Criminology, probation and stuff

Some musings on criminology with a focus on probation

Parole chief: release more prisoners

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David Latham makes some very interesting and timely remarks in this interview with the Guardian: Parole chief: release more prisoners. I’m particularly interested in this bit:

“Society needs to realise that we can’t create a world which is free of risk. What society has to determine, is what level of risk it is prepared to accept.

“I’m concerned that the society we’re presently living in, is becoming too risk averse. That means that society is perhaps unrealistic about the level of risk it should be prepared to accept.”

The consequence, said Latham, is that “real injustices” are allowed to occur. Unless society was prepared, he added, to take a “more sophisticated attitude” to the risks posed by prisoners released on licence, the criminal justice system would continue to incarcerate people, who would never reoffend if released, for many years longer than they were sentenced to by the court.

And his comment that “Once the tariff period for the offence has been served, there needs to be a proper and rigorous justification to keep anyone in prison” is spot on. Criminal Justice Agencies should be focussing on why people should stay in prison, not why they should not be let out.


Written by criminologyandstuff

April 1, 2010 at 9:29 am

Posted in criminal justice

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