David's Views: Crime
All the efforts the of central and local government, the police and the general public to prevent crime and catch those responsible will be wasted if the sentences don't reform the criminal.
Currently 59% of prisoners are reconvicted within 2 years of release therefore prison clearly does not work. Another problem is the educational attainment of prisoners, 50% of all prisoners are at or below the reading level of an 11-year old, this rises to 66% for maths and 80% for writing.
So my views are:
- Prisoners need compulsory education often missed earlier in life. They often need not just formal job skills but also basic life skills, so while they are in a captive environment both should be addressed.
- On entering prison each prisoner should have an individual plan determined to help them have a crime-free life upon leaving.
- Before leaving prison the basics of housing and benefits should be sorted out. Most prisoners that re-offend do so shortly after release because of the lack of education combined with a poor start on leaving prison.
- Often drugs are another problem, so prisoners with such a problem need compulsory drug treatment which continues on release.
- Non-violent offenders should be compelled to 'pay back' to victims and communities by carrying out work chosen by local people. One example is a pilot car repair scheme by the Liberal Democrat council in Liverpool that reduced 'joyriding' re-offences from 70% to just 7%.
The bottom line:
- The best way to help victims of crime is to stop the criminals from re-offending.