How many chances?

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sherri
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How many chances?

Post by sherri » Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:29 am

It seems the probation system in Britain might be about as good as our Victorian one.
Saw this report:

Jon Venables, one of the killers of toddler James Bulger nearly 25 years ago, has been charged over indecent images of children.
The 35-year-old, who served eight years for the murder of James, aged two, in 1993, was recalled to prison last year.
He and Robert Thompson abducted, tortured and killed the toddler in Liverpool when they were both aged 10.
They were released on licence in 2001, meaning they can be recalled to jail at any time if they breach the conditions.
Both were given new identities and reporting restrictions mean that Venables' current name, or anything else that could lead to his identification, will remain secret when his case is heard.
Railway line
On 12 February 1993, James - just a few weeks short of his third birthday - was reported missing by his mother from outside a butcher's shop in the New Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle.
CCTV images showed him being lured away by Venables and Thompson. His body was found two days later on a railway line.
He had been partially stripped and beaten to death with bricks and a metal bar.
Thompson and Venables were arrested and charged within days and convicted in November of the same year at Preston Crown Court.
In 2001, the pair were released on licence from secure children's homes - and granted lifelong anonymity with new identities.

In September 2008, Venables was arrested on suspicion of affray after a drunken brawl and was given a formal warning by the probation service for breaching the good behaviour terms of his licence.
Later the same year he was cautioned for possession of cocaine after he was found with a small amount of the Class A d*ug.
And in 2010, Venables was sent back to jail for two years after pleading guilty to charges of downloading and distributing child pornography and breaching his parole conditions by visiting Merseyside.
He was released again in 2013 with a second new identity.

When news of the 35-year-old's latest arrest emerged last year, James's mother Denise Fergus said: "Venables has now proved beyond any doubt what a vile, perverted psychopath he has always been."
The Attorney General launched an investigation into claims his identity had been revealed on social media.
In 2013, two men who posted images they claimed were of Venables and Thompson were given nine-month sentences, suspended for 15 months.
Breaking the injunction that bans identifying the pair carries a punishment of up to two years in prison.
A CPS spokesman said: "The man formerly known as Jon Venables has been charged with offences relating to indecent images of children.
"In order that justice can be done, no further details are being released at this stage and the proceedings are subject to reporting restrictions."
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I'm all for giving people a second chance in most circumstances but I am wondering if perhaps this man has used up his share of chances?

The bit that seems out of kilter to me is that yes, I know he was only 10 when he killed the boy but it was a very violent and deliberate killing. He spent 8 years locked away for it.
Yet if anyone dares to identify the man, they themselves face up to 2 years in prison. That seems a bit excessive to me.

I don't think this man is ever going to reform, that seems clear enough. The best that can be hoped for is he does not actually attack anyone else.

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gnads
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Re: How many chances?

Post by gnads » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:33 am

8 years locked away ... bug*er all.

If life in jail has a literal time frame ....say 15 to 20 yrs .... then he & his murdering mate should have done that time minimum.

His obsession now with indecent images of children show that he was a disturbed child & is no better today.
Nappies & Politicians should be changed often. Both for the same reason.
I don't have an attitude I have a personality you can't handle.

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Re: How many chances?

Post by ralph » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:25 pm

Crime and punishment all has and always will be the subject of heated debate and I'll guarantee that in 1000 years time it still will be. Parliament makes the laws and Judges are bound to act within them. Judges often have their hands tied by the law requiring medical and psychiatric reports before they pass sentence and then they are often severely restricted by these reports as to what sentences they can give. Add to that the fact that every Tom, Dick and Harriet believe that they know what is the best way to deal with criminals and so the scene is set for continuous rows about the outcome.

We cannot even agree about crime itself. The inclusion of the word 's*x' in an offence, in any form, is sure to have the verbal lynch-mobs out in force, while every night on TV there is a constant diet of 'crime dramas offered up for our titillation. 'True Crime' is one of the best selling genres in our book shops, while throughout history, criminals both fictional and real, from Robin Hood to the Notoriously brutal Kray Twins have been widely admired by large sections of society.

I seldom watch this stuff on TV, but last night watched an hour long programme: 'The Krays' The Prison Years.' It was a look back at their lives and eventual deaths. It was interesting to see a long list of (many now dead) top of the tree criminals coming out to look back nostalgically at the past and essentially talk about the 'good old bad old days' while newspaper photographs and cine-clips showed many of the best known International stars wanting to be seen in their company, along with titled and top politicians who were happy to be their friends, be seen socially with them and no doubt pull strings to their advantage in the background.

When the death penalty was abolished, many of the most serious offences were punished using life sentences, which often meant about 12 years before being released on license, which also involves some supervision by the Probation Service. The gaols began to fill up and as no one in power was keen to spend money on building more prisons, employing more prison staff and pay their inevitable pensions, all kinds of fiddling with the laws and the rules was done to keep the prison population down. That means only one thing sentences served became shorter and more people with the potential to commit serious crimes, were back on the streets. The Probation Service, like the prisons, starved of resources, has become ineffective and demoralised.

We cannot have it all ways and so as I said, in a thousand years from now, things will not have got any better. It would perhaps be a step in the right direction if people could stop being so schizophrenic in their attitude to crime and treat all crime for what it is and avoid splitting into categories with nasty s*x offenders at one end and murdering, robbing, lovable rogues at the other. :D

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Re: How many chances?

