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Originally Posted by linda

hi admin.i would never doubt any opinion ferris conspiracy provides on this site reguarding police tactics and police corruption.only the real facts and truth you get from this site.

Thank you Linda as we always KEEP IT REAL and provide the best independent evidence we can find to back up ALL our they are not merely allegations........................... and THEY know it!




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The TRUTH is out there...........

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The TimesOctober 11, 2006


Law chief attacks longer sentences

THE LORD CHIEF JUSTICE criticised ever-lengthening jail sentences yesterday, which he said could in the future be regarded just as shocking as the noose and the whip.

Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers said that decisions by politicians and judges on sentencing were being affected by an atmosphere encouraging retribution on offenders.

He criticised parts of the media for whipping up a desire among the public for vengeance against criminals.

Politicians, the judges and public are being affected by media criticism, which makes light of prison sentences, the Lord Chief Justice said.

He said that a five-year jail term was a very weighty punishment but “some elements of the media are inclined . . . to speak of defendants being permitted to ‘walk free’ after only five years inside”.

The Lord Chief Justice, giving a lecture in Oxford, said: “That is not to say that I do not recognise that there are certain crimes which require a sentence of that length or longer to protect the public, but I detect on the part of such publications an incitement to the public to exact vengeance from offenders not dissimilar from the emotions of those who thronged to public executions in the 18th century.”

He criticised sections of the media for failing to explain the judge’s reasoning for handing down particular sentences.“Such is the atmosphere that sentencers are criticised for failing to lock offenders up for longer, but without examination as to the explanation given by the judge or the statutory framework in which it was imposed. Media pressure such as this cannot fail to have an effect on the public, on politicians and on judges.”

His speech outlined the history of British punishments, including practices now considered “utterly barbaric”, such as flogging and the scold’s bridle.He then added: “I sometimes wonder whether, in a hundred years’ time, people will be as shocked by the length of the sentences we are imposing as we are by some punishments of the 18th century.”

He said: “Some of the media, and some sentencers, are sceptical as to whether community sentences provide adequate punishment and whether they are any more effective in preventing reoffending than imprisonment.

“They are not a panacea, but I believe they offer a better chance of preventing reoffending than short spells of imprisonment and can leave room in the prisons for effective intervention for those whose crimes require detention.”

The Lord Chief Justice said that the prison population was made up largely of people who had been socially deprived, and tackling this could reduce the prison population. He highlighted the lack of skills, homelessness, drug addiction and mental-health problems of many of those in jail. Half of all prisoners were at or below the reading level of an 11-year-old, nearly half were excluded from school and most had no qualifications. One in four men and one in three women admitted to heroin or crack cocaine use and 72 per cent of men had two or more mental disorders.

David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, said that the Lord Chief Justice was wrong to say that community sentences offered a better chance to prevent reoffending.

Mr Davis said: “Ninety one per cent of young people on the Government’s ISP scheme reoffend within two years.”

Norman Brennan, director of the Victims of Crime Trust, said: “The Lord Chief Justice and his colleagues in the judiciary are partly responsible for the crisis in our criminal justice system. It is because of their obsession with prison alternatives that many criminals see community sentences as a licence to reoffend. Soft sentences on criminals means tough sentencing on their victims and does little to reassure the frightened British public.”

  • The Government suffered a defeat last night when the Lords voted, by a majority of 113, to retain the independent prisons inspectorate which ministers want to merge into a new Inspectorate for Justice, Community Safety and Custody.

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    Reply with quote  #79 

    The Criminal Justice System

    by Martin Narey, Director General of the Prison Service

    Thank you very much indeed Prime Minister. I must say this is an extremely intimidating occasion, but I shall do my very best.

    I want to take this opportunity, and a unique opportunity obviously for me, to say something about prisons and their place in the Criminal Justice System, and their place of course in the Criminal Justice System is at the end. Prisons are the repository for those who can't be allowed to live in our communities. And the issue is whether or not prisons can on a serious scale be more than that, whether we can reduce re-offending and the repetitive front-loading of the Criminal Justice

    System with the same people who have just left the back end often just a few weeks or even days previously. And you will not be surprised to know that I want to try to make the case today that prisons can do that, that they can reduce re-offending and on a limited scale indeed are doing that, but that at the moment huge potential is lost, and that in the main, so far as cutting crime is concerned, prison is a wasted opportunity.

