Return to Action needed – Public sector

Justice sector

  • The prison service is substantially not working, and needs to change

  • Clearly, any villain locked away will be prevented from committing any crimes, at least personally, but over 70% of offenders re-offend within one year – about 85% in the case of younger offenders

  • Why is this?

  • First, most prisoners are locked up for most of the day and treated badly or worse by some of the officers which surely makes them worse than they were at the start, not better – they learn to despise authority, not learn a trade for when they’re released and that there’s better ways of living

  • According to Rod Aldridge, founder of Capita, it turns out that:

    • 66% of people going to prison have no job

    • 75% of people leaving prison have no job to go to

    • And 30% of them don’t even have a place to live

  • It’s not rocket science to see that, if they have no job, no job experience and nowhere to live, they have a major incentive to go back to offending – what other options do they have?

  • As a result, enlightened companies such as National Grid, Amec, Balfour Beatty and DHL have launched pilot schemes to train offenders – it’s not being given another chance, and being deemed unemployable once you’ve made one mistake and committed one crime, that produces high recidivism – or so the theory has it

  • Clearly there will be no-hopers, but not 100%

  • Results to date from the above pilot schemes are most impressive – only 7% of members re-offend – and they’re not thought of as charities – “the people we employ through this are all as good or better than the people we find through normal methods” says DHL

  • As for the Courts and the Crown Prosecution Service, public complaints about prohibitive costs, long delays and inadequate sentences seem to fall on deaf ears, or did do until Ken Clarke was appointed as Justice Minister – modernisation, before his arrival, had been restricted to little more than stopping judges wearing wigs

  • Even now, justice is still not available to most people other than the very rich or very poor – the majority consider the system too risky, too expensive and/ or far far too slow

  • Meanwhile, detection rates continue to be ‘appalling’ and recidivism, the ultimate quality cost of our justice system, continues at levels described by Ken Clarke as ‘ludicrous’