Post by sherri » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:34 pm

True, Ralph. I don't think there will ever be agreement about sentencing or punishment.
I found that very much in the schools.
Parents were all for stricter discipline. I'd say if you were to do a survey, almost 100% for it.
But when it came to an actual situation... not for their child.
When their child was in trouble, they found every excuse in the book to excuse bad behaviour.

Having said that, I think there's no doubt that the law is not even handed. Money plays a big part in that as if you can afford the top lawyers you're more likely to get a better legal deal. There's corruption within the system too by some.

And the judges are hamstrung to some extent but not completely. Laws can & should be changed to be in line with community expectations.
You would think if jails are crowded then it would be madness to jail someone for 2 years for making a social media comment or posting a photo. I see the men were in fact given 9 month sentences.
What it suggests to me is if prisons are crowded, we'll have to move up technology and perhaps start other sorts of punishments. Perhaps 2 days a week jail, home detention between certain hours etc. If schools have to talk about rotating shifts & even tables, then maybe jails could too.

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Re: How many chances?

Post by ralph » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:30 pm

sherri wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:34 pm
True, Ralph. I don't think there will ever be agreement about sentencing or punishment.
I found that very much in the schools.
Parents were all for stricter discipline. I'd say if you were to do a survey, almost 100% for it.
But when it came to an actual situation... not for their child.
When their child was in trouble, they found every excuse in the book to excuse bad behaviour.

Having said that, I think there's no doubt that the law is not even handed. Money plays a big part in that as if you can afford the top lawyers you're more likely to get a better legal deal. There's corruption within the system too by some.

And the judges are hamstrung to some extent but not completely. Laws can & should be changed to be in line with community expectations.
You would think if jails are crowded then it would be madness to jail someone for 2 years for making a social media comment or posting a photo. I see the men were in fact given 9 month sentences.
What it suggests to me is if prisons are crowded, we'll have to move up technology and perhaps start other sorts of punishments. Perhaps 2 days a week jail, home detention between certain hours etc. If schools have to talk about rotating shifts & even tables, then maybe jails could too.
Unlike schools, gaols don't have any days off, they are functioning 24 hrs a day seven days a week with staff only reduced between final lock-up in the evening and unlock in the morning. Electronic tagging as a way of monitoring people at home has proved to have many vulnerabilities too.

We have difficulty as a society, in deciding what the purpose of imprisonment is. The official mantra is that the loss of freedom and ability to make decisions for themselves is the punishment, but the overriding object must be to give prisoners the life skills to be able to earn an honest living when they are released. That may well be what is needed for some, but there are many inside who are well educated and have all the skills they need on the outside, but are there are many other reasons for people committing crimes: naked greed, lust, a violent nature, the need to outsmart authority, addictions to d*ugs, gambling and alcohol... the list goes on and there is not enough money in any country to be able to 'support' them. It is at this point when the 'social reformers' start transferring the responsibilities for their crimes to society, who has failed them in some way, and an angry public which reacts by calling for the return of capital punishment and sentences where life means exactly that - and it is back on the same old merry-go-round. :) .

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sherri
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Re: How many chances?

Post by sherri » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:01 pm

My solution to some crimes would be that okay, jails are open 24/7, how about one jail or section of a jail being for part time prisoners.
Often we send people to prison for eg 2 months, 2 years etc. Or else they get community service.
But some of the crimes people commit are what I would think of as social problems. A man might go out at night & get into fights or drink too much, or someone might be hooning on weekends.

The solution might be to let some of them stay in their jobs but lock them up/home detention on weekends or evenings so they have little or no social life. Violent crimes though probably need jail. Instead of 3 months straight in jail, maybe 2 years of no weekends.

To me, the main purpose of prison should be to protect society from someone who is a menace out on the streets and who in the scheme of things is fairly likely to reoffend. The prisoner's needs should come second to that.

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Re: How many chances?

Post by max Headroom » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:27 am

sherri wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:01 pm
My solution to some crimes would be that okay, jails are open 24/7, how about one jail or section of a jail being for part time prisoners.
Often we send people to prison for eg 2 months, 2 years etc. Or else they get community service.
But some of the crimes people commit are what I would think of as social problems. A man might go out at night & get into fights or drink too much, or someone might be hooning on weekends.

The solution might be to let some of them stay in their jobs but lock them up/home detention on weekends or evenings so they have little or no social life. Violent crimes though probably need jail. Instead of 3 months straight in jail, maybe 2 years of no weekends.

To me, the main purpose of prison should be to protect society from someone who is a menace out on the streets and who in the scheme of things is fairly likely to reoffend. The prisoner's needs should come second to that.
They have it already it is called home detention also a curfew, a leg worn gps tracking devise as a teaser and as a bonus a court order restricting where they can go.
Arbeit macht frei.

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Re: How many chances?

Post by memor » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:20 am

"My solution to some crimes would be that okay, jails are open 24/7, how about one jail or section of a jail being for part time prisoners.
Often we send people to prison for eg 2 months," quote from Sherri

We already have that here Sherri. Prisoners who are not a risk or are in for less serious offences or are coming to the end of their sentence become Category "D" and get transferred to "Open Prisons. They sometimes go to work outside the Prison during the day and go home at the weekends.
I always value Pilots wit and input

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