    But first if I may, some comments on the Criminal Justice System and particularly about delay which contributes so significantly to the size of the prison population and our current overcrowding problems. About 12,500 of my population are on remand, so any shortening of the remand period would make a very significant difference to overcrowding.

    But just as importantly, less time on remand would also mean that more of the eventual sentence served by a prisoner was served in a training prison where for example the greatest access to drug treatment is available. At the moment too many sentenced prisoners have so little time to serve when convicted that there is no time and not much point in moving them out of a training prison and the whole of their sentence is spent in the impoverished regime of an overcrowded local.

    One or two of you might know that in 1996 Michael Howard asked me to go away and see whether or not something could be done to reduce delay, and I produced proposals to try to reduce the ever lengthening time it takes to get somebody to justice.

    The recommendations made then, but implemented by Jack Straw, did make a difference and waiting times from charge to completion are 20% shorter now than before the changes were made, but the system remains unbelievably slow and cumbersome, and we can hardly celebrate the fact that it still takes an average of 9 weeks from a defendant being charged to his or her case being completed even in a Magistrates Court.

    Let me share some statistics with you. Last year there were 5 million recorded crimes. About half a million of those led to prosecutions at the Magistrates Court. About half of those, about 272,000, were convicted, but nearly 30% of the cases brought to court were terminated early without a conviction or acquittal. And additionally, of the prosecutions for which a conviction followed, a significant proportion would have been for lesser charges than made by the police at the outset. The figures on this are hard to obtain, but it is a reasonable bet that about one-quarter of violent offences for example result in a conviction for a lesser charge than the original.

    So against that, it is little wonder that experienced defendants will seek to delay their cases as much as possible in the hope that charges will be lowered or charges might be dropped altogether. As one very experienced solicitor told me recently, to conscientiously serve his client in a criminal case he must delay, delay and delay.

    For the guilty who don't frustrate the system and are eventually convicted, and despite the views of the public, encouraged by the media I might say, it is now much more likely that a guilty defendant will go to prison. Ten years ago, one defendant in twenty-six went into custody; it is now one defendant in thirteen.

    And despite fewer people being sentenced to both the Magistrates and the Crown Court last year, the prison population grew last year by 4,500, and in the first four months of this year, during a time when we expected the population to remain level, the population has grown by a further 5,000.

    The proposition I want to make today is that the service can do a great deal with serious and violent offenders, much much more than we do now.  But the population is overwhelming us. We can do very little that is useful with short term prisoners and last year 50,000 prisoners, more than half of all receptions into prison, were sentenced to less than 6 months, and about a quarter of all receptions were sentenced to less than 3 months.

    So the vast majority of those received into my prisons are not with us long enough to get them off drugs, to put them through friendly behaviour programmes, or to get them into drug treatment or give them some educational qualifications, but invariably they are with us long enough to lose their jobs, lose their homes, break contact with their families and many of them will leave - let nobody be in any doubt - more criminally intended than when they arrived with us, meanwhile to deflect the Prison Service from reducing the future re-offending of those for whom we can make a real difference.

    Prisons are bursting at the seams while probation workloads are falling. The number of pre-sentence reports last year fell by 6%, community rehabilitation orders by about 2%, punishment and rehabilitation orders by 15%. Why? We now have a national probation service, led in my opinion with immense energy by Ethne Wallace, and with a genuinely changed philosophy grounded in making community punishments a tough and rigorous alternative to short terms in custody.

    So why do sentences have a continuing love affair with custody? Well I would like to speculate there may be 6 reasons. First of all, prisons are visibly better than they used to be. Magistrates could be brought to a local prison as little as 10 years ago and the smell of slopping out would be enough to discourage the use of custody in almost any  case. Now prisons are at the very least cleaner, less overcrowded with no prisoners 3 to a cell, and in most of them there is at least some visible evidence of some constructive work taking place.

    Secondly, despite the creation of a national Probation Service and its new leadership and emphasis on effectiveness, things may still look pretty much the same to Magistrates and Judges. They remember previous rebrandings of tough community sentences, but as one Magistrate told me recently, the introduction of new names for orders, such as the Community Punishment Order, do not impress us when we see them supervised by exactly the same staff as before.

    Thirdly, and I think this is a key point, although there is a great deal of emerging evidence about the effectiveness of new community penalties and lots of good news stories, sentences rarely hear of them. They may be told of the new probation programmes may cut re-offending by 10 or 15%, but they only see the probation failures, brought back before them again and again when they are breached. There needs to be some marketing here at local level. There are good news stories for Judges and Magistrates to see and they don't see them.

