Fundamental Prison Reform

Before I start, I have to make it clear: 

There are some prisoners who will never be reformed. 

There are some who cannot be released, for the safety of the public. 

There are some who shouldn’t be released, due to the nature of the crime/s. 

Having said all that, apart from keeping those incarcerated away from the general public – and in that way helping to reduce crime – Prison fails miserably in its role of reforming those who repeatedly offend (those whom the general public have in mind, when they use the word ‘criminal’) 

So what’s wrong? 

For all the ‘offending behaviour’ courses – nothing changes. Because they have never learned … how to learn.  ‘Offending behaviour’ courses – to those who really need them –  are like trying to teach a ten year old the theory of relativity – in a foreign language. 

Many will take on a GCSE course, hoping to turn around their lives. Sadly, out of 40 or so pupils who sign up for a GCSE English course, maybe ten will finished it and pass. Of that ten, I doubt more than two will actually need it. Most will be relatively successful in their lives outside, having been convicted relatively late in life, after being involved in one-off offences. 

The other 30 who will have dropped out, are the ones who did need it. But they’ll invariably suffer from short attention spans; poor concentration. They’ll become bored because they can’t overcome even the most trivial obstacles, and feel they’re being left behind. Then they’ll try and regain control and save face – by storming out and quitting. Then the cycle of failure – poor self image – low expectations – re-offending becomes reinforced. 

Suppose that, instead of the ridiculous and easily manipulated route to parole or early release being gained by ‘showing remorse’ (For all the good that does anyone?) the early release – or parole, for sentences of 4 years and over – was earned – by the gaining of useful qualifications that would stand them in good stead with an employer – particularly GCSE English and GCSE Maths. 

And to make it a goal worth aiming for – alter the time of parole/early release earned proportional to the level of qualification achieved, from a minimum of, say, one third (less than that awarded now) up to a maximum of two thirds, (More than it is now) and as it was prior to the changes made in 1992  (which did little to reduce crime.)

Why is this idea important?

Before I start, I have to make it clear: 

There are some prisoners who will never be reformed. 

There are some who cannot be released, for the safety of the public. 

There are some who shouldn’t be released, due to the nature of the crime/s. 

Having said all that, apart from keeping those incarcerated away from the general public – and in that way helping to reduce crime – Prison fails miserably in its role of reforming those who repeatedly offend (those whom the general public have in mind, when they use the word ‘criminal’) 

So what’s wrong? 

For all the ‘offending behaviour’ courses – nothing changes. Because they have never learned … how to learn.  ‘Offending behaviour’ courses – to those who really need them –  are like trying to teach a ten year old the theory of relativity – in a foreign language. 

Many will take on a GCSE course, hoping to turn around their lives. Sadly, out of 40 or so pupils who sign up for a GCSE English course, maybe ten will finished it and pass. Of that ten, I doubt more than two will actually need it. Most will be relatively successful in their lives outside, having been convicted relatively late in life, after being involved in one-off offences. 

The other 30 who will have dropped out, are the ones who did need it. But they’ll invariably suffer from short attention spans; poor concentration. They’ll become bored because they can’t overcome even the most trivial obstacles, and feel they’re being left behind. Then they’ll try and regain control and save face – by storming out and quitting. Then the cycle of failure – poor self image – low expectations – re-offending becomes reinforced. 

Suppose that, instead of the ridiculous and easily manipulated route to parole or early release being gained by ‘showing remorse’ (For all the good that does anyone?) the early release – or parole, for sentences of 4 years and over – was earned – by the gaining of useful qualifications that would stand them in good stead with an employer – particularly GCSE English and GCSE Maths. 

And to make it a goal worth aiming for – alter the time of parole/early release earned proportional to the level of qualification achieved, from a minimum of, say, one third (less than that awarded now) up to a maximum of two thirds, (More than it is now) and as it was prior to the changes made in 1992  (which did little to reduce crime.)

