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We've listened to the hand wringing liberals for far too long, and that's why we are in the state we are today. Re-offending rates are ridiculous. Play station prison does not work. It's time for discipline and work to improve skills.

Prison ought to be as much about rehabilitation as well as punishment and containment. We need a prison regime that offers a two-path system. For those who show genuine remorse, an appreciation of their failings, and a desire to change, there should be a path they can take to re-establish their worth to society. However, in the case of recidivists and hard-headed criminality the regime should be tough and exacting, based around punitive work schedules and nothing by way of reward. For such people prison should be more than just a case of doing time, it should become a severe punishment.

How much will it cost and how will it be paid for? Indications are given above but surely the Tories can give numbers. I hope this isnt another breach of Osborne's rules on sound public spending...

Regarding private sector involvement, whats the attraction for them? Why should they get involved with prisons?

There are a lot of questions here and Im concerned that the full Green Paper will have a number of weaknesses.

Not sure if the term we 'plan' to put 100,000 people in jail is the most accurate use of English!
I like these ideas in theory and unlike James Maskell feel that even if the cost is high think that it will bew money well spent both for the country and for the prison population.

Punch and Judy politics: the Prisons minister David Hanson accused the Conservatives of copying the government's own plans.

So we are all agreed then? Or is it only a good idea if it comes from the Government?

I have had some exposure to the reality of criminal justice in the UK. It is not taken seriously by the scumbag classes, who have nothing to lose by being jailed and have no sanction afterwards.

The recieved wisdom from the probation officers seemed to be reform the reformable, throw away the key on the recidivist and ensure they are too tired to riot at the end of the day.

To that end I would support a return to hard labour for criminals reprosecuted within their license period as well as offering more career and lifestyle advise to those who have slipped into crime because our stalinist education system has failed them.

Sentencing guidelines need to be completely revised and more emphasis placed on statutory sentencing. Particularly for assaults on police officers and members of the emergency services. There is something seriously wrong when people are convicted of a murder and are released after only a few years. The inconsistency in sentencing sends out mixed messages to criminals. For example cautioning people for a first-offence of house-breaking is an invitation to crime. All acts of burglary should carry an immediate custodial sentence. Criminal intent needs to be snuffed out at source, for many the shock of being sent straight to prison for a first offence will be enough to deter them from a career in crime. Burglary is a particularly nasty crime, one that becomes a personal violation, with lasting psychological effects for the victim. As a crime burglary should be taken more seriously by our justice system.

Speaking as someone who has recently been robbed with a considerable amount of loss, I would like to see them breaking rocks preferably with 50 kilo backpacks on for good measure.

Burglary is often something undertaken some way into a crimbo's career. Where it should be snuffed out is at the vandalism and petty shoplifting stage, something for which, IIRC, the "justice" department suggests should be let off with a warning.

Bring back the stocks I say, but then victims are not the best framers of justice... Something the BBC et al would do well to remember.

Tony, I agree 100% with everything you say.

If we had capital punishment for all these crimes we would give the families of burglar victims some sense of justice and retribution,
and we'd save a lot of money on butlines style camps.

Anyway, it's practically nesessary as a diterant.

"If we had capital punishment for all these crimes we would give the families of burglar victims some sense of justice and retribution"

Interesting to see that some people like to trivialize crime. People need to realise that the liberal approach to crime doesn't work and that tougher measures are needed. Crime is not a laughing matter.

Use of mandatory sentencing including mandatory capital punishment for various crimes such as murder, rape, repeat offenders, criminal damage and/or theft costing more than a million pounds and offences under the Terrorism Act and Official Secrets Act and acts of Treason - death sentences for these swiftly carried out using a variety of forms of execution including torture preliminary to execution or as a part of execution would not only reduce the number of people that would need to be warehoused, but would also act as a deterrent.

Prison conditions should be made far more unpleasant with far greater use of solitary confinement, use of hard labour, sensory deprivation, corporal punishment, denial of access to luxuries (no conjugal visits, no tvs, no newspapers, no radio, no pool tables or playstations), far smaller prison sizes both to add to punishment and also to allow more people to be stored. Zero tolerance of dissent, if people protest then force should be used to end such protest and protestors subsequently should be tortured and/or executed.

