Britain spends more on cops and locks up more people than any other developed nation

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53 Responses to “Britain spends more on cops and locks up more people than any other developed nation”

  1. Takuan says:

    appropriate for the later stages, but I was concerned with the toddler-offenders.

  2. arkizzle says:

    Yes, those crafty bastards.

    What about the Rinky-Dink-Clink?

  3. Beard of Bees says:

    re: “this sort of post makes you look like the loony fringe” et al: Everyone is aware BB didn’t write this article, right? It’s linked to from another news source.

    Anyway, I think what we’re taking from this is that the number of people in prisons and the crime rate are two numbers which may or may not be linked in any sort of proportional way. You lock people up so there’s less of them on the street to commit crime OR there’s more crime going on so therefore you lock more people up OR you lock more people up which just trains up more hardened criminals so more crime happens OR…

    Who’s to say? The point is, if so much of a countries population chooses to engage in activities that land them in jail, there’s something fundamentally wrong with a) the society or b) the legal system. And you need to focus on these things and not the police, who are just the blunt instrument.

  4. ornith says:

    @20: Having worked at places that do that – if not every MINUTE – that’s a terrible idea. You end up with “4:30-5:00: time accounting” on the sheet every day. Huge waste of resources, and bad for employee morale (which = bad for productivity).

  5. Drapeau06 says:

    asuffield wrote, ‘Silly: “Despite crime figures going down, we continue to spend more and lock up proportionately more people than any other free country.”
    Spending more is expected to lock up more criminals. Locking up more criminals is expected to make crime figures go down.’

    The expected impact of the spending depends on whether it is targeted at preventing crime or simply punishing offenders after the fact.

  6. Belac says:

    Takuan #22,
    “Pre-prison facilities”

    Like public schools?

  7. Jeff says:

    Is this a per capita number? I’m quite sure the United States spends more than G.B. on incarcerations. The “war on drugs” alone (the goal of which is to put more poor blacks and latins in prison) is something like 20 billion dollars this year.

  8. hep cat says:

    Finally , something that makes me “proud to be an American”.
    Well, no, maybe simply glad I’m not in the UK.

    Is there anywhere in the English speaking world that has not gone nuts. Canada and Australia seem to be just a little less nuts , but both seem to be hard at work catching up.

    New Zealand maybe?

  9. Lauren O says:

    And yet their rape conviction rate is still 5-6%. Oy vey.

  10. imipak says:

    Hmmm, “locks up more people than any other developed nation”? Not so (and that’s not what the article says — the excerpted bit, anyway.) Which is not to say that the article’s wrong. Policing in the UK is in a fairly ridiculous state after decades of the horrible dance between sensationalist tabloid outrage and quick-fix, headline-chasing politicians, of course.

    On the other hand* things are better than they were even 20-25 years ago in terms of police abuses, probably significantly so. Fewer people “fall downstairs” at the nick, or are arrested for driving whilst black, or get casually fitted up, though such things still go on no doubt, and Private Eye still has far too many unsafe convictions and miscarriages of justice to campaign about. (Hmmm, I wonder how a table comparing national rates of overturned convictions would look?)

    [*could I /be/ any more liberal? ]

  11. ShepShep says:

    @47 – Jeff, this post links to a report from 2000 (granted) showing that the number of America’s incarcerated drug offenders alone exceeded the EU’s entire prison population.
    It would be interesting to make an updated comparison.

    I think the cause-and-effect vs. fucked up priorities argument is too much the subject of spin. Yes, if you’re locking people up (or killing them en masse, as an extreme example) realized crime rates will probably go down. To me, it’s more a question of what’s healthy for a society and a “is this how we want to live” sort of question.

    A common criticism of the Prison Industrial Complex is that it creates a profit incentive to lock citizens up. This system – of creating jobs/wealth by feeding off of an expanded criminal code – is patently unhealthy. Rather like robbing Peter to pay Paul – well, almost exactly like that.

    Further, it is in itself a vicious addiction cycle. Society gets more and more dependent on the business of keeping men in cages – the construction, the manufacturing of gear/arms, the steady jobs. Nothing wrong with these in their own right, but the dependency on the mission of robbing people of their liberty creates a dangerous temptation to look the other way while federal and state criminal codes balloon.