Police Paramilitary Style Tactics

Lets put an end to these macho, gung – ho, SAS wannabe’s wearing their black military gear, bursting into domestic properties, screaming “ON THE FLOOR!!!, ON THE FLOOR!!!” etc., getting all hyped up like sharks in a feeding frenzy, feeling really brave  – when all they’re confronted by is some pathetic, sleep-weary bag-head with less meat on his bones than on a butcher’s apron and who’s repeatedly trying to tell them he’ll gladly do as he’s told…

They scream orders at the hapless sod from every direction, along with questions they don’t give him time to answer, until eventually you end up asking: “Was there really any need for all that?”  We’re supposed to be rooting for the ‘good guys.' It’s hard to tell who’s who, these days.

Couldn’t it be scaled down, and replaced with a quiet arrest, when the suspect was off guard? Do you really NEED 15 big 'brave' coppers in riot gear – to arrest one man? 

I’m not saying go soft on crime – but these guys are bloody dangerous. Next thing you know, they’ve got a gun in their mits, and you’ve got another Jean Charles de Menezes in the news.

 Drop the SAS tactics; bring back more traditional style policing.

Why is this idea important?

Lets put an end to these macho, gung – ho, SAS wannabe’s wearing their black military gear, bursting into domestic properties, screaming “ON THE FLOOR!!!, ON THE FLOOR!!!” etc., getting all hyped up like sharks in a feeding frenzy, feeling really brave  – when all they’re confronted by is some pathetic, sleep-weary bag-head with less meat on his bones than on a butcher’s apron and who’s repeatedly trying to tell them he’ll gladly do as he’s told…

They scream orders at the hapless sod from every direction, along with questions they don’t give him time to answer, until eventually you end up asking: “Was there really any need for all that?”  We’re supposed to be rooting for the ‘good guys.' It’s hard to tell who’s who, these days.

Couldn’t it be scaled down, and replaced with a quiet arrest, when the suspect was off guard? Do you really NEED 15 big 'brave' coppers in riot gear – to arrest one man? 

I’m not saying go soft on crime – but these guys are bloody dangerous. Next thing you know, they’ve got a gun in their mits, and you’ve got another Jean Charles de Menezes in the news.

 Drop the SAS tactics; bring back more traditional style policing.

Compensation For Victims of Miscarriages of Justice

The apalling case of Sion Jenkins' imprisonment for six years brings to light the ridiculous situation facing those who have had their lives wrecked by the state's incompetence – and are then refused justifiable compensation.

 

 

Why is this idea important?

The apalling case of Sion Jenkins' imprisonment for six years brings to light the ridiculous situation facing those who have had their lives wrecked by the state's incompetence – and are then refused justifiable compensation.

 

 

Stop Incapacity Benefit for “Depression”

I have a feeling the new government are looking at this one already. If not, I believe they should do, quickly.  

I'd never heard of this one until only a few years ago – since not too many years ago anyone asking for time off work due to 'stress' or 'depression' would be laughed out of the doctor's surgery. 

How it ever became accepted as an 'Incapacity' in relation to work, I have no idea. I'm not talking about short term depression after life changing events, where a few days of work may be necessary to get through .  I'm talking about the so-called 'clinical' depression – where there is no obvious cause, and the symptoms are merely a desire not to work and to stay on benefits.

Why is this idea important?

I have a feeling the new government are looking at this one already. If not, I believe they should do, quickly.  

I'd never heard of this one until only a few years ago – since not too many years ago anyone asking for time off work due to 'stress' or 'depression' would be laughed out of the doctor's surgery. 

How it ever became accepted as an 'Incapacity' in relation to work, I have no idea. I'm not talking about short term depression after life changing events, where a few days of work may be necessary to get through .  I'm talking about the so-called 'clinical' depression – where there is no obvious cause, and the symptoms are merely a desire not to work and to stay on benefits.

Ammend The Housing Act 2004

My suggestion is that

1) A landlord must be compelled to register any property to be let with the local council, where a register of owners can be accessed by neighbours.

2) A written complaint can then be made to the landlord in respect of any anti-social behaviour. The landlord should then be made responsible for resolving the situation by negotiation with the tenants : i.e a warning.

3) In the event that the situation is not resolved, the landlord's obligation should then be to seek an eviction order through the courts (or by some other speedier system facilitated by the change to the act) and evict the tenants.

