Friday, 22 February 2013
Nearly eight thousand criminals jailed last year had already received 11 or more community sentences, a think-tank reveals today.
It says the statistic highlighted the ‘revolving door system’ of non-custodial punishments that exposes the public to hardened offenders who commit one crime after another.
The Centre for Crime Prevention reveals in a report that of the 107,688 criminals jailed in the financial year 2011/12, three-quarters had already been given at least one community sentence.
Three quarters of criminals who were jailed in 2011/12 had served a community sentence before
Some 64 per cent – 68,485 offenders – had received at least two, while 35 per cent, or nearly 37,516, had received five or more.
A staggering 7,783 had 11 or more community punishments on their record, while 1,784 had 16 or more. There were 407 who had received an astonishing 21 or more of these sentences.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has promised to put 'punishment' at the centre of tough new community sentences.
‘These figures prove that letting thousands of criminals off with one community sentence after another is failing. Stiff prison sentences protect the public and have lower reoffending rates.’
He continued: ‘Apologists for community sentencing regularly cite reoffending by those released from prison as proof of its failure. ‘The vast majority of prisoners had also been through community punishments – often multiple times – before they made it as far as prison. The main difference is that prisoners are no danger to the public for the duration of their sentence.’
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has pledged to put ‘punishment’ at the centre of tough new community sentences.
He has given assurances that all community sentences will carry some punitive element, such as unpaid work, to ensure they are no longer a ‘soft option’.
Thousands of criminals are expected to be put on GPS satellite tags so their every movement can be monitored. Mr Grayling also wants to use charities and businesses to tackle entrenched reoffending as part of a ‘rehabilitation revolution’. Work will be outsourced with firms ‘paid by results’, with fixed targets on re-offending rates.
Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said: ‘Prison does work. But we are toughening up community sentences so every sentence contains a genuine punishment, including fines, unpaid work and strict curfews and exclusion zones – which can be enforced with state-of-the-art GPS tracking.’
Last year 22,817 community punishments were scrapped in 2011 because the subject was failing to follow conditions set down by the court, such as completing unpaid work, meeting their probation officer or attending drug treatment.
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