    Fourthly, I think the quite proper and greater emphasis upon the victim in our Criminal Justice process might be encouraging sentences to believe in far more cases than ever before that custody is the only reasonable sanction in the interests of the victim. Regrettably, and despite all the efforts to sell community punishments as difficult and stretching alternatives, many victims, and worse still many remand prisoners, still talk of community punishment as getting off.

    Fifth, while the notion of protecting the public is now deep into the mind set of the Magistracy, this may be viewed strictly in the short term and a short prison sentence might be seen as affording greater protection to the public, even though the time spent incapacitated is very brief indeed and longer term criminality might be increased.

    And finally, perhaps part of the problem is that prison may still be seen by many sentencers as in every case a necessary evil, and that in defiance of Michael Howard's dictum that prison works, they believe prison cannot work in any circumstances and there is therefore limited thought given to using it in a discriminating fashion.

    Until recently such sentencers who believe prison could never work would be in good company. Not long after I joined the Service as an Assistant Governor 20 years ago, the philosophy of nothing works fell over the Prison Service like a dark shroud. By the late '80s most Governors sought little more than to provide conditions for prisoners which were not too indecent. The eradication of slopping out became an end in itself rather than a foundation for rehabilitation, a word prison professionals became embarrassed to use.

    The optimism of the Woolf Report in 1990 and the priority in holding prisoners in decent conditions close to home and with an emphasis on resettlement provided a temporary relief. But escapes of notorious Category A prisoners, including some terrorists from Parkhurst and Whitemore, brought that progress to a swift halt, and a deeper depression epitomised by prison works and the accompanying call for prisons which had to be decent but austere set a new and depressing tone for the Service.

    I make no criticism of Michael Howard for his emphasis on the basics of security following that. The Prison Service let him, as Home Secretary, down very badly indeed. Not only did 5 Category A prisoners escape, including 3 from a special secure unit at Whitemore Prison, a prison within a prison, something we believed to be impregnable, but many other prisoners were escaping so fast we could barely count them. In fact there were 19 Category A escapes in the first 6 years of the 1990s.

    Thankfully there have been none since.

    But more worryingly in the early-'90s, escapes every year were in the hundreds. There were 6 escapes every week from prisons in 1992. Last year there were 14 in the whole year. Drastically reducing the number of escapes was simply vital if my Service was ever again to regain public, Parliamentary and Ministerial confidence, and much as I am committed to a service which can reduce re-offending, I remind my staff very frequently that we must never again loosen our grip on security if we want to avoid a repetition of the '90s' obsession and the mantra - security, security, security.

    The challenge for my service for the last 4 years or so has been to hang on to the security gains, but also to start to demonstrate that we can release people less likely to offend than when they arrived with us. An investment of about £60 million per year from the 1998 and 2000 SCRs have given us that chance.

    So how will we spend it? Well in three main ways. First of all on offending behaviour programmes. Last month the Home Office published research showing encouraging reductions in reconvictions two years after release for graduates of these programmes in the early and mid-'90s.

    Reconviction rates were 14% lower - 14 percentage points lower - than for a matched control group. The programmes address the so-called cognitive deficits of offenders, the thinking skills of offenders, the inability of so many impetuous men, and nearly all of them are young men, the inability to think through the likely consequences of their actions, to think about alternatives when faced with a problem.

    Specific programmes for sex offenders, on which the research is also very encouraging in terms of reconviction, tries to look at the twisted thinking behind much sex crime, for example the thinking of paedophiles which will sometimes be so twisted as to rationalise that a child can not only consent to sex but can enjoy sex, turning that twisted thinking around has a very significant effect on their dangerousness when they leave us.

    There is a long way to go with these programmes yet, but the results reflect international evidence about their effectiveness, and the numbers of the programmes we have delivered have increased 7 times in 7 years. But with only 5,000 prisoners going through the programmes last year we are still far short of meeting demand and many offenders, including dangerous sex offenders, are released without going through a programme which is so necessary.

    Secondly, we have spent the money on trying to reduce drug abuse.  No-one here needs any convincing about the link between drugs and crime. About one third of criminal activity is related to drug abuse, and we can make such a difference. It is generally accepted, somewhat wrongly, that prisons are awash with drugs. It is undoubtedly the case that prisons have drugs in them and in most prisons drugs are available.

