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Prison sentences could be served in the army instead of prison

Comment 2nd July 2010

Most criminals are young males. Young males from broken homes, with poor education and poor future prospects. They want nice things, but sadly resort to crime to get it.

Currently, when such a person commits a crime, they are either sent to prison for a few months (where they are among like minded criminals who "normalise" their criminal activities and teach them more advanced methods) or they are let back into the same communities that they have terrorised for months, on the tag system, where they can proudly show off their "tag" as a badge of honour to their peers.

It needs to change. Ken Clarke said that prisons aren't working. He's right. They're overcrowded with people whose lives are on pause, sleeping and waiting for food whilst watching tv' and playing on PlayStations.

We need to instill a sense of national pride and respect into these people. We need to place them into an environment that teaches them the skills they never learned. We need them to be surrounded by people they can look up to and have respect for. We need the condition to be "if you can't learn to work as part of this team, it could cost you your life tomorrow".

Conscript these wrongdoers into the army for the length of their sentence. Give them a uniform and boots and ship them out to the nearest drill camp in preparation for their duty of service either in the uk or abroad.

Let them complete an NVQ in engineeering, vehicle mechanics, catering or similar…basically teach them a trade whilst in the army. Let them learn from our respected soldiers before they return to our communties and let them come back into society reformed, re-educated and with a new found respect as well as a brighter future ahead.

Why does this matter?

Although Ken Clarke has said that prison isn't working, it does not mean that the alternative should be no sentence at all or other forms of community service (which places criminals back amongst the very people effected by the crime).

People commiting crime, especially against other human beings, effects us all. It makes us anxious about leaving our homes, kids or property.

Currently though, it costs too much to keep prisoners in prison and the government are looking for other methods of crime punishment and prevention.

Removing the offender from their community and then being made to serve at Her Majesty's Pleasure is good for the victims of crime. It ensures us that we have system that looks after us, and not them.

Sending the criminal to serve in the army would go much further in his rehabilitation than sitting playing on a PlayStation all day. It would be much cheaper for the taxpayer and would certainly be worth thinking about.

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