Why is this idea important?

My suggestion is that

1) A landlord must be compelled to register any property to be let with the local council, where a register of owners can be accessed by neighbours.

2) A written complaint can then be made to the landlord in respect of any anti-social behaviour. The landlord should then be made responsible for resolving the situation by negotiation with the tenants : i.e a warning.

3) In the event that the situation is not resolved, the landlord's obligation should then be to seek an eviction order through the courts (or by some other speedier system facilitated by the change to the act) and evict the tenants.

Publish A List Of All Stupid Legislation Introduced By The Last Administration

It seems to me that the majority of the people posting on this website are, like me, angry and frustrated at all the civil liberties that have been eroded by 13 years of Labour mis-management and loony ideology, and are impatient for change, even though the coalition, to their credit, do seem to be moving quickly.

 But the number of posts on this website is huge already. For the first time in years, people are actually being asked what they feel, and are making their voices heard, loud and clear. But consequently, really good and important ideas (and I've seen lots on here so far) risk becoming lost in the maze.

So, why not publish a list of all the daft legislation, useless quangos, etc., submitted within a given time  (there has to be a cut-off time) then let the contributors here prioritise them?

Why is this idea important?

It seems to me that the majority of the people posting on this website are, like me, angry and frustrated at all the civil liberties that have been eroded by 13 years of Labour mis-management and loony ideology, and are impatient for change, even though the coalition, to their credit, do seem to be moving quickly.

 But the number of posts on this website is huge already. For the first time in years, people are actually being asked what they feel, and are making their voices heard, loud and clear. But consequently, really good and important ideas (and I've seen lots on here so far) risk becoming lost in the maze.

So, why not publish a list of all the daft legislation, useless quangos, etc., submitted within a given time  (there has to be a cut-off time) then let the contributors here prioritise them?

Abolish or Halve the TV Licence fee

Halve/ abolish the TV licence fee. Make the BBC attract advertisng in order to fund the shortfall – and make this heavily New Labour-biased, overpaid, bureaucratic institution join the real world.

Why is this idea important?

Halve/ abolish the TV licence fee. Make the BBC attract advertisng in order to fund the shortfall – and make this heavily New Labour-biased, overpaid, bureaucratic institution join the real world.

Smoking Ban in Public Houses (From a NON-Smoker)

I have to say, when witnessing the number of pubs and clubs that are closing down now, that this stupid ban was the death knell for many of them.

I should say at the outset that I do not smoke – gave up quite a few years ago – I am not in the licensed trade and have no connection with the tobacco industry. I am a joiner who is currently working part time and looking for full time employment. However, I really feel for the groups of smokers huddled in doorways and outdoor shelters around pubs – especially in the winter. Of course – many smokers don't, now, even bother to go to the pub – they stay at home.

My wife and I were in Spain recently and noticed such a difference in attitudes – far more relaxed about the whole thing (yes, I do realise that other factors, such as the weather, play a part also.)

I'm not advocating the allowing of smoking in all public houses – but that those who wish to allow it provide a seperate, well ventilated room in which smokers can indulge, and that those pubs must advertise smoking/ non-smoking  outside the premises. At least that way, people have the real choice.

Why is this idea important?

I have to say, when witnessing the number of pubs and clubs that are closing down now, that this stupid ban was the death knell for many of them.

I should say at the outset that I do not smoke – gave up quite a few years ago – I am not in the licensed trade and have no connection with the tobacco industry. I am a joiner who is currently working part time and looking for full time employment. However, I really feel for the groups of smokers huddled in doorways and outdoor shelters around pubs – especially in the winter. Of course – many smokers don't, now, even bother to go to the pub – they stay at home.

My wife and I were in Spain recently and noticed such a difference in attitudes – far more relaxed about the whole thing (yes, I do realise that other factors, such as the weather, play a part also.)

I'm not advocating the allowing of smoking in all public houses – but that those who wish to allow it provide a seperate, well ventilated room in which smokers can indulge, and that those pubs must advertise smoking/ non-smoking  outside the premises. At least that way, people have the real choice.