    To eradicate them completely would require a different approach for example to visits, it would require us to have all visits behind glass screens, as they do in many US states and in prisons I visited in Hong Kong recently, it would take away a humanity to the Prison Service which I would find very distressing because it would take away any opportunity of for example a father ever having his child on his knee or ever embracing his wife or partner.

    But we have to find a way of further reducing the supply of drugs into prisons. We have made very great progress with drug dogs at every prison since 1998, much better searching, close circuit television in every visits room, and the amount of drug abuse in prisons has fallen accordingly, from about 26% of all prisoners in 1998 to about 11% last year, and we are confident that those figures are right because we randomly test between 5 - 10% of our population every month.

    On top of reducing supply we begin to make much more important progress. Detoxification is now available in every local prison. A basic assessment, referral and support service for those who abuse drugs is available in every single prison.

    Treatment programmes which ran in 16 prisons 3 years ago now run in 50 prisons, mostly delivered in cooperation with community drugs agencies, sometimes employing ex-prisoners to come back into prisons and work with offenders and talk through how they managed to come off drugs, they are showing very encouraging effectiveness.

    Research published last year about our oldest and established programmes run for us by a body called Wrapped, show the treatment programmes are likely to halve offending up to 6 months after release, and after 2 years the reconviction of those who have graduated from these programmes is still 20% lower than a carefully matched control group.

    And finally, we have spent this money on the thing I feel most passionate about, which is education. By next year we will be investing about an extra £18 million a year in prison education compared to 3 years ago, and we have redirected much of our initial investment towards basic skills.

    You may be surprised to learn just how much the Prison Service, and particularly previous Ministers who launched this with me, were criticised for doing this, because we were told in 1999 that prisoners were unteachable, or that qualification based learning wasn't appropriate for them and we should direct them into using their leisure time creatively.

    Nonsense. There is little or no evidence that the prisoner population is in some way intellectually subnormal, but there is a great deal of evidence that they are very seriously uneducated, and in some of the institutions caring for those aged 17 and under, the proportion of those young men who have been permanently excluded from school in some establishments reaches 75%.

    In Stokeheath in Staffordshire the figure is 80%, and the proportion of young men there who never went to school beyond primary school is more than 10%.

    Not surprisingly, therefore, the Basic Skills Agency tell us that about 65% of our population are essentially unemployable in the case of 96% of all jobs available in Job Centres. So we simply had to address this, we had to turn this around and we have a long long way to go before we have done so. But last year about 62,000 qualifications were gained in prisons, 24,000 of them in basic skills in literacy and in numeracy, including about 16,000 at the level which makes young people employable, generally in the case of prisoners for the first time in their lives. 

    And I am very proud that last year of those adults in England and Wales who as part of the national skills for life strategy improved their literacy and numeracy, 10% of them did so from prison.

    Education, offending behaviour programmes and drug treatment programmes, can be particularly effective in prison, simply because our prisoners are literally captive. We can achieve things which it might be quite impossible to do in the community, but we are not doing remotely enough.

    Minimal marginal additional investment, perhaps another £90 million or so a year, would be enough to enable us to double all that we are currently doing in education, in drug treatment and offending behaviour programmes. As things stand, we are only playing at the edges and the wasted opportunities are there to see in every prison I visit.

    Worse, the small but significant progress we have made in the last few years is under threat. We are managing the current population of more than 70,000, but only just. Absorbing 10,000 more prisoners in 18 months has not been accompanied by any significant increase in the things I have described which might reduce re-offending, and in any case, as I have explained, too many of the prisoner population are not going to be with us for long enough for us to do anything which will make a difference, but their numbers deflect our efforts to care decently for those we can help.

    And the reality of overcrowding is very stark. It is true that there are no longer prisoners three to a cell, and it is true that there is no longer in the main any slopping out.

    But 12,800 prisoners or so tonight and every night will share a cell in jails in England and Wales, they live together in that cell and they will defecate in front of one another in that cell, because the cells we built in such optimism in the wake of the eradication of slopping out, in the belief that we would have one man in them, now have to be doubled up on 12,800 cases at the moment, and that figure is rising.

    It is very hard to convince prisoners or their families that we are intent on making imprisonment constructive when basic standards are so gross.

    To make matters worse, far too many of the prisoner population should be cared for elsewhere. The proportion of the prisoner population suffering from mental illness has soared since the introduction of care in the community at the end of the '80s. Incredibly, 90% of the prisoner population suffer from one of the 5 main categories of mental disorder - psychosis, neurosis, personality disorder, drug dependency or alcohol dependency.