    As Dr. Cornel West points out in his book Democracy Matters, power and authority need to be held in check by citizens, not given the benefit of the doubt that they’re doing things correctly or well. The natural tendency of power is to abuse, so it’s incumbent upon citizens to cry foul and push against the inertia of a sick society. I think the 20th century is so full of lessons for the entire world that we’ve not yet begun to internalize and apply.

  12. imipak says:

    Wow, -50 points to me for completely failing to parse the text properly (and -10 more for following my own post) but yeah Porter really does claim “we continue to [...] lock up proportionately more people than any other free country”.

    Perhaps he’s not counting the US as a free country? :.

  13. pauldrye says:

    As well as the United States (where incarceration rates are six times what they are in the UK), other developed nations with higher rates are Spain and Singapore.

    Or you can throw the gates open to “free” countries like the quote actually says and chuck in places like South Africa, Israel, Chile, Brazil and Argentina.

    The UK’s a bit above-average for Europe, but it’s only moderately higher than its cultural siblings Canada and Australia. This isn’t too surprising considering its population density.

  14. acrocker says:

    Yeah, I have not read this article, but I seem to remember hearing the exact same claims being made about the USA.

    Or is there some finer distinction I’m missing from not reading the article? :p

  15. Zarniwoop says:

    Sorry, I’m a little confused here. Isn’t locking up people who break the law a good thing? (If you have a problem with the laws in question, attack them instead.)

    In fact, this seems to me to be one journalist making a very grim point out of something which is actually very good news. No, I don’t agree with all the laws in the UK, (especially its drugs policy), but this does seem to me to be evidence that the police are actually doing their job properly.

  16. freeyourcrt says:

    #29

    You seen to be paying attention.

    Also, I often hold back a laugh (and tear) when one of my fellow Americans repeats the old propaganda that Americans fought for their independence and won.

  17. Keeper of the Lantern says:

    Zarniwoop:

    In a country like the US but to a lesser extent the US where there are countless laws, YOU are probably breaking a whole bunch of them right now.

    What this means is that the police can pick up anyone they want at any time, quoting the lamest and most out of date laws imaginable.

    In the case of the British (since I live here now), they tend to lose the forest for the trees: No doubt lawmakers would get in trouble if they didn’t pass sufficient laws or failed to incarcerate someone who showed the most abstract sign of committing crime in the future. So as a default, it’s “better safe than sorry” and they therefore tend to arrest first and ask questions later.

  18. ubiquitous says:

    “Despite crime figures going down, we continue to spend more and lock up proportionately more people than any other free country.”

    So more criminals are going to jail, and crime has gone down. How is that a conflict? It seems more like cause and effect.

  19. Nelson.C says:

    Teresa @45: Why, when Cory moved to London, obviously.

  20. Imafilmmaker says:

    83,000 in prison in England? There are 7.2 million adults on probation or parole or incarcerated in jail or prison at yearend 2006, according to Wikipedia. I guess the Brits are just spending more for jailing, not sending more to jail.

  21. Takuan says:

    is Britain fragmenting into gated communities and closed villages?

  22. Nelson.C says:

    Takuan @11: No.

  23. Modusoperandi says:

    Takuan “Since it can no doubt be derived from statistical analysis that certain types will inevitably become guests of the penal system, perhaps a streamlining process could be developed wherein the likely offenders be separated at an early age and sent directly to “pre-prison” facilities.”
    Huzzah! Tis even better than your idea to employ the poor by using them to carry those of wealth and breeding about their daily tasks.

  24. Takuan says:

    any chance of it? When the paranoia goes past a critical threshold people band together – not against enemies but so they can keep track of their “friends”.

  25. Zarniwoop says:

    @8: Arresting is not the same as imprisonment (at least in the sense it’s used in the article).

    @14: Next time, please read what I say before quoting me. Specifically, the part which says, “If you have a problem with the laws in question, attack them instead.” i.e., not the people enforcing them. Thanks for playing!

    I’m totally with Pete (23) here. Posts like this ridiculous article are only going to serve to undermine Boingboing’s reputation.

  26. Purple Library Guy says:

    The crime rates thing is misleading some people, I think. First, crime rates have been going down in lots of places regardless of whether they’ve been pumping money into law enforcement. It seems to be mostly a demographics thing.
    Second, the heavy-law-and-order developed countries like the US, UK and to some extent Canada and Australia still tend to have higher crime than lower-incarceration developed countries like Scandinavian ones, Germany etc. Often much higher.

