Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Miliband Soft On Crime?

I've said it before and I'll say it again, civil libertarianism is anything but soft on crime.

We now have such soft sentencing, such lax prison discipline, and so forth, because, having moved away from a civilised society's minimum standards for conviction, we know perfectly well that perhaps half of people now convicted would not have been in better days, and that in that case a third of them would never have been charged. But, as with the warmongering of recent years, are you any safer?

If we returned to those standards, then we could return to proper sentencing, proper prison regimes, and all the rest of it. Indeed, we must. But not before. Ed Miliband, over to you.

1 comment:

  1. Good points. One of the areas where I split with more conventional social conservatives is the prison issue. I don't think allowing prison to be a kind of jungle environment is any way to help reduce crime. In fact, the jungle environment in American prisons has helped fuel the growth of prison and street gangs.

    New inmates, afraid for their lives, will often be eager to form or join existing gangs for protection, as the guards and the rest of prison officialdom are pretty much toothless. When these inmates leave prison, they often join their fellow gang members on the outside and continue with their criminal activity.

    But try explaining this to a lot of conventional conservatives and you get accused of wanting to turn prisons into five-star hotels. On the contrary, I would like more guards, better discipline, basically more efforts made to turn prisons into actual correctional facilities and not just jungles of brick and iron.