    Today about 5,000 prisoners are suffering from severe and enduring mental illness, at any one time 300 or so in prison but waiting for a bed in a secure and psychiatric hospital having been sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

    And last year I did the Back to the Floor programme for BBC and went back to be a prison officer at Parkhurst, and I got an all too stark example of what that means - prison officers, understandably wanting me to experience some difficult experiences in my week in uniform, took me to search the cell of a prisoner who was in the hospital but who appeared to be very ill.

    He was a wretched man, but he was also a very dangerous man, and he had been issuing very grave and very worrying threats to some very young and inexperienced female staff.

    I went in to search his cell and I found that he had stuck on the walls of his cell pictures from Page 3 of the Sun and the Star all over his walls, but he had also cut out from the back of those same newspapers adverts for lingerie and so forth, anything with a female form, and they were all over his wall, and he had stuck them there with his own semen.

    When I asked, I found that that man had been waiting to get into Rampton for nearly 5 months and during the time he had been waiting in Parkhurst, getting worse because we could not treat him against his will - and quite right too - while he had been in Parkhurst getting worse he had moved down the waiting list from number 2 for Rampton to about number 6.

    Now I could stop being a prison officer very briefly and phone people and I managed to get him moved, but there are 299 others like him in prisons and they should not be there.

    The cavalry, I have to say, is on the way. We have 300 psychiatric nurses from the NHS arriving in prisons as we speak to make a real difference, to extend the community care available in society to their patients while they happen to be in our local prisons, and I am hugely grateful for that help, but it is only a beginning and we need much much more if we are to be able to care for people who are with us, often because the courts feel they have nowhere else to send them, but who require far more care than we can afford.

    And the most disturbing aspect of mental illness of course is the fact that so many people come into our care intent on killing themselves.

    Astonishingly 20% of men on reception admit to having previously tried to take their own lives. 40% of women admit to previously having tried to take their own lives.

    When I became Director General some three and a half years ago, I tried to make the reduction of suicide my personal priority and I have had huge support first from Paul Boeteng and more recently from Beverly Hughes who I know cares desperately about this, and the figures have come down from 91 two years ago to 82 last year, and in the year just finished to 72, and the rate of suicides has dropped quite significantly and until very recently was at its lowest since about 1993.

    The population of people in and out of locals as we move people up and down the country to where anywhere there is a bed is making a difference, and this weekend, three times on Saturday and then again this lunchtime, I was phoned to say that we had lost a prisoner who had killed themselves, and suicides which have fallen for three consecutive years, I regret to say will almost certainly rise in number this year.

    I am sometimes told that there are confused messages at the moment about the use of custody. I don't believe the message could be any clearer.

    The Home Secretary and the Lord Chief Justice are saying again and again that prison is the right place for serious and violent offenders, but not the right place for those who receive short sentences when community punishments are available. Indeed in 20 years in the Criminal Justice System I do not recall such a consistent and united message from a Home Secretary and Lord Chief Justice.

    I desperately want to work with that message. We cannot simply build ahead of this thirst for custody. At worst, we can't treat people with dignity or decency, or sometimes even keep them alive. Let me give you an example of the hurdle.

    At Glen Parva, a large prison for those aged 18 - 20 outside Leicester, last month received, as is about usual, 190 or so new prisoners from court, but they also, as we struggled to cope with overcrowding, moved 117 on to other prisons and received 173 transfers from prisons. At the end of the month, as the Governor reported to me at the weekend, 40% of the young people in custody had not been there at the beginning of the month, and the chances of staff getting to know people, recognise their vulnerability and sometimes their dangerousness, is minimal in those circumstances.

    I am of course grateful for the investment that I received very recently from the Home Secretary and Beverley Hughes, for the investment in additional capacity which will mean that overcrowding won't get worse, and some of that extra accommodation will be coming on stream in the next few weeks, but that is not the sort of investment I crave or any of my Governors crave.

    If the population would only stop growing we would need relatively little investment, certainly much less than it takes to build new prisons, and we could begin on a real scale to change people's lives because that is what we can do when we have the opportunity. We need to take an imaginative leap from 19th century penal dustbins to see the potential of prisons as secure residential colleges for offenders who through getting them off drugs and getting them education can make young people employable.