    So I really don’t think the evidence shows heavy policing and incarceration lead to lower crime rates. Lower crime rates seem to correlate more to less social stratification, better social programs etc., which you tend to see in countries with less punitive approaches to policing. Crime rates also depend significantly on the proportion of young men in the population. Crime’s been basically going down ever since the Boomers got too old to be in gangs.

  27. Rindan says:

    Sorry, I’m a little confused here. Isn’t locking up people who break the law a good thing? (If you have a problem with the laws in question, attack them instead.)

    When you are locking up a significant portion of your population for violating the law, maybe it is time to take big step back and ask yourself if it is the people or the laws that are the problem.

    No one has any problem with violent people being tossed in jail. The real problem is when you start tossing people in jail when there isn’t a victim. Are you really doing society any favors when you toss a drug user or prostitute into jail?

    I really can’t speak for Britain, but at least in the US a sickening number of its inmates are drug users and dealers. It is absurd beyond all reason to toss a user in jail. If it is a serious drug, they need help, not a prison cell. As far as drug dealers go, you could over night destroy a vast swath of criminal activity if you simply legalized recreational drugs within reason. When was the last time you bought black market beer from a sketchy gang member?

    If you could buy recreational drugs at a pharmacy… drugs properly made and researched in a clean lab that are not addictive, drug related deaths and crime would plummet. Criminal activity would find itself cut from its most lucrative funding, and in general the world would be a better place.

    Now, perhaps you keep some drugs illegal. Do we really need heroine on the streets? Probably not. But the way to beat heroine isn’t buy trying to make it disappear with law enforcement. It simply doesn’t work. Countless nations have tried for hundreds of years and they have all, without exception, failed. It is time to throw in the towel. The best way to beat heroine would be to simply offer a safe alternative that isn’t addictive. Sure, some people will opt for dumb option, but most people would rather pick up a nice clean safe drug from a pharmacy for a fraction of the cost, rather than buy something made in some dudes basement at inflated prices.

  28. Matthew Walton says:

    The whole situation is ridiculous. Several of my friends are police officers and none of them like how things have been going. The government meddle out of some deep need to monitor and control everything, and they’ve got completely the wrong idea about how to actually make a difference. Well, they do make a difference, but in entirely the wrong direction. Officer discretion has been largely eliminated in favour of indiscriminate fixed penalty notices. New offences appear continually. One week a year, officers have to account for their time in fifteen minute intervals so that people in offices will know what they’re doing.

    Criminalising everything and not allowing the police the leeway in which their relationship with the public can flourish for the benefit of everyone is not the way to go.

    (Obviously with leeway you need police officers who can be trusted to do things properly; it has to come with effective discipline within the force).

    And because of all this, the most baffling person I know is a police officer who’s a member of the Labour party even after all they’ve done to muck up the police.

  29. Anonymous says:

    @TAKUAN:
    I’ve LIVED in those pre-prison facilities (14 yr old girl — they called it a “group home”) and though they vary quite a bit, they have many bizarre characteristics boingers might be interested in. Note this is also Canada we are talking about here.

    In the all-girls facility I was in, the administrative staff (not the people who took care of you every day — office ppl) hated kids. The carers varied but were mostly sympathetic. The residents were of two predominant types: criminals-in-training who beat people up and wanted to go to the “real” juvenile facility (mainly to see their boyfriends), or lost girls whose family were not connected to them enough. Regardless of income level, race, other characteristics, these girls usually put their lives together one way or another after they left, even if they had children young or made some serious mistakes.

    The co-ed facilities, on the other hand, were nightmares. Constant beatings and fights, public sex (sometimes with staff!), and authoritarian staff that acted like the worst sterotypes of prison guards (short of rape) in response not so much to defiance (which after all they were inured to) but to intelligence, independent thought, or even curiosity or difference. Oddly enough, they actually seemed to be “friends” with the residents who behaved as expected. I never did figure that one out.

  30. asuffield says:

    When was the last time you bought black market beer from a sketchy gang member?

    1933, I’d imagine.

    This article is confused. It contains some good points and some really silly ones.

    Good point:

    It is fair to say that Britain is in the grip of law and order obsession, yet we seem incapable of putting police officers on the beat to patrol our streets, investigate crimes and keep order with an eye to proportionate and sensible use of their powers

    A lot of the new money going into policing is being wasted on frivolous political nonsense, when it should be spent on having more police and training them better. The actual police who are doing real policing are pretty good, we’re just not spending all our law enforcement money on them, and we should be.

