‘Pay by Results’ Will Cut Re-offending? Don’t Make Me Laugh!

I swear, sometimes I hang my head in shame at some of the stupid ideas politicians come up with. According to a report out last week, they want to release prisoners early and support them by giving them housing, employment and financial assistance in a scheme called ‘Pay by Results’. According to the ‘experts’ this would decrease re-offending by a ‘massive’ (their words) 2.6%.

Chris Grayling

Chris Grayling

Wow! 2.6%, now that is a real eye opener! So what they are telling us is that for every 100 prisoners released from jail early, two would not re-offend because they have been given somewhere to live, a job, and cash. I am sure there will be a friendly social worker there to tuck them up in bed too!

The news was given out at a lecture by the ‘think-tank’ Civitas, and at the meeting Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is quoted as saying, “Britain’s problem is less about offending and more about re-offending”. Well that is one thing he got right. A pity he does not realize why criminals re-offend so easily.  The statistics for the past thirty years clearly show that  most short prison term criminals re-offend, sometimes within days of release. The following graphic shows the figures for Scotland which are also representative of the whole UK.

3% Re-Offending Rate For 2 To 4 Years Or More – 11% For Those Serving Between 6 To 24 Months – 50% Rate For Those Serving Less Than 3 Months. There Has To Be A Lesson Here!

Because our prisons are at capacity, according to the do-gooders, the justice system has for many years been loath to add to the prison population, and more often than not law breakers get either a ‘slap on the wrist’ or lily-livered community service, which all criminals consider a joke. Mr. Grayling said at the lecture: “If you are serving time in prison, on average you will have committed an astonishing 41 previous offences.” The mind boggles! 41 prior offences before they are locked up – it’s ridiculous! And that is only the offences they are actually arrested for.

The oft quoted argument that Britain’s prisons are overcrowded makes me wonder why the Justice Ministry announced last January that they are to close seven prisons (within months) and reduce capacity at two more with a loss of 2,600 places! There are plans to build new ones and add to existing prisons but surely it would be better to have the new places ready first rather than the other way around. I can understand the necessity of such a move as our old Victorian prisons cost a fortune in upkeep, but it is wise to remember that with current trends the prison population is set to continue growing.

Re-Offending Rates Versus Sentence

Re-Offending Rates Versus Sentence

The statistics have long proven that the only way to stop prisoners from re-offending is a hefty prison sentence. Very few prisoners who have been locked up for more than two years actually re-offend, but the number who do after only a few weeks or months in prison is staggering. Now they think that ‘nanny’ tactics will sort out the vicious Neanderthal youth we have on the streets today. Think again Mr. Grayling! build more prisons, get rid of the TV’s and games, let them do hard labour, and make a prison sentence something to be feared once again. Then you will see a drop in re-offending!

Roy.

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