One of the new causes that the BBC is fervently supporting is the mantra that prisons don’t work. During the Labour years, the corporation was virtually silent on this issue, mainly because Blair, Straw, Brown and their lackeys clearly diasagreed.

But now that the Cleggerons seem hell bent on reducing the prison population sharply, our nice BBC reporter friends are on a full-scale hunt for every snippet that will support their case. Today it’s a platform for those perennial do-gooders the Howard league for penal reform to trumpet that only 6% of prison governors believe that short prison sentences work in helping to rehabilitate prisoners. Well hang on. Short prison sentences are not, and have never been intended to rehabilitate as a primary purpose. They’re there to send the message that in a civilised society, certain anti-social, irresponsible behaviour leads to a loss of liberty and all the inconveniences that go with it. It’s also a way of protecting the public and of spreading the reassuring message that if you do bad things, bad things happen to you.

The survey question was as inane as asking whether hanging would help in rehabiliating someone. I note that in the article that there is not a peep from anyone who supports jail as a deterrent or from those (like me) who are deeply uneasy about further ill-considered liberal experimentation in this complex area. Of course, we would all like more effective ways of rehabilitating people, but there is no sign that anything like this is being offered; the alternative to jail seems to be to not jail them – because it saves money – and/or give offenders community sentences (which are so circumscribed by human rights restrictions as to be a useless joke). Note also the careful selection of a quote from a supposed university expert saying that we should “address the needs of offenders”. Right on. Exactly the BBC mentality. But what about the victims of crime? And public safety?

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  1. Andrew Mars says:

    Come on, we all know that the real reason criminals turn out the way they do is because they may not have had a Teddy Bear at the age of 3.
    These people need day trips to theme parks and unlimited record vouchers, not punishment or any form of deterrent.
    P.S. Ed Milliband is great! 


  2. Andrew Mars says:

    “Weak on crime, tough on the victims of crime”


  3. Cassandra King says:

    Criminals operate on the capitalist basis of profit and loss, does the potential profit outweigh the possible risks and concequences or not.

    The criminal justice system has been ‘reformed’ by social progressives bent on imposing their social beliefs on the entire legal system, the victim becomes the offender and the offender becomes the victim. We see that criminals are experts in manipulating the conditions they find themselves in and the reforms so optimistically put in place merely served to enable the criminal to exploit this new law and justice regime.
    Liberal madness taken to its logical conclusion, from the reformists of the 18th century to the ideologues of the 20th. Yes we do lock up many people who should not be locked up and we free many in a crazy arbitrary way who should be behind bars. We allow those behind bars the luxury of not coming to terms with who they are and why and how they might change.
    A real reform in the justice system is needed badly, a system that seeks out and negates any potential avenues of escape from justice, give a criminal a spoon and he will dig a tunnel.
    Prison and justice should move to a cleansing of the individual by work and a deep understanding of how a person can be motivated to improve their lot in life while at the same time concentrating help toward the victim who should be a primary and senior part of a whole process, everything the criminal goes through in the justice system should have the concequences of what they have done to the victim hammered home until the criminal realises just what he/she has done.
    Once someone truly realises the pain and suffering they cause to another by their actions they can begin to change and reform themselves, banging someone up and then letting them rot is a failure option.
    I happen to think that we should be locking up only those guilty of physical violence and keeping them there until they show remorse and a will to reform. For everyone else there can be tough restorative victim centred justice within the community.
    Human rights should be limited to the victim in the first place and only toward acriminal insofar as it accelerates the reform process. I would parade burglars up and down the high street in chains dressed in pink boiler suits and have them sweep the streets with hand brushes for example. There has to be acombination of real tough hard justice with an open hand of forgiveness and kindness to those who show a willingness to reform.
    The problem is that the weak minded muppets in charge of the justice system are not equipped to enact the required real reforms.


  4. Backwoodsman says:

    OT , but the beeboid  / grauniad nexus getting a real kicking on Guido’s latest peice.
    Beeboids apparently unhappy about Skys’ monopoly . No, honestly !!!!!


  5. JohnW says:

    Amazing. In their desperate urge to find yet another way of sticking it to the long-suffering British public, the hand-wringing lefties have now decided that releasing criminals onto our streets is a jolly good way to SAVE MONEY! This beggars belief.

