Sunday, 7 November 2010

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master -- that's all."

Thousands of criminals with serious mental illnesses or drug addictions will no longer be sent to prison...

That's certainly promising, at least in the case of the mentally ill. I'm not so sure about the drug addicted. Is that the cause of their criminal behaviour, or merely another symptom?

But I've long said that prison isn't the place for mentally ill offenders who cannot control their behaviour. Instead, committal to...

Oh. Wait.
...but will instead be offered "voluntary" treatment in hospital, under controversial proposals to be unveiled tomorrow.
How can it possibly work is it's voluntary?

Oh, well. At least it'll be secure. Won't it?
The Ministry of Justice will publish details of plans to divert offenders from jail to secure NHS units...
Whew! Thank god for th...

...but will admit that they will be free to walk away.
Okay. Clearly, we are through the looking glass here. Just how the hell do they define the word 'secure' then?
Officials define "secure" as having a grip on the individual, rather than locking them up.
What does that even mean..? Anyone? Bueller?

This is, of course, the brainchild of that useless lump of spare tissue attached to the coalition, Ken Clarke, our so-called justice secretary. Short of appointing Juliet Lyon and her cohorts at the Penal Reform group, it's hard to see how iDave could have made a worse choice....
He will argue that the plans will provide the most effective way of cutting reoffending rates. The Ministry of Justice revealed last week that 61% of prisoners are reconvicted within a year of release.
It's hard to see how, Ken, you waste of skin, when no-one will be able to keep them long enough to achieve that...

Of course, the bleeding hearts are already hailing him as a man whose genius is unrecognised by us flawed taxpayers:
Dominic Williamson from the charity Revolving Doors Agency said there was an opportunity for improvement in the system if ministers recognised that offenders often had complex needs arising from drug and alcohol addiction and mental health problems.
What about our complex needs? The need for a life unmenaced by the untreatable mentally ill and predatory drug addicts?
"I think community-based treatment as part of a sentence would work for a lot of people as long as there is a clear pathway once they leave. What happens in prison is that people receive treatment but then they are kicked out and go into the community where there is nothing for them," he said.
What should there be for them? What do they deserve from society, other than their freedom when they've served the court-appointed sentence for their crimes?

The coalition is going to get absolutely hammered on the law and order front. And they'll only have themselves to blame....


Jiks said...

"For those for whom drugs are the main problem, it is obviously sensible to tackle their addiction outside prison, if that is what is needed to stop them committing crime, rather than incarcerate them with more drug addicts." Or so says Clarke.

Nevermind the fact that when the criminals are prepared to go to the lengths of getting drugs in prison what does he think is going to stop them when they are outside and it's even easier ... what really concerns me about this particular bit of idiocy is the message it sends to our feral population:

"Drugs: get high, do all the crime you could dream of and NEVER go to jail!!11"

*double facepalm*

MTG said...

Those mad enough to attempt steering the State usually do, Julia.

subrosa said...

Of course Mr Clark couldn't come up with the idea to re-open asylums could he? (Is the word asylum allowed in these pc days?).
These havens for those with mental health problems and where trained staff had time to talk to their patients. Yes I know not all were like the one in Perth here, (which is still on the go), but they offered shelter to those in need.

Of course they can't be re-opened. Most were sold off by councils and have now been demolished.

Where will the convicted go? Having mental health areas within general hospitals isn't proving a success.

Auch, if they don't like it then they can just leave and go back to their criminal ways can't they. Again, lots of hot air and no help for the mentally ill.

AntiCitizenOne said...


microdave said...

"Just how the hell do they define the word 'secure' then?"

I once visited a "Secure Unit" to do some maintenance work. I was escorted all the time by a staff member. As we were heading back to the main entrance an alarm went off. The guy apologised, but said he would have to lock me in an unused room FOR MY OWN SAFETY! Some minutes later I was relieved to be allowed out...

I also learned that they had 60 staff to look after 40 patients.

Rob said...

Progressive politics perverts the meaning of every word. 'secure' means not secure. 'Fairness' is confiscation of wealth from people who work.

The simple fact is that this policy will kill innocent people, but they won't be important people so it doesn't matter.

Greencoat said...

..the charity 'Revolving Doors Agency'..

There's more than a hint of irony in that name.

Laban said...

They could have announced it as "we're going to let all the loonies out". Personally I'd let out a rational crim before a mentally ill one who's committed the same offence.

I wonder if David Morgan, who's pretty definitely mentally ill (he ran amok in Brum's House of Fraser store slashing women's throats) will be one of them ?

JuliaM said...

"...when the criminals are prepared to go to the lengths of getting drugs in prison what does he think is going to stop them when they are outside..."


"Is the word asylum allowed in these pc days?"

In some circumstances, it's positively to be encouraged! I think you know what those circumstances are, though... ;)


Yes, was alerted to this on Twitter earlier. Had a post cued up for tomorrow, but mistyped and it's now gone up tonight! Oh, well...

JuliaM said...

" Some minutes later I was relieved to be allowed out..."

That sounds a lot like my idea of a secure unit!

"There's more than a hint of irony in that name."


"I wonder if David Morgan, who's pretty definitely mentally ill (he ran amok in Brum's House of Fraser store slashing women's throats) will be one of them ?"

Oh, lord, I'd forgotten that one!

But as Rob points out, they don't matter. I guess prison governors wives and mistresses only go on-line to shop...

banned said...

Several times I have asked social workers and psychiatrists why some mentally ill people end up in 24/7 4 person homes fully staffed with three shifts of helpers while others end up in prison; their response is always "luck" and it helps not to be a bloke.