Sentencing criminals? How would you change the system?

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  • For years politicians debate the NHS and "late trains"..... they still debate it now.

    There is immense concern, by a substantial number of the population, on the matter of dealing with criminals and sentencing. Every day we hear the phrase: "Another one got a slap on the wrist". We see thugs steal cars and drive like looneys who get a police Caution?

    Now we have Terrorists, known to be a major threat to life, walking our streets.

    What changes would you make?


    Edited once, last by Horizon: Merged a post created by Horizon into this post. ().

  • I would reduce sentences for company fraud but ensure that the amount defrauded was paid back in full on pain of a massively increased sentence. Same for thieves - maybe two years in prison for a first offence and the victims reimbursed fully, even if it means selling off their homes.


    Anyone committing violence other than in self defence or following extreme provocation should be subject to at least five years' imprisonment following a first offence.


    A second offence should mean the sentence is doubled. Life imprisonment on a designated third strike.


    Murder, or attempted murder should mean whole life sentences.


    Terrorism should be classed as mass murder, which should carry whole life sentences.


    There should be no early release for good behaviour, but bad behaviour should result in increased sentencing and withdrawal of privileges.


    There needs to be more prisons and old fashioned ones taken out of service. Better conditions for prisoners but harsh regimes for persistent bad behaviour. Education provided and emphasis on rehabilitation.


    That'll do for starters.

    Protect the vulnerable and get back to work

    Edited once, last by OLD BOY ().

  • I agree with you. Burglary should be 5 years in prison for first offence.

    Special prisons for the most heinous of criminals with no TV but certain privileges can be earned for example one clear year with totally compliant behaviour can get such criminals some perk, such as TV or extra visits.

  • There needs to be more prisons and old fashioned ones taken out of service. Better conditions for prisoners but harsh regimes for persistent bad behaviour. Education provided and emphasis on rehabilitation.

    There is no evidence that prison is a deterrent, in fact the opposite

    All it does is keeps offenders off the streets for a while

    If They Can Do It So Can I

  • I would attack this slightly differently and rather than locking people up for longer I would work more on rehabilitation and help. Terrorists need a separate place rather than a wing in mainstream prisons. A mental hospital type environment, a Prison hospital and education (de radicalization) centres and no reduced sentences. I don't see the point in locking people up for life, it's a waste of money. We should bring back the death penality for some people but there has to be a strict process and guidelines so it really is those proven guilty and have committed mass murder or something. Even a Guantanamo bay type place would a better place to terrorists up, but I mean true terrorists not these new invented ones that fall within that category.


    Greenpeace included with neo-Nazis on UK counter-terror list


    https://amandarogers.org/2020/…-of-extinction-rebellion/


    Drug crimes need abolishing apart from those doing the big time dealing and running around with firearms etc. There are many addicts locked up who are the victims, a victim of addiction who should not be in prison. And others, lower down dealers are simply earning a living without harming anyone. You average college drug dealer or neighbour that that does a little on the side to support ones own habit or boost their low income. We need addiction centres for them and if they have committed a crime then a prison type addiction centre. They are ill, not criminals. Drug dealing needs dividing up into serious and those lower down the chain simply earning a living or have a drug habit. That would reduce most burglary's and shoplifting.


    Basically rather than locking someone up in prison for however long and letting them out, the way prisons operate need changing. More help and reform rather than just time. The Victorian style of locking someone up to do time has proven that it does not work. Obviously really violent people still need this kind of environment to keep the public safe but the majority in prison don't deserve this and / or need to be there which then puts more pressures on the prison system. In many cases prison will make them worse. Prisons are volatile places because they have so many locked up under the same roof. Many prisoners would be better suited to the American chain gang orange jump suit type scenarios and get them out working on the streets picking up dog poo or something. Make them clean up the communities. Others may require hard labour, get them working. We also need military style boot camps. What's the point in locking them up for hours on end, scheming things and taking drugs, passing messages back and forth and entertaining themselves if you can get them out and give them a beasting, especially the younger ones. You could have a shopkeeper locked up for selling counterfeit cigarettes in a cell with a repeat burglar. He can then teach the shopkeeper some new skills and / or even get him contacts where he can sell his counterfeit cigarettes with less chance of getting caught next time. Rather than sell them under the counter in his shop, sell the bulk to a street seller or someone that does the rounds in pubs. People should be split and divided up and treated accordingly to whatever the crime committed was.


    That young guy that climbed the the Gherkin building in London for a youtube vid, done time in Pentonville ( serious hardcore prison), why. All the publicity he got has done him a favour and advanced his career now out. Publicity and media coverage for many needs removing. How many have come out and written a book about their time and made a fortune from it, or managed to get a job working in social care, addiction centres, young offenders and what have you. Many non criminals on the outside can't even get these jobs. I'm not saying they shouldn't get the jobs but it seems odd that they have a better chance because of their past criminal experiences. It's like one has to take that path to end up getting a half decent job. A reward system rather than prison. Who says crime doesn't pay. In many cases it does.