    Have I been dreaming these past 40 years? Since when has the BBC and their friends in Labour ever been remotely interested in saving our money?! They are the very antithesis of prudent guardians of the public purse. Surely there are better ways of achieveing this lauidable aim – like eliminating a huge swathe of quangos and non-jobs in the public sector, leaving the EU and cancelling the BBC subsidy for starters.

    Why can’t they at least be honest and admit that they want to fast-track the destruction of Britain as we know it so they can hand over what’s left of its carcass to the EU?


  6. FunkyTeaPot says:

    Sorry peeps.

    I thought this site was about BBC bias. If it is simply a mouthpiece for Tory-Boys who have the hump they didn’t win, then you should have it up on the main page.

    Cleggerons? You mean the deputy Prime-Minister who’s party has swallowed a whole bunch of shit for the public good?

    You mean Liberals who wouldn’t have pissed on a Tory had it not been for the mess Labour left us in?

    Liberals are having to put up with a lot. Most of us acknowledge we have to do it for the public good. The country would have turned into a basket case without a stable coallition.


    • Roland Deschain says:

      Cleggerons is simply an amalgamation of the names Clegg and Cameron and isn’t a jibe at the deputy Prime Minister in particular.  It’s a jibe at the fact that the BBC so frequently approach any matter from a left perspective – and in this case the “Cleggerons” are carrying out a policy generally associated with the left.

      Several comments here in the past have criticised the BBC for not recognising that the Conservatives have had to make concessions within a coalition – the BBC frequently attacks on the basis that “it wasn’t in your manifesto” or “you said in your manifesto that you’d do this”.  And they’re doing it to the Lib Dems over tuition fees.

      If this seems like a “Tory boy site” it’s because the BBC’s general left-leaning bias means most complaints come from Conservative-minded people.  But now the Lib Dems have dared to go into coalition with the Tories they’re beginning to find out what we’ve been complaining about for years.


  7. Rusty Shackleford says:

    It continues to baffle me how ‘social progressives’ persist in claiming to be the champions of the poor, when their reluctance to punish the anti-social and the downright criminal victimizes the poor more than any other social group. Perhaps if the mass media would switch the narrative from the plight of the offenders to the plight of the victims…..silly me, what was I thinking?


  8. Demon1001 says:

    Maybe I misread it but I looked at the opening piece and it was purely about BBC bias and its positioning on the great “Does prison work” debate.  Yes, a lot of people on here will be Conservative voters and supporters because that is the main thrust of BBC bias. 

    You say the Conservatives lost the election and that’s why people are using this site to vent their frustration.  You may be right, but on the other hand it may be that people feel the Conservatives won but there is no acknowledgement of the fact from the BBC who still attack the Conservatives as they have done relentlessly, and increasingly, since the 1970s at least.

    And, for the record, I did not vote Conservative in the last election.


  9. Beeboidal says:

    Note also the careful selection of a quote from a supposed university expert saying that we should “address the needs of offenders”. Right on.

    Note also that the BBC fails to make it clear that this expert, Dr Julie Trebilcock, was in fact the lead researcher for the Howard League’s paper. Here’s what Dr Julie found out on a 2008  trip to Australia:

    While I expected the Victorian approach to mentally disordered offenders to differ from the UK approach, not least because in contrast to England and Wales, personality disorder is excluded from their mental health legislation, I was surprised to find out just how different their approach was.

    During one visit to the Thomas Embling Hospital, the most secure psychiatric facility in Victoria, the Senior Nurse who was kindly showing me around, commented “you can probably tell we are very risk averse here”. My reaction was one of bemusement and shock, as this had certainly not been my impression, not just in terms of this facility, but more generally with Victoria’s approach to both forensic patients and offenders.

    Instead, I had found Victoria’s response, to be framed in therapeutic rather than punitive terms, reliant most often on the community, while prisons and high security psychiatric facilities were reserved for use as a last resort. As a PhD student from the UK, who has witnessed more criminal justice legislation under Labour than in the preceding 100 years; dramatic increases in the number of prisoners serving indeterminate sentences; and recent moves to build our way out of a prison crisis, this approach was particularly refreshing to see. Rather than being the poor relation to the prison service, the community, was presented as Victoria’s most valuable resource in their response to offending behaviour.

    Given that she likes the idea of psycho criminals in the community, it’s no wonder she is involved with the Howard League’s plea for low risk offenders.