March 21, 2008

Prisoners 'may be released early'

This is being sent via email, hence the strange format. Now on to the
story about prisoners being released early. Personally I have no
problem with early release for those that have reformed. In fact the
prospect of early release is is a valuable carrot to help with reform
(hopefully to go with the stick of being locked up somewhere
unpleasant). If they have reformed and are nolonger a danger to
society then there is no point keeping them locked up, and plenty of
reason not to given how expensive prison is.

Unfortunately this isn't that kind of early release. We don't know if
they have reformed or not. The release has absolutely no relation to
reform and is simply because the state has not built enough prison

Defending its citizens is one of the few legitimate actions for the
state, and providing enough prison places is part of this duty. The
courts should be able to sentence a criminal to however long they
think is needed to reform them and know that the only reason that they
are coming out is because the have either done this or done enough to
really demonstrate that they have reformed. The prisons themselves
should not be so overcrowded that they are merely warehouses for
people and actually get on with their job of trying to reform these

The state has ignored its duty and despite huge levels of tax and
massive levels of debt there are not enough prison places for the
prisons to do there job properly. Where this money has gone is a
mystery, it does not show up in the quality of the services it
provides. Armies of bureaucrats and subsidies for the underclass mainly.


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