Use of prison sentences as a first resort for offenders should be used with subsequent punishments being made more severe.

There should be Release Committees to determine if a prisoner is safe to release at the end of their sentence, no reductions for good behaviour but certainly penalties added on for poor behaviour, if someone is considered a potential danger of nuisance to the general public then the committee should have the right to deny release ad infinitum.

In addition I think people who there is reason to believe are a threat to society should be removed from society even if they have not yet committed a crime and only released once considered safe - people though should only be punished for what they have done, so those considered dangerous who have not broken the law should be merely incarcerated with the level of security to keep the public safe.

Yet Another Anon, I agree with much of what you say but I don't think its necessary to torture people prior to execution. It certainly would give me no pleasure to have the state execute people. The thought of people being executed makes me feel sad and with a sense of regret. However it is a punishment that fits the crime and for that reason I support the death penalty.

It seems to me that criminal tendencies have to be caught early and thats where welfare reform can play a part. Getting young men into waged work and taking away the need to find money by illegal means while out of work is a big factor. Young men under 25 need access to money, at that age their lives are very social and they want to be out and about and that costs money. So many get sucked into crime that way, of course they bear personal reponsibility for their actions but how many would have avoided the need to get into crime if they had 200/300 quid in their pocket every week? All these things are connected and require a co-ordinated response from government.

You agree with YAA Tony? I'm truly amazed. His calls for the death penalty for criminal damage amongst other things and torture do not under any circumstances lead me to think he's a commentator worthy of listening to on this subject.

I can't believe I'm reading some of this stuff - "merely" incarcerating people who haven't broken the law because they might be dangerous. Who decides that? Who decides when they're safe to be let out, and on what grounds?

State execution? Preceded by a period of torture? Unbelieveable views in this day and age, especially coming from someone who claims to be a Conservative. I'm certain David Cameron would distance himself from this vile stuff pronto if he knew what was being proposed here.

Ever heard of a miscarriage of justice? People have served 20, 30 years for crimes they didn't commit. You can't give them the years back but at least we can let them out when the truth is established. Not so if we've killed them.

Malcolm Dunn, I only support the death penalty for calculated murder, not for manslaughter and certainly not for criminal damage. Someone earlier posted a message from 'Tony Mascara' but that wasn't from me! I do not support torture either and have said as much. As I commented earlier the idea of the state executing people leaves me with a heavy heart and it is not a subject I would ever treat lightly.

Prison is not working.

The public is entitled to expect that the purpose of prison is the deprivation of the liberty of the offender, the protection of the community and, only then, the rehabilitation of criminals. However, present policy is so focused on rehabilitation and avoidance of custodial sentences, that ensuring a proper level of public protection has become only one of several competing objectives. This culture, fuelled by a combination of poor quality risk assessment and wishful-thinking, has infected the criminal justice system so deeply that there is now a clear and present danger to the public from violent individuals. The Ministry of Justice has recently confirmed that as many as one out of every seven people charged with murder has been out on bail. The recent murders of Gary Newlove, Sandra Weddell and John Monckton were all committed by defendants released on bail.

Other killings, often fuelled by drugs, have been committed by youths who have been well known to the authorities for lesser crimes, but against whom no meaningful action has been taken at an earlier stage. A further category of murders have been committed by severely mentally impaired patients such as John Barrett who murdered Denis Finegan in Richmond Park, Ismail Dogan who stabbed six people in 2004 and Antony Joseph who stabbed Richard Whelan on a bus in 2005. Again the public has been expected to bear the risk.

In all these cases, and many others, avoidance of custody appears to have been the chief professional objective. A Conservative Government will need to give serious thought to the circumstances which justify a deprivation of liberty and how such a loss of freedom might address every point on the criminal spectrum from murder, through violent assault to lesser acts of aggression. The lack of effective sanctions against the latter too often allow nascent criminals to develop a sense of having “got away with it”. In reality, an inconvenient, short-term loss of liberty at a time most precious to the perpetrator would serve as a clear sign that the public is not prepared to tolerate acts of aggression and violence.

