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Young offenders: alternatives to prison

Comment 29th July 2010

1)  Prison should be a last resort for young offenders, and only used for the most serious crimes.

2)  In most cases even a short stay in prison will take them from one bad peer group to one that is even worse.

3)  I suggest that they be sent instead on a spell of overseas service. They should be firmly, but fairly supervised, but would be unikely to abscond from, say, an African village. They will perhaps be doing something useful for the first time in their lives, witha more motivated peer group. They will be helping others worse off than themselves, and will no longer be at the bottom of the heap – good for their low self esteem.

4)  If they are still unmoved perhaps they could be sent to give support to our troops in Afghanistan.

5)  As we have overcrowded prisons and it costs a great deal to keep someone idle I suggest that only those who are a danger to society should be banged up. Financial criminals are not a danger. They should be hit very hard in the wallet, including asset seizure, and including assets transferred to family members. If this fails they would of course have to go to prison, and we will have to pay.

6)  There is no point in imprisoning motoring offenders. They are only a danger behind the wheel. Bans and fines are the answer.

 

Martin of Sevenoaks

Why does this matter?

Because we need to save money and re-motivate offenders.


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