Repetition can sometimes, I confess, be a little boring but that does not necessarily reduce the underlying truth. As a society we are failing the lowest drug addled,addicted and often mentally impaired members of society. Sometimes we lock them up and sometimes we are so much in despair that we don`t. Pressures are increasing to abandon completely custodial sentences currently available to magistrates. We are told that rehabilitation will reduce offending for those currently being sent to custody within current magistrates` sentencing guidelines. It is, however, because that cabinet member of supreme failure Chris Grayling emasculated the probation service on the basis of political ideology that it will be years before there will be confidence in truly being able to undertake such changes. But we have been here before. His successor three times removed as justice secretary, David Gauke, has said that 3,111 prison officers were recruited between October 2016 and March 2018, surpassing a government pledge to recruit 2,500 prison officers by the end of this year. What he doesn`t say is that approximately 5,000 prison officers lost their jobs between 2010 and 2016. The MOJ instigated enormous cuts in those years ignoring the outcries from those who were in a perfect position to predict the outcome.
Just two of thousands of cases of recidivism which our current sentencing guidelines cannot cope with are available here and here. Similar offenders are being sentenced in every courtroom every day all over the country. It is a national disgrace. It must not continue.
There must be out of the box thinking on what can be done for those tens of thousands locked up by my former colleagues annually. Although forming only about 4% of all those sentenced the costs to society are enormous. My out of the brain box remedy is a workhouse designed and staffed for the 21st century. For those interested just type "workhouse" in the search box for my more detailed previous posts on the topic.