    Silly:

    Despite crime figures going down, we continue to spend more and lock up proportionately more people than any other free country.

    Spending more is expected to lock up more criminals. Locking up more criminals is expected to make crime figures go down.

    Having more real, trained police makes crime go down. CCTV cameras do not make crime go down. We know this. We have solid research backing this up. And yet we’re wasting money on things that we know don’t work, rather than spending it on things that we know do work.

    We’re also having problems with police forces being used to apply “fines” that serve only to supplement the local government budget as stealth taxes. That needs to stop.

  31. Anonymous says:

    @ Purple Library Guy

    Also, if you outlaw less things, you have less crime. QED

  32. dougrogers says:

    “It seems more like cause and effect.”

    Coincidence isn’t Causality

  33. dirtyjim says:

    Not long ago we read about the reassembly of Stasi records (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/1447455/Computer-could-solve-600m-piece-Stasi-files-jigsaw.html). Seems like we’re out to create a lot more records to one day be shredded and hopefully reassembled. At least the software will already be written.

  34. freeyourcrt says:

    From the leaders who outlawed a musical instrument (bagpipes), is it any wonder?

  35. MarkHB says:

    Hum.

    I found out quite a bit as a result of being rather nastily assaulted by a gang of kids a few weeks back. Reading has a population of about 200,000 on the books (so probably closer a quarter mil). The police-station is a large, modern building, full of people with uniforms and pens, doing paperwork.

    The average number of cops on the beat during a shift is eight. Numerals, 8. This is why, on average, in previously-pleasant Caversham there are an average of six house-breakings a night, and the chances of anyone arresting my attackers are as good as zero – I was the fourth random assault by the 7th of August, and the attacks are continuing.

    The other uniformed officers dilligently process traffic tickets, “bin crime”, huge swathes of paperwork and what-have you. This is not the fault of the police themselves, as far as I can tell, but the amount of money being spent on the force, in my personal experience, is not going where it needs to go to make the place safe – well trained coppers, out on the beat. Lots of them.

    That doesn’t seem to be likely to happen anytime soon, though. Crying shame, this used to be a nice little area, now people aren’t safe after dark. I’m lucky to be alive – which is one hell of a thing to say about something that happenned 15 metres from one’s own front door.

  36. loci says:

    Let the criminals go free britain..this is an outrage!
    How dare you, have you not heard of the slap on the wrist?

    nthr pthtc sbmssn t bng…whch s ncrsngly trnng nt n nt k st.

    Im sure if the uk was slack with law and order you would criticize that also.

  37. dimmer says:

    “One week a year, officers have to account for their time in fifteen minute intervals”

    Given the way these petty thugs behave, they should have to do this 52 weeks a year.

  38. PaulR says:

    imipak:
    I agree, the USA stands head, shoulders, and beer belly above the rest of the world when it comes to incarceration rates. Maybe the critical phrase in evaluating the headline is “developed nation”.

    Maybe the reason that the ‘World’s Greatest Democracy(tm)’
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/08/31/raids/index.html
    locks up close to 1% of its population, is because it works so well, and costs so little.
    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_adu_pro_percap-crime-adults-prosecuted-per-capita

  39. Takuan says:

    since Britain and America both seem to have developed important economic engines around incarceration, perhaps it would be forward looking to make some modest changes for the sake of efficiency. Since it can no doubt be derived from statistical analysis that certain types will inevitably become guests of the penal system, perhaps a streamlining process could be developed wherein the likely offenders be separated at an early age and sent directly to “pre-prison” facilities. This would result in a huge savings of related costs and meet with general approval from the populace since they would know they were that much safer than before. We need some new terminology; “KinderKamps”? Help me out here.

  40. Pete says:

    The article itself is actually part of the Guardian newspapers blog site, rather than published polemic against police state activities from British government departments.

    UK analysis of crime is still in it’s infancy, with each seperate area of the UK having it’s own police force with it’s own computer system, gathering their own statistics on crime. In some areas, data on knife crime stretches back less than half a decade. Other crime statistics are pushed up by offences that were previously non-criminal now being registered by police forces as being part of ‘knife crime’, ‘terrorism’, or ‘road safety’ statistics.