    The whole system needs reforming into a different kind of system and divided up, tailored if you like for the individual and the type of crime committed. Most don't even deserve to be locked up and are ill, either mentally or other, or are a victim of society and their surroundings, upbringing or whatever. The only crimes where people should be locked up in the current prison type system are those that have committed violent firearms and knife attacks, rape, physical assault, slavery and prostitution, people smuggling and racketeering etc. Wherever serious harm has come to others.


    To deal with most crime we need to deal with society outside. Other than all the above and if we don't do anything else inside and outside then the only other option is more torturous medieval type punishments, stocks, chopping fingers off, flogging or do nothing and continue as we are on the same path. What we need to remember is that most folk don't choose a life of crime. They are either brought up with it and that's all they know or society has forced them down that path as a means of survival. More and more folk are forced down the path as a means of survival because society is so screwed up. It's the only option they have.

  • What we need to remember is that most folk don't choose a life of crime. They are either brought up with it and that's all they know or society has forced them down that path as a means of survival. More and more folk are forced down the path as a means of survival because society is so screwed up. It's the only option they have.

    I don't agree with that. A "life of crime" is an easy option that people choose, they don't have to go down that road. Quite a lot do so to feed a drug habit but then they didn't need to abuse themselves in the first place

    If They Can Do It So Can I

  • There is nothing wrong with taking drugs we all take drugs whether that is anti depressants, opioids, nicotine, alcohol etc etc. Taking drugs and drug abuse are two separate things. Society is the problem. Legalise all drugs and open up Amsterdam style coffee shops, needle exchanges etc. In Amsterdam they have heroin addicts going to the clinic in the morning getting their fix and then go off to work for the day just like anyone else. Perfectly functioning addicts just like the business man that sits in the pub at lunchtime and has a few pints and then goes home in the evening and drinks a bottle of wine or something. Or maybe he works as a JP and pops out to his chambers for a quick sniffter and then after work put his baby nappy on or gimp mask on and goes to visit his dominatrix prostitute before heading home to the wife. The biggest drug addicts work in London's financial sector. Most in the stock exchange will be on cocaine. I bet there is a fair whack used in the parliament toilets also. It will either be that or a bottle of gin in the desk drawer.


    The majority of addicts are either ill and have been prescribed them or they are taking drugs recreationally. Not everyone is homeless and addicted to smack and having to go and do a burglary or shoplift to feed their habit and bring some comfort to being homeless. Most would welcome prison as it's a roof over your head and some food. If they are lucky they may even get some drug treatment or may put themselves in to go cold turkey accept there are an abundance of drugs inside.


    Legalize all drugs is what I say and sell and supply clean drugs. The tax from it could help pay to fix other issues in society and removes the criminal element. There's skunk out there that has glass silicates sprayed on to it while growing to gain weight FFS and people renting homes and hacking the electricity supply to feed grow rooms which affects the rest of us as costs go up. The drug problem is one of the easier things to deal with. Nobody has the right to tell others what they can and can't do to their own body. A life of crime is not always an easy option. It's a competitive market and not only do you have to watch out for the law but you have to watch out for rivals and gangs. Do you think it's easy walking into the wrong postcode and having to watch your back. You may even be forced into carrying a knife or gun because of circumstances. Your delusional if you think it's easy. Those in legit business only have to watch out for rivals and there is less chance of getting stabbed or shot or having your head kicked in. That's the easy option to get a non criminal job if the jobs where there and paid enough for people to be able survive with a reasonable level of comfort.


    F**ing knife crime in Britain, that could be abolished overnight. Boom.....gone. Legalize drugs, open coffee shops / drug bars. Most would go and work in those places or in the factories growing weed or pressing pills. Kill two birds with one stone. And not only that there would be huge benefits to be made from the tax. Also open more addiction centres where ex addicts can go and get employment. Open clubs back up so people can go and rave and legally pop a clean Ecstasy pill or whatever rather than forcing it onto the streets and people having to break into premises for an illegal rave or hide behind closed doors. More employment to be made there. Tonnes of clubs have closed down over the last few years which is driving folk into snobby wine bars where cocaine rules and coke can be taken with alcohol easier. The two go hand in hand quite nicely. Most of the City bars and clubs will be full of coke heads in their suits. The work hard and play hard types. If a bar got raided in say Canary Wharf there would be a load of the stuff found but these users are not the main target for enforcement because they all work in high paid jobs.

