Keeping People Locked Up.(3 Posts)
A charity argues that only a few day release prisoners have harmed people and therefore it's OK to let dangerous offenders out in public. I can't help thinking that it's not OK at all. And that, even if it is only a few murderous lunatics which have hitherto done the damage that was a few too many.
I don't see that the PRT has a case at all. I'm no great supporter of our current government. But, I think in this case, it has got the answer right.
Completely agree with, I heard this story on the news this morning and found the statement that 'only a few' murders had happened incredibly insensitive.
I think it's worth copying here what the charity actually said, which throws a different light on it:
Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said: "For a government committed to rehabilitation, justice ministers should feel ashamed that only a quarter of men, and fewer than one in 10 women, leave prison with a job to go to, and proud that their well-established release on temporary licence programme has worked over years to help thousands of prisoners go straight on release.
"Now, in the face of a thankfully few terrible cases, and for the sake of a tough headline, they risk destroying a programme that has proved its worth instead of investigating its few failures and learning from its many successes."
I think she's right. It is unquestionably the case that the majority of prisoners eligible for day release have no history of violence, and that even if they have it is a one-off and/or they have been fully rehabilitated. All those people are being deprived of a chance to achieve skills and experience which will help them to get jobs and will keep them straight. Is it really worth throwing all that out of the window rather than making much better efforts to find out why the process has gone wrong in some cases and ensure there is no repetition?
After all, if you're going to take the line that no prisoner should ever be let out on day release because of the potential violence of a few, it follows logically that you are saying that no prisoner should ever be released at all. The risk of violence applies just as much at the end of a sentence as it does beforehand. But if we say that, that means keeping people inside for ever for even the most trivial offence, which is frankly ridiculous and, apart from anything else, would be incredibly expensive.
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