Take Raoul Moat for example - an ordinary bouncer from Gateshead who inadvertantly 'got caught up in crime' and assaulted someone.
Some idiot magistrate who probably read in the Mail that 'prison works' sent him down - and what happened ? He comes straight out and murders someone !
Armed officers are seeking Moat, 38, who is believed to have fired on the young victim, named locally as Samantha Stobbart, through the living room window. A man believed to be in his late 20s or early 30s was also shot dead outside the property in Birtley, Gateshead. He has not yet been named by police. Miss Stobbart, 22, who has a young daughter named Chanel, is thought to have been shot in the stomach and is now in a critical condition in hospital. Moat has previously worked as a nightclub doorman and was released from jail on Thursday after serving time for assault.
So our criminal justice system turns a man into a murderer with one short sentence ! Nobody gets a long sentence for a little thing like assault nowadays, do they ?
As Rob Allen of the Centre For Crime But No Justice Studies puts it :
His recognition in today's speech at King's College London that there are more people in prison than necessary is as welcome as it is overdue. His description of prison as often costly and ineffectual marks a return to late 1980s Conservative policy under Douglas Hurd, which saw that far from working, "imprisonment can often be an expensive way of making bad people worse."
UPDATE - that short sentence has done even more damage than we thought.
Police said the uniformed motor patrol officer was carrying out a "static patrol" on a roundabout joining the A1 and A69 when he was attacked. He suffered a gun shot wound and was taken to Newcastle General Hospital.I suppose it's no surprise that Rob Allen is on board. I've just taken a look at Ian Duncan-Smith's Centre for Social Justice site. Who's on the Working Groups ?
Aslyum - Bob Holman, the holy fool of Easterhouse. Did they really ever send asylum seekers there ? That is what I call cruelty. And an asylum seeker, of course.
Courts and Sentencing - well, there's the chair of the Prisoners Education Trust, anti-prison activist Enver Solomon, deputy dawg at the anti-prison 'charity' based at King's College London. And who's this 'advisor' - no less than Rob Allen, director of same 'charity' !
Social Cohesion don't look too promising, either, given the presence of a Peace Studies lecturer whose book has 'a foreword by Jon Snow'.
Economic dependency looks a bit 50-50, Early Years seems full of pointy-heads .. only the Police Reform working group looks sound - Ray Mallon, Norman Dennis, David Green, Ken Pease (possibly the only non-Guardianista criminologist in existence). Even they have Steve Green, former head of Notts Police and the guy who in August 2005 issued his force with green ribbons "to show solidarity with the Muslim community after a series of racist attacks".
Prison reform - uber-liberal Rod "The Master" Morgan and James Monahan, the double murderer who writes for the Guardian - the CJS give him his pen-name. He also features (with Rob Allen again and some NACRO guy) in the Youth Justice area.
What we're seeing in Ken Clarke's "Back To The 80's" initiative is a toxic synergy between the desire of the Tories to cut government spending and the desire of the liberal establishment to bang no man up except racists and smokers. They pretend that a few more social workers and probation officer chats will cut crime and he pretends to believe them.
This is cost centre management at its very worst. Ken will save on the headline costs while passing on even more of the cost of crime, financial, social, moral, psychological, to individuals, families and communities.
Looks like the Cameroon honeymoon is the shortest on record.