    Policing in the UK is just breaking into the information age, and as such these statistics shouldn’t be too surprising. I don’t see any quarter given for crime-ridden areas of central London (where Cory lives) or Manchester versus Northumbria or Cumbria, which are massive rural areas.

    I live in the UK, and I hate living in a country that can’t face up to the fact that rehabilitation is the best way to solve crime, but passing this rubbish on as news is sensationalism. It’s not news, it’s op-ed, and it’s not scientific, but rather biased reporting of dodgy stats.

    FFS boingboingers, you’ve got a great platform for change (as your last post pointed out), but this sort of post makes you look like the loony fringe. Sort it out.

  41. Anonymous says:

    “Despite crime figures going down, we continue to spend more and lock up proportionately more people than any other free country.”

    That assumes crime is going down on its own. Can you picture criminal organizations’ members saying: “Hmm, gee, we’ve really been harsh on the general populace lately. Let’s ease up for a bit!” Of course not. Yet that’s the implication of the above line – crime is down, so we should police less.

    The causal relationship is all messed up. Crime is down exactly BECAUSE policing is finally getting the resources it needs to do a good job.

    Time magazine did a much better job addressing this issue recently, imho. They highlighted a greater effort by British police to build relationships in communities and recruit officers from minority groups, for example. Shockingly, this isn’t free 8-).

    @Boing Boing mods – I’m a little lazy re: account creation, but happy to sign my name – Gab Goldenberg.

  42. Kathryn Cramer says:

    I haven’t checked lately, but a few years ago, the UK was the leading exporter of mercenary services (private military contractors for those who don’t use the M word) so I suppose it should surprise that the UK is overtaking the US in the incarceration dept.

    (Remember folks, these things are AMENITIES that you pay for.)

    While I’m all for locking up dangerous criminals, in seems to me highly unlikely that the US & the UK have the world’s largest per capita supply of them.

  43. Kathryn Cramer says:

    #24: “should” should read “shouldn’t”

  44. Nelson.C says:

    Loci @19: It’s not so much that the blog is anti-Brit, it’s just that Cory lives in the UK now, so he reports on a lot of stuff that would otherwise be ignored on the US-centric web. Some commentors take this as a cue for UK-bashing, or to slip the reins on their most fantastic imaginings of life in the UK.

  45. Xopher says:

    It’s odd, because like several other commenters I’d heard that the US had the world’s highest incarceration rate. I had been attributing this to our prison system, which is largely run for profit by private corporations, so that recidivism and brutality both benefit the profitmongering slime who run them. The UK doesn’t have a private prison industry AFAIK, so I don’t know what’s going on there.

  46. Burz says:

    I’ve been on the lookout lately for things which Britain gives back to rest of the world in exchange for the resources it consumes.

    So far, I’ve come up with:

    1) Banking

    2) Mercenaries (per K. Cramer)

    3) State media (the BBC foreign services are large, and often paid for out of the government budget… not license fees or commercials as with other BBC divisions).

    4) Insurance

    5) Did I mention Banking?

    6) Oil. (No, actually they’re importing it now.)

    We sweetly refer to this as a “service economy”.

  47. Nelson.C says:

    Takuan @28: Point taken, though that article seems to be talking more about web-traffic rather than the originating web-pages. I should perhaps have said, “US-centric English-reading web” or somesuch.

  48. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Imipak @4:

    Perhaps he’s not counting the US as a free country?

    We’re a very rich third-world nation.

    Zarniwoop @7:

    Sorry, I’m a little confused here. Isn’t locking up people who break the law a good thing?

    If crime rates are falling, incarceration rates ought not be climbing.

    I think part of the confusion here is that you’re primarily thinking of law enforcement as a mechanism that punishes offenses, rather than one that keeps them from happening.

    Keeper of the Lantern @8:

    No doubt lawmakers would get in trouble if they didn’t pass sufficient laws or failed to incarcerate someone who showed the most abstract sign of committing crime in the future.

    Elected representatives tend to use “we’ll get tough on crime” as a campaign promise. High incarceration rates, and passing laws that automatically mandate minimum sentences, make them look tough.

    It’s not dissimilar to school administrators instituting boneheaded “zero tolerance” policies that result in well-behaved students being expelled for giving aspirin to a friend, or having a box knife in back of their truck that their father left there.

    Ubiquitous @9:

    So more criminals are going to jail, and crime has gone down. How is that a conflict? It seems more like cause and effect.