  • My daughter said to me when aged 9....."if the police want to catch drunk drivers why dont they watch pub car parks at clising time".

  • The biggest drug addicts work in London's financial sector. Most in the stock exchange will be on cocaine. I bet there is a fair whack used in the parliament toilets also. It will either be that or a bottle of gin in the desk drawer.

    If that is true it explains a lot ;)

    If They Can Do It So Can I

  • A raft of villains has been sentenced today to a total of over 100 years for violent drug dealing and persistent rape of three women

    They are all white men so I doubt if Tommy Robinson/Yaxley- Lennon and his followers will be hight lighting this


    If They Can Do It So Can I

  • My daughter said to me when aged 9....."if the police want to catch drunk drivers why dont they watch pub car parks at clising time".

    This actually happened, or at least in my area, but I seem to recall it was much wider. What happened was all the clubs and pubs said it was bad for business and they applied pressure on councils/MPs and it stopped.


    Perhaps it needs to restart again??

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  • There is no evidence that prison is a deterrent, in fact the opposite

    All it does is keeps offenders off the streets for a while

    There is plenty of evidence that prison is a deterrent for some. That's why a second offence should be double the sentence and three strikes and you're out.


    It would mean we need more prisons, but I reckon it is worth it The costs of crime would reduce, offsetting the costs of incarceration.

    Protect the vulnerable and get back to work

  • I think that prison should be so awful that you never want to go back...


    ...daily beatings, hard labour, used for medical experiments etc.


    If you repeat offend you should get a mandatory whole life sentence with no chance of parole. We should keep building prisons to meet demand.


    If you kill someone in prison you should be killed by the same method that you used on your victim.


    I think we are way too soft on crime. It doesn't matter what crime you commit, once a criminal always a criminal, they cannot be rehabilitated and we should not try.


    If you don't like it, don't break the law - simples...

  • I'm in agreement with much of that and I would distinguish between violent and non-violent crime.


    And like you, any single violent offence should get a minimum term depending on the severity of crime, so a drunken fight might get a few weeks in prison as a warning whereas a stabbing would result in at least ten years in prison. But if the second offence is more violent than the first, then the criminal should be put away for life at that point and not wait for them to do something a third time. How many chances should a violent person get? And any third violent offence, regardless of severity, would get a immediate life time. I agree with that.


    The main aim when dealing with violent criminals is to prevent them doing harm to the public and thus putting them in prison will stop them. Rehabilitation is a secondary concern when dealing with violence people and would only be offered on first offences.


    As for non-violent crime, no first or second offence would result in a custodial sentence, although as with everything, it would depend on the crime. However, like now, burglars and those committing "anti-social" crime would not be given hundreds of chances. If another burglary is carried out after a conviction for burglary and a period of rehabilitation, you go to prison. Do it again, you stay in prison for life.


    The aim being here is to try and steer non-violent people away from crime and keep them out of prison which would teach them all the wrong things. They should try to be rehabilitated, tagged and the bulk of their weeks doing community service.

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  • I think that prison should be so awful that you never want to go back...


    ...daily beatings, hard labour, used for medical experiments etc.

    It sounds tempting, doesn't it, but we don't leave in medieval times now.

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  • If you repeat offend you should get a mandatory whole life sentence with no chance of parole. We should keep building prisons to meet demand.

    Too arbitrary.


    What if it's a kid who has a "thing" for stealing cigarettes from shops? Would you put that kid in prison for the rest of the lives if they steal a second packet of fags after a initial conviction?

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  • I think we are way too soft on crime. It doesn't matter what crime you commit, once a criminal always a criminal, they cannot be rehabilitated and we should not try.


    If you don't like it, don't break the law - simples...

    Except people aren't simple, but complex. And many people can be rehabilitated, it's been proven time and time again.

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  • Legalise all drugs and open up Amsterdam style coffee shops, needle exchanges etc.

    I can't remember if we have a topic on this subject, but this is a whole topic in itself. I need to ponder this and will come back to this at a later point as its been some time since I had this sort of debate. Plus, I need to check how successful the Dutch actually are in dealing with drugs crime.


    Quick question though, which is directly related to this subject, did you ever see the American series The Wire?

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  • Too arbitrary.


    What if it's a kid who has a "thing" for stealing cigarettes from shops? Would you put that kid in prison for the rest of the lives if they steal a second packet of fags after a initial conviction?

    Yep, there wouldn't be many like him in there, especially once the word got around that we were serious. The needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few. Without trust in your fellow man (or woman) what have you got?


    The absolute horror of prison should be the deterrent, it should be entirely about punishment. As things stand prison doesn't work, something needs to change. I don't think making it nicer is the right way to go.

  • Now we have Terrorists, known to be a major threat to life, walking our streets.

