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Prison sentences
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vidcapper
post Feb 6 2018, 12:06 PM
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Paul Hyett
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... and criminal punishments in general.

I realise that they are very much circumstance-dependant, but in general, do you think they are too soft, too hard, or about right?
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Suedehead2
post Feb 6 2018, 02:06 PM
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Per head of population, we lock up more people than any other western democracy apart from the USA. As the crime rate is comparable to the rest of Europe, that would suggest that sentences are too severe.
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Dexton
post Feb 6 2018, 02:09 PM
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rip in peace Dickston
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You do you crime you do the time, but if the crime is drug dealing and the time is longer than that of a murderers - some serious recalibration of the prison system needs to take place
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vidcapper
post Feb 6 2018, 02:49 PM
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QUOTE(Suedehead2 @ Feb 6 2018, 02:06 PM) *
Per head of population, we lock up more people than any other western democracy apart from the USA. As the crime rate is comparable to the rest of Europe, that would suggest that sentences are too severe.


But you seem to be talking about the *numbers* of people being convicted, rather than the level of punishment they receive, which is a separate issue.
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Suedehead2
post Feb 6 2018, 05:11 PM
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QUOTE(vidcapper @ Feb 6 2018, 02:49 PM) *
But you seem to be talking about the *numbers* of people being convicted, rather than the level of punishment they receive, which is a separate issue.

Prison numbers have been increasing steadily for well over 20 years. For most of that time crime has been falling.

Just look at reports of trials elsewhere in Europe which result in someone getting what would be considered lenient here. Yet there is no indication that the sentences handed out are anything unusual.
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vidcapper
post Feb 7 2018, 06:41 AM
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But as I see it, if prison numbers are rising, then current sentences cannot be acting as a sufficient deterrent - so a rethink is needed on how to dissuade re-offending.
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Suedehead2
post Feb 7 2018, 08:46 AM
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There a several non-custodial sentences which have e a much better record of reducing reoffending. Of course, the Daily Mail doesn't want you to know that.
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Doctor Blind
post Feb 7 2018, 09:56 AM
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Oh Vid, the Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd podcast just did an episode on prison - episode 19 on the linked page. I heartily recommend that you listen to it! They even discuss with Lord Falconer (former Justice Secretary under Tony Blair) and he makes some very interesting points about how politicised this whole argument is, even to the point where the editor of the Sun in the 2000s Rebekah Brooks was encouraging him to develop prison ships!

QUOTE(vidcapper @ Feb 7 2018, 06:41 AM) *
But as I see it, if prison numbers are rising, then current sentences cannot be acting as a sufficient deterrent - so a rethink is needed on how to dissuade re-offending.


Oh I agree that a rethink is needed but as for current sentences not acting as a sufficient deterrent.. is that necessarily the case though? In Sweden where the sentences tend not to be as long their prison population has been falling over the past decade and the re-offending rates are also in decline, whereas in the UK where sentences tend to be much longer the re-offending rates remain stable and the prison population continues to grow:



Some of that growth is because convicted criminals are spending much more time in prison, not because more crime is being committed - indeed violent crime has seen a steady decline since 1995.



As for whether sentences are too long, just about right, too short - I don't think the answer is that straightforward unfortunately but I have answered too long as I think that is certainly the case for persistent offenders of non-violent crimes.


This post has been edited by Doctor Blind: Feb 7 2018, 09:59 AM
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vidcapper
post Feb 7 2018, 10:52 AM
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QUOTE(Suedehead2 @ Feb 7 2018, 08:46 AM) *
There a several non-custodial sentences which have e a much better record of reducing reoffending. Of course, the Daily Mail doesn't want you to know that.


I didn't even *mention* the Mail!

Of course, flogging would technically count as a non-custodial sentence... whistle.gif

[As people here delight in misinterpreting me at the slightest opportunity : just to be 100% clear, I'm not advocating it, just playing devils advocate again]


This post has been edited by vidcapper: Feb 7 2018, 10:58 AM
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