Prison: the most counter-productive way of dealing with crime?

Jack of Kent blogged in the Financial Times earlier this week, summarising his  2013 post at FT on custodial sentences:

Here is a thought-experiment: imagine that you have asked some mischievous demon to conceive the most counter-productive way of dealing with crime. What fiendish scheme would this diabolic agent devise? The demon could suggest a system:

– where offenders are kept together with more serious and experienced criminals for months or years, and so can learn from them;

– where the offender is taken away from any gainful employment and social support or family network;

– where the offender is put in places where drugs and brutality are rife;

– where the infliction of a penalty can make the offender more, and not less, likely to re-offend; and

– where all this is done at extraordinary expense for the taxpayer.

A system, in other words, very much like the prison system we now have in England and Wales.

Not convinced? Click on this link: http://www.theguardian.com/society/prisons-and-probation

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