    This is a major topic in itself and really I need to move some posts over from the Stretham attack here, as its directly relevant. I need to ponder this too, so again will come back to you on this at a later time when time allows.


    But I do recall saying in other threads, that perhaps terrorism should be taken out of the criminal system and possibly be considered a military matter. and "dealt with" accordingly.

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  • This actually happened, or at least in my area, but I seem to recall it was much wider. What happened was all the clubs and pubs said it was bad for business and they applied pressure on councils/MPs and it stopped.


    Perhaps it needs to restart again??

    It used to happen here

    In our pub quizing days I was the designated driver as I am teetotal and happy with a glass of cola

    Leaving the pub one night I noticed a car following, and he suddenly switched his blue light on. I pulled up, remembering the old maxim to get out of the car (if the copper stands over you he assumes more control)/ I walked back to his car saying "Whats the problem officer". Realising I was sober he said "One of your rear lights is out" to which I replied "I checked it when we left the pub, and it was ok" Turning round I saw that the lights were all on, so I asked which light was out

    He drove off :)

    If They Can Do It So Can I

  • You're lucky they didn't smash one of your lights out. The Met used to be total c*nts for things like that.

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  • You're lucky they didn't smash one of your lights out. The Met used to be total c*nts for things like that.

    I had the quiz team in the car, plenty of witnesses

    If They Can Do It So Can I

  • did you ever see the American series The Wire?

    Nope never seen it.


    People can be rehabilitated. There's plenty of ex gang members out there now working as youth workers and other areas trying to turn things around from their view of life on the streets and the system. They even do talks in schools and places like that and work with local communities. Some of them might leave prison and get into music, mostly rap which TBH is a bit of a double edged sword as some of it also kind of promotes it by glorifying that lifestyle in some ways. Professor Green done some real naughty stuff in his youth including selling drugs but he turned his life around and got into music. He's a massive rap star and TV personality now. His rap is not as hardcore as some out there though i.e gangsta rap.


    Where do we draw the line. Should we extend crime prevention as far as removing children from families and putting them in care. That documentary I watched on Belmarsh there was a whole family of brothers in one cell that had been in and out of prison for years. It's their second home, cheeky chappies as they where called by the screws. Their father was a criminal, they grew up around criminality and that is all they know and have been taught. They had no chance from the start and they still have no chance as the prison system has not helped to show them a different path and way out of that lifestyle. Some may think why give them any help when there are plenty of non criminals on the outside that don't get a leg up in society, help with education, housing, employment etc.


    It a complicated problem to solve and many of the solutions are with prevention and fixing society on the outside so people don't become criminals in the first place. Education, mental health care, housing, employment, the benefits system. We will see an increase in crime simply because the benefits system is so screwed up. Many wont even bother to claim because it's a nightmare and turn to other means of income instead. It's shame we even have to lock all our regular hardcore crim's up and pay for their stay at all. All those life imprisonments are not worth the cost. If we don't bring back the death sentence then shove them all on an Island. We could do with a Island somewhere. Send them all there and just let them get on with it and run it themselves like San Pedro prison. An Alcatraz type island that they can't escape from up in the Outer Hebrides or somewhere. The funny thing is that San Pedro prison runs better with the prisoners running things than if the guards ran it. Prisoner don't mess with the system or they end up with no food or worse.


    Terrorists are in a league of their own, they are not criminals they are terrorists and they need a whole different approach. They shouldn't even be put in the same prisons. We need our own Guantanamo bay or stick them on the Island with the rest of them. Can't we build out in the middle of Irish or North Sea. The way things are going it wont be long before we can send them to the Moon for some hard labour mining. Saying that, who knows in 10 -50 years the human race might be extinct so all this is irrelevant and we all might as well do what the hell we like in the meantime.

  • People can be rehabilitated. There's plenty of ex gang members out there now working as youth workers and other areas trying to turn things around from their view of life on the streets and the system. They even do talks in schools and places like that and work with local communities. Some of them might leave prison and get into music, mostly rap which TBH is a bit of a double edged sword as some of it also kind of promotes it by glorifying that lifestyle in some ways. Professor Green done some real naughty stuff in his youth including selling drugs but he turned his life around and got into music. He's a massive rap star and TV personality now. His rap is not as hardcore as some out there though i.e gangsta rap.

    It;s one thing to rehabilitate from a life of crime but I don't see that working with brainwashed jihadhis

    If They Can Do It So Can I

  • Except people aren't simple, but complex. And many people can be rehabilitated, it's been proven time and time again.

    Without understanding the motivation of the rehabilitated you cannot say that rehab programmes actually work. Maybe their individual prison experiences were the punishment they needed to realise they were on the wrong path.


    There are many who were rehabilitated to get their freedom back, people who will say anything to convince a parole board they are now ok.