Lawbreakers should no longer be branded offenders because the term is “insulting”, a leading criminal justice campaigner said today.Well, clearly we wouldn’t want to do that…
Frances Crook, head of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said the phrase demeaned criminals and hindered their rehabilitation.
She said it was “easy” for politicians to treat some sections of society as “other” and less than human.Really? What if they do it over and over and over again?
“Someone who commits an offence is not an offender, they are someone who has done something. The action does not define the whole person,” she wrote in the journal Criminal Justice Matters.
You have heard of repeat offenders, haven’t you?
Professor Mike Nellis, of the University of Strathclyde, said “offender” became popular in the Sixties as an alternative to criminal and delinquent.That slippery slope in action, folks…
“Treating people with respect and dignity regardless of what they have done, and finding words to match, is always important but not necessarily straightforward,” he said.Only some people seem to be regarded as worth treating with respect and dignity though, don’t you find?