More prison places will not only ensure that bail is not an option for those who kill, but will give greater flexibility to limit the freedom of those thought likely to be at risk of killing and those who opt to commit acts of violence. The public are entitled to expect prisons to provide this protection and sanction rather than having to rely on questionable social experiments which, too often, and with deadly consequences, have failed.

Nick Paget-Brown

Yes in this time of incredibly 'honest' bloggers, i.e. trolls we do have to watch how the name is spelled, because they are usually from down the road!

I agree with most of what posters have been saying with regard to imprisonment, and David Cameron's proposal's have to be better than anything this ---- government has effected in this area over ten years - AND REMEMBER it was THIS PM who did NOT want to release the money for more prisons!

I was burgled many years ago when I lived in Tufnell Park. I had few possessions and only a few silver trinkets, but one a brooch was designed and made by my grandfather early last century and would have got the thief NO money! Another a silver belt from a friend in Israel I had not worn and only had about one month, but the asrticle I shall NEVER forgive him for stealing and was more worthless than either of the others, was a necklace I got from a junk shop made of different size cut-glass stones and something called pin-beck I think, anyway no value really, BUT I thought it was beautiful, at least in artificial light. I have never see anything like it again and I shall NEVER forgive the toe-rag who will have got nothing for it. He will also be middle-aged now and I hope that he suffers!

I agree with you, Nick, although the main thrust of your post seems to contradict your opening assertion that "Prison is not working".

What you seem to be saying is that prison does work, but that there are a lot of people not there who should be. (Having said that, I applaud the fact that these Conservative proposals recognise that the reverse is also true.)

Just on the idea of making more 'out of town' prisons

1) The urban prisons are easy to get to for offenders families who often don't have a car. Whilst offenders are being punished, their wives, parents and in particular children are not.

2) How will the rural/suburban NIMBYs react? I can see some fun battles between central goverment and (often conservative) local councils....

There was a time when many Labour and Liberal MPs backed Capital Punishment, the Liberals from before WWII would be said to be really quite hardline on Criminal Justice matters by much of the press now - it reflects how much the media and political elite have changed, the political success of Ultra Liberals in face largely of public horror of what amounts to tying the hands of the police, making the life of prisoners more comfortable than that of many honest people living in society.

It is not neccessary to go back that far to find state sanctioned corporal punishment in prisons - the 1940s I believe, and use of torture prior to execution was in practise throughout the Middle Ages and into the 18th and 19th centurys - many Conservative Party politicians were perfectly happy with it's use not that I restrict myself to things supported by any particular group of people. Keelhauling remained on the statute books in the Royal Navy until 1853, use of the Cat O'Nine Tails until the 1860s. Use of punishments such as disembowelment, hanging and cutting down before strangulation continued in use into the early 19th century. Burning at the stake as a punishment was only abolished in 1790.

It is not what has been in practice that people should follow, but rather what works whether it was something previously in use or not.

Quite what is the point of listing all these historical tortures, YAA?

We used to push suspected witches under water, using the logic that if they drowned they weren't a witch whereas if they didn't drown they were a witch and should be executed.

Just because we used to do something doesn't make it in any sense acceptable. We have all moved on I hope. Well, most of us apparently.

Your postings on this subject do the Conservative party no favours whatsoever.

Richard, I meant that prisons aren't working as they are not offering the public a proper degree of protection. This is because the "professionals" have other priorities and sentences aren't sufficiently nuanced.
Nick Paget-Brown

Quite what is the point of listing all these historical tortures, YAA?
I was pointing out that such punishments were used in the British Empire including in the British Armed Forces and in this country itself really quite recently.

It is not akin to to using a ducking stool for witches or peine-forte to extract confessions - I was referring to punishments for convicts, not as part of an investigation - modern forensic methods are an improvement on what has come before. I did not mention witches so why bring them up.

This does not mean however that everything that happened in the past should just be dismissed because it was in the past, I do not accept all this rubbish that the US goes in for over notions of cruel and inhuman punishment - surely the whole point of punishment is to strike terror into those being punished, to make sure that whatever they believe will happen to them after death that they know they will suffer before death, without suffering there is no punishment.

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