HAVING spent most of my working life within the criminal justice system, I have found recent developments in sentencing quite intriguing and the many letters and comments around the subject.
I would never subscribe to the view that imposing a long sentence and then saying only half needs to be served.
What is the point? Sentences should surely reflect the crime and indeed what the majority of the general public feel. If not, there is no point in the system at all.
We should always remember that offenders mostly do so of their own choice. There is no wonder that short sentences never work because the offender has basically nothing much to fear.
The loss of freedom in my working days used to be a threat. Not now. I wonder why?
As for the role and membership of the Parole Board, it does not, and never has, reflected true society. They are mostly out of touch with reality, hence the rather odd decisions they make. The time has come when a real hard review of the criminal justice system, particularly sentencing, needs quick action.
There is nothing wrong with building a prison if it does the work we expect it to do.