Ministers consider ending jail terms of six months or less - source BBC News

Discussion in 'News and Current Affairs' started by SpokeyDokey, 12 Jan 2019.

  1. SpokeyDokey

    SpokeyDokey 20% through Decade 7. Yikes! Moderator

    Except for violent crimes or sexual offences but not including burglary.

    I'm not down-playing the above mentioned crimes but burglary is a traumatic experience for the victim. My daughter (now 37) was 5 when our home was burgled and was in a terrible state for months afterwards and often needed a fair bit of gentle coercion to get her to enter the house. Her sleeping was also badly disturbed. for many months.

    Seems like a backward step to me despite the assertion that community sentences are more effective.
    Salty seadog likes this.
  2. Diogenes

    Diogenes Opinions, schminions

    Political and financial pressure to reduce the prison population means statistics, studies and reports will be found or cherry-picked for public consumption to justify this.
    SpokeyDokey and Salty seadog like this.
  3. Diogenes

    Diogenes Opinions, schminions

    Anecdotal but hey-ho.

    My wife's first husband was a thief. As a boy he'd stolen from his school-mates, his family and shops. After he was married he stole cars and motorbikes, robbed post offices, shops, collection tins at ex-Serviceman's clubs. He burgled for fun, sometimes not even stealing anything just defecating on the carpet. He stole to order and would climb up the outside of tenements to steal bikes left on balconies 3 floors high. He was caught many times, the police knew him. They even beat him up - comprehensively - after he robbed an elderly postmaster and refused to tell them where the money was. The thing is, he knew people. I don't know how but every single time he was up in front of the court it was the same Judge and he never received a custodial sentence. He knew how to play the game and despite admitting to over 300 offences over the 10 years she knew him, he never spent more than a few days in a custody suite at Dundee's Bell St police station. Jail was the only thing that scared him and he often fretted in the lead up to a court case that he might get a different judge who'd imprison him, but he never did.

    Community sentences were a joke to him. He'd turn up on Day 1, a few quid would change hands (or an order taken for a burglary), a form was signed and he never went back.
    SpokeyDokey likes this.
  4. gavroche

    gavroche Getting old but not past it

    North Wales
    In many cases, justice is just a joke these days.
    SpokeyDokey likes this.
  5. Adam4868

    Adam4868 Veteran

    Send someone to prison for six months,they'll probally do three months.What do you think they will have gained in 3 months inside ? Do you think it will teach them a lesson or rehabilitation ?
    C R, tom73 and Bromptonaut like this.
  6. lane

    lane Über Member

    No but at least for 3 months they won't be robbing people. I think the answer if 6 months is ineffective lock them up for longer. I usually find myself on the more liberal side of the argument but in this case not so much.
  7. Adam4868

    Adam4868 Veteran

    It's not really about being liberal it's about rehabilitation.Do short sentences inside help someone ? No there's a high percentage who go on to re offend.
    Does maybe Community service help someone to try and make something.of themselves.I think you'll find probally more than Prison
  8. lane

    lane Über Member

    I very much doubt community sentences achieve anything.
    classic33 likes this.
  9. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member

    Another anecdotal experience. A long term friend of our, her grandson was an utter sh1te in his mid teens, prolific car thief, always up to no good, never seemed to care one jot about anyone or anything.
    When he eventually got a custodial...he cried like a baby in his first visit a few days after being put Inside, scared to death. At that point you could argue, had he been released, he'd have remembered the horror it was to him As it was, he got through it and hardened continue his prolific thieving later.
    Years later, he's actually a fairly nice fella, works, has a family etc etc.

    Short sharp shock could have worked well for him. Longer term jail didn't seem to work.
  10. Adam4868

    Adam4868 Veteran

    As opposed to prison ? Do you really think 3 months inside is going to turn someone around.We have a ever growing prison population that's understaffed and full of drugs and violence.
    tom73 likes this.
  11. Bromptonaut

    Bromptonaut Rohan Man

    Bugbrooke UK
    I doubt you'll find any decent research to back up the 'short sharp shock' theory or any positive outcome from short sentences that is not massively outweighed by failure and damage.
    theclaud and gbb like this.
  12. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    Burglary is a horrible crime, however just about any debate with modern policing in the age of austerity and the part-privatised probation system is going to be fairly divorced from the reality of politicians.

    I think it's a good idea overall, but I'm not sure how it's going to work with even more casework to supervise and the above^^.
  13. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    Prison should mainly be for the dangerous, the professionals and repeat offenders. Many of those serving short terms are individuals who just can't cope and have addiction problems or have no education and come from a deprived background. They still need to be held to account for their actions but the main emphasis should be on helping them turn their lives round.
    tyred, theclaud, FishFright and 2 others like this.
  14. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    The value of deterrent is hard to quantify - we can never know why Johnny Tealeaf passes several houses without burgling them.

    Easier to explain why he did burgle - he was on drugs, depressed, dropped on his head when he was a baby, etc.

    What is certain is that most offenders do not like going to jail.

    Yes, some can 'do the time', but they absolutely do not enjoy it.

    Telling Johnny Tealeaf - if he does the job right - he cannot go to prison for burgling a house is a retrograde step because it removes one of impediments which stops him breaking in to places.
    lane likes this.
  15. nickyboy

    nickyboy Norven Mankey

    What's the criminal justice system for? It's to stop people doing criminal things. Now that takes several forms;

    Locking perpetrators up so they physically can't do criminal things

    Acting as a deterrent to not do criminal things

    Being a process to change the individual so they don't reoffend

    There's very little evidence to show that short custodial sentences do the above. They just cost us a fortune. There is evidence to show non custodial sentences work, particularly the third one. And they're way cheaper than incarceration
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