Criminals who have already served more than ten jail sentences are being routinely let-off with community punishments when they offend again, it has emerged.Nu Labour: ‘Tough on crime, tou…errr, what was it again?’
Figures obtained from the Ministry of Justice show the result is the equivalent of 5,000 burglars, thieves and other convicts a year escaping with a slap on the wrist.
The figures detailing the type of offender receiving community punishments will be a huge embarrassment to the Ministry of Justice, which is desperate to promote the penalty as a 'tough' alternative to prison.I’m not that sure they’re capable of embarrassment, frankly. Is anyone going to lose their job over this? I doubt it…
They are intended to stop less serious offenders from falling into a life of crime. But the figures reveal they are now being routinely used for even the most determined, repeat convict.
Edward Garnier, the Tory MP who unearthed the figures, said: 'This reveals why the public has little faith in the criminal justice system. If we have such high levels of reoffending and vastly overcrowded prisons what are the courts supposed to do?Well said, Mr Garnier. I’m not sure that Call-Me-Dave has all the answers, mind you, but it’s hard to disagree that he can’t do any worse than this bunch.
'We need honesty in sentencing and real progress in reducing repeat crime.'
David Green, director of the Civitas think-tank, said: 'Having ten previous convictions is overwhelming evidence of someone who is a persistent, parasitical criminal from whom society should be protected by any well functioning judicial system.Well, it’s partly because of political pressure. There’s plenty of bleeding-hearts to deal with too, thanks to the left’s infiltration of the infrastructure. And also the fact that judges are mostly well-insulated from the effects of their leniency.
'It is only because of political pressure that judges are not giving criminals the sentences they deserve.'
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: 'We will always provide enough prison places for serious offenders, those who should be behind bars: the most dangerous, the seriously persistent, and the most violent.In other words, “Never mind that it’s just been pointed out to me that the seriously persistent aren’t going to prison, I’ll just spout the same talking points I’ve been given because, let’s face it, I can’t do anything else at this stage. The game is well and truly up…”
'Prison is the right place for such people.
'However, prison is not always the right answer for less serious offenders.
'In some of these cases a tough community sentence can be more effective than a short prison sentence - more effective in terms of rehabilitating offenders, turning them away from crime and therefore giving greater protection to the public.'
Is it me, or is that totally on-message and therefore meaningless statement a sign that they just can’t be bothered even trying to defend this anymore?