Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Another Day ...

Another Home Office initiative overturned by the courts.

The government has been acting unlawfully by keeping prisoners in jail longer than necessary, judges say. The Appeal Court ruling came in a case brought by a sex offender who had been handed an indeterminate jail sentence. Under the sentence offenders are given a minimum tariff, but must prove they are no longer a danger to the public before they can be released. David Walker argued he cannot be considered for release because his jail does not offer a parole course. The Court of Appeal ruled there "was a general and systemic legal failure".

Jon Silverman illustrates the traditional BBC bias.

The High Court judgement will have come as no surprise to ministers. They were put on notice by the chairman of the parole board, Sir Duncan Nichol, six months ago that increased use of the indeterminate public protection sentence (IPP) by judges was having serious implications for prison management. He revealed that official projections showed that, if unchecked, the number of IPP prisoners at any one time would reach 12,500 within five years, far outstripping the "lifer" population of jails in England and Wales.

Either Jon Silverman is talking nonsense, or the High Court are breaking the law, surely. Since when have the number of prisoners banged up under a given law affected whether an individual can be released ?

"given the sheer number of IPP prisoners - the latest government figure, given in May 2007, was 2,547 - it is impossible at present for every inmate to complete a course before their tariff expires."

I see. These are serious offenders, considered likely to reoffend - and there are a lot more of them than the CJS thought, and the people aren't there to deal with them (obviously in my ideal world they wouldn't need so many staff. How many do you need to turn a key ?). Now where have I heard that before ?

Known sex offenders are living unchecked in the community because there are too many of them to be monitored regularly, according to research commissioned by the Home Office. The rapidly growing number of people registered as violent criminals or sex attackers is threatening to overwhelm the police, probation officers and social workers who have to keep them under supervision.

The number of people on the sex offenders register in 2005-06 was 29,973, a 4 per cent increase on the figure for the previous year. In the same year there were 14,317 violent offenders who were supposed to be subject to regular supervision, a rise of 13 per cent on the 12 months before. Another 3,363 offenders were deemed to require supervision after sentencing or after release from prison.

The number of offenders required to register is certain to increase, with ministers widening the scope of the sex offenders register to include more sexually motivated crimes.

Like this evil pervert.

A man who pinched a Channel 4 News presenter's bottom during a live broadcast is being sought by police. Sue Turton was speaking to the camera from Oxford's flood-hit Osney Island when the man was seen on film walking past her. She said she found the incident "quite humiliating" but continued reporting. She does not wish to pursue the matter.

The Guardian, stern foe of sexual harassment, thoughtfully provides a link to Youtube footage.

It is understood the force wanted to press for a tougher penalty and was "not particularly happy" about giving the man a fixed-penalty notice but that Turton's refusal to press charges limited their action.


Anonymous said...

David Blunkett was interviewed on the Today programme yesterday on IPP's and blatently stated that it was the fault of the judges. He was of course lying, but as usual he got a soft ride from the BBC since he is spreadiing the propaganda that this government is both ethical and competent; whereas most of the population would find this risable.

Snafu said...

"Since when have the number of prisoners banged up under a given law affected whether an individual can be released ?"

I thought MPs were concerned that not enough men are being convicted of rape each year...

Anonymous said...

Sir Duncan Nichol, was bloody useless running the NHS...found him a new sinecure did they ?

Sir Duncan has a distinguished career in healthcare management and was chief executive of the National Health Service from 1989-94. More recently he has developed his interest in offenders and offending, having been a non-executive director of the Prison Service and currently Chairman of the Prison and Probation Services Accreditation Panel for Offending Behaviour Programmes. He is also a Commissioner for Judicial Appointments.