Tuesday, September 20, 2005


The Guardian on crime and punishment.

"a welcome and long overdue rebalancing of the criminal justice system, which hopefully will end the hardline and counter-productive era introduced by Michael Howard in 1993. A prison population that took four decades to increase by 11,000 between 1951 and 1991, climbed by 25,000 in the following decade, despite the largest and the most sustained fall in crime for more than a century."

Er ... any chance with replacing the word 'despite' with the words 'resulting in' ?

Or pointing out that while the prison population was increasing by 20%, crime rose by 1,000% - ten times ? And putting the 'large and sustained fall' in this context ?

"thousands of the 77,000 inside should not be there. They are the victims of other public service failings: one quarter having been taken into care as children, half have no qualifications from school, three-quarters have at least two mental disorders"

Public service failings ? The Guardian must be desperate for an argument. Isn't the State supposed to be 'the best possible nanny to all children' ? I'd have thought being taken into care implied failings in the child's parents. And aren't mental disorders and low qualifications much more likely when a child isn't brought up by two parents ?

Boldly he wants to align penal policy with the government's social goals of widening access to education and health.

Good idea - align it with the other failing policies - like Sure Start.

He wants to see more community programmes for non-violent offenders as well as a network of community prisons to house those that require a jail sentence.

Ah, those non-violent offenders !

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