path and feature on the bulletins as well now - cosy.



#31 stewie_griffin

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 03:11 PM

I have 17 years service and find that the same names crop all the time whether it be druggies, house breakers, drug dealers or breach merchants and now I find that the sons (and daughters) have followed the same career path and feature on the bulletins as well now - cosy.

 

I can go one better than that...

 

I've been out of the UK for five years now but I still keep in touch by reading the online version of my old local newspaper. The other day, the police ran a big operation and arrested and charged a load of small-time drug dealers. Would you believe it,as I went through the list I remember arresting every single one of them!



#32 meditate

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 04:16 PM

Not wishing to appear soft (!) but I do wonder what options are open to people when they get a criminal record. For me depending on the charge it could easily mean the loss of my job and, with a criminal conviction in this economic environment it must make it several times harder to secure employment - I guess the only options open are self employment, a relative who owns his own business or continue a life of crime. My main point being that it feels like a quite a serious big hole to get yourself out of (yes I know they made their bed etc).



#33 DoubleG

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:05 AM

What about prison being somewhere where no-one would ever want to return, therefore proving to be a deterrent to crime?

#34 Sub-seven

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:17 AM

Dream on...



#35 SimonT

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:53 AM

Alwasy said we should have one prison, where there is no rehab, no fully stuff, no tv, radio, books, anything. Just a cot bed and hard labour every day. Then we could at least try 'you have one more chance and then its off to hell island!' (dun dun dun!) 



#36 meditate

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 09:04 AM

Alwasy said we should have one prison, where there is no rehab, no fully stuff, no tv, radio, books, anything. Just a cot bed and hard labour every day. Then we could at least try 'you have one more chance and then its off to hell island!' (dun dun dun!) 

 

Would that be the Isle of Wight?

 

 

Or the Isle of Wong


Edited by meditate, 26 February 2013 - 09:05 AM.


#37 SimonT

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 09:07 AM

I wouldnt have a problem with an island like that. A bit like escape from New york, just chuck them on and leave them to it. 



#38 DoubleG

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:45 AM

Alwasy said we should have one prison, where there is no rehab, no fully stuff, no tv, radio, books, anything. Just a cot bed and hard labour every day. Then we could at least try 'you have one more chance and then its off to hell island!' (dun dun dun!) 


....rings Ant and Dec

#39 dolly1966

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:56 AM

"I am serving a Custodial Sentence GET ME OUT OF HERE"   :tongue:






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