    Only if you postulate a constant rate of crime unaffected by other human actions and policies.

    Rindan @14, I agree with everything but the pharmacology. Painkillers and sedatives tend to be addictive. Methadone is just as addictive as heroin, but it doesn’t make you feel good. All it really does is suppress the symptoms of withdrawal.

    The real way to address drug problems is to treat them as a disease.

    Matthew Walton @15: So you’re saying the appropriate answer is more and better-trained police officers who have a closer relationship with the general public? If so, that sounds suspiciously sensible.

    Loci @19, it’s obscurely refreshing to realize that other countries have commenters like you.

    Dimmer @20:

    Given the way these petty thugs behave, they should have to [account for their time in fifteen-minute intervals] 52 weeks a year.

    You should read a good social history of law enforcement in your country. Having a publicly-funded professional police force has turned out to be a good idea.

    PaulR @21:

    Maybe the reason that the ‘World’s Greatest Democracy(tm)’ locks up close to 1% of its population, is because it works so well, and costs so little.

    Are you being ironic? I thought we were doing it because the Loud & Stupid tendency can be counted on to denounce rehabilitation (which really is the cost-effective approach) as “coddling criminals.”

    Pete @23, that’s interesting and useful data; but I find that people are more receptive to additional relevant information if you leave out the part about how stupid they are for not knowing it already.

    Kathryn Cramer @25:

    While I’m all for locking up dangerous criminals, in seems to me highly unlikely that the US & the UK have the world’s largest per capita supply of them.

    Quite so.

    BTW, I’ve been trying to re-find an interesting piece Patrick read to me a while back about a proposed correlation between falling crime rates and laws requiring landlords to get rid of lead paint. The logic was that the low-level brain damage characteristic of toddlers with subcritical heavy metal poisoning causes diminished impulse control, which can manifest as lawless behavior in teenagers and young adults.

    JBang @31: That’s reasonable. Removing people from the web of social and economic life, and confining them with only a bunch of chronic fckups for company, is not a good way to turn them into solid citizens. Also, prevention and rehabilitation are much cheaper than incarceration.

    Zarniwoop @39, vide supra my comments to PaulR @21. Also, I’m not impressed by anonymous user IDs that go on about the state of others’ reputations.

    Purple Library Guy @40:

    I really don’t think the evidence shows heavy policing and incarceration lead to lower crime rates. Lower crime rates seem to correlate more to less social stratification, better social programs etc., which you tend to see in countries with less punitive approaches to policing. Crime rates also depend significantly on the proportion of young men in the population. Crime’s been basically going down ever since the Boomers got too old to be in gangs.

    (Applause.)

    Anonymous @41, that’s a stumper. I have no idea why the guards would be friendlier to the residents who (mis)behaved as they expected them to. I’ve been hoping someone would chime in with an explanation.

    MarkHB @43, I’m sorry to hear that, the more so since I have an old friend who lives not far from you. When you say you were “the fourth random assault by the 7th of August,” do you mean the fourth one this calendar year?

    Nelson C. @44: You mean America’s not the center of the universe? When did that happen?

  49. Baldhead says:

    I think part of the point is that crime rates were falling BEFORE incarceration rates were rising. Making the extra money a waste because while it may be having an effect, it’s not really what’s needed.

    Crime itself has gone down. Reporting of crime has gone up. An example would be if people read about 3 murders last year. They only heard about every fourth murder, however, so the other 9 went unnoticed. This year they hear about every single one- all 4 of them. The perception becomes that murder is on the rise when it is in fact in decline.

  50. jbang says:

    Locking up people who break the law is not a good thing – at least not as a blanket treatment.

    It should be the goal of any civilised country to reduce the level of incarceration within it’s population. Violent and serious crimes obviously need to be punished, but when your data set tells you that crime rates are dropping and yet the level of incarceration is still rising, you’d really want to evaluate WHY they are going to jail and WHAT for.

    Jail is little more than a crime school, especially for low-level offenders that don’t belong there. If you’re locked up for any more than a month, chances are you’ll come out with a chronic disease, addicted to drugs and/or in the company of people that won’t help you stay on the straight and narrow when you get out.

    This notion of break the law, go to jail is one that has been failing the US for decades. I don’t understand how or why the UK thinks these figures are going to be good for the long term health of it’s society.

  51. arkizzle says:

    Tak @ 22

    I thought Juve Cubes was the accepted terminology.

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