    Since 1999, we have been able to do this just a little with the youngest in our care, those aged 15, 16 and 17. I would still argue with Lord Warner of the Youth Justice Board that I don't get enough money from him. We still run our places at about £50,000 per juvenile per year, compared with expenditure of about £150,000 per year in the local authority sector.

    And local authorities can spend £16,000 per year on a young person's education, and I have about £1,800. But nevertheless the investment in the last few years has made us or given us the opportunity dramatically to improve the care of that age group, and although my costs for caring for these young people are less than those enjoyed by local authorities and secure training centres, they amount to much more than I have to care for those aged 18 - 20, I have about 35% less cash to care for each of them.

    But having the additional cash for younger prisoners has given us the opportunity to demonstrate that we can begin to do a half decent job, to provide better facilities, better living conditions, not as yet overcrowded, more classrooms and routine access to education for every single person in our care.

    It has allowed us to have parents routinely involved, taking part in monthly discussions on a son's progress, and sometimes, and very movingly, coming up to establishments to see their sons at prize-givings, when for the first time in their lives parents see the achievements of their children celebrated.

    And let me give you one good example - a boy called Tony. Tony was brought up in Scotswood in Newcastle. He was in trouble from a very early age. He rarely attended school, and at 15, after a lot of petty offending, he tried unsuccessfully, armed with a knife, to rob a local newsagents. He came to Castington serving a 6 year sentence and arrived 2 years ago.

    Gradually, very slowly at first, a real change has been seen in this young man and his self-esteem has improved. A few months ago he wrote a simple book for his nephew, called Alec the Caterpillar, and I have got a photocopy of it here. It is a very simple book, written for his nephew.

    For example, "The caravan on Farmer Joe's small farm was beside the stables where one lovely white horse lived.  Alec liked where he lived because it was next to a cabbage patch, which of course was one of his favourite foods."

    Last summer that book won an award at the Kirstler Awards Ceremony which celebrates prisoner achievements in the arts, and it won the Puffin Book of the Year Award. But what made that really impressive was that when Tony came into Castington two years ago he could neither read nor write, he couldn't write a single sentence and recognised only a handful of words.

    But now his parents, expecting him home later this year, can look forward to his return with real optimism and he is employable.

    There are other examples like him. As Angela Newstata said in her recent book, Locked in, Locked Out, published just a few months ago, "the best prison regimes are able to discover and develop some of the potential of young inmates in a way that has generally not happened before in their lives and may actually enable them to find meaning, choose to learn skills that give them a choice about whether to return to crime or not, and as important as anything, to learn that adults may be with them rather than against them".

    She goes on to conclude that, grimly ironic as it may be, many of the offenders she spoke to, "could not have got themselves out of the spiral of chaos and crime they were in without being physically removed from it, in many cases detoxed and being obliged to live in a different way".

    But although there are more Tonys, there are nowhere near enough, andfor every Tony whose life chances we can turn round, there are probably 5 or 6 who we do not reach. It seems to me that there is an overwhelming moral and economic case for putting that right, and it might need not a penny more.

    Accelerate the Criminal Justice process and cut my remand population, persuade the courts to use custody only where custody might work and therefore reduce my sentence population, and simply removing those sentenced last year to sentences of 6 months or less would reduce the population at a stroke by 6,500.

    So reduce the population, leave me with the money I have now, and in return I can promise to make a real difference with those with us long enough to come off drugs and get into drug treatment, perhaps to go through a offending behaviour course or to start, what is in most cases, the first serious education in their lives, and as a result we will make them employable and remove the social exclusion. That would be to provide the sort of prison service I hoped I was joining 20 years ago and which for the first time in the last few years I thought was on the horizon.

    We dare not miss this chance to turn aspiration and potential into reality. We look both to the young people in our care, most of whom have had precious little chance in life, but also to the communities, those same young people, will pray upon unless we can turn their lives around. If we can do that, that would be a future for prisons and criminal justice which made real sense.

    The TRUTH is out there...........

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    Reply with quote  #80 

    Its a sham and always will be too many police liars and the courts know it fine well

    One of these days.....

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    Reply with quote  #81 
    Originally Posted by Admin2
    Originally Posted by linda

    hi admin.i would never doubt any opinion ferris conspiracy provides on this site reguarding police tactics and police corruption.only the real facts and truth you get from this site.

    Thank you Linda as we always KEEP IT REAL and provide the best independent evidence we can find to back up ALL our they are not merely allegations........................... and THEY know it!



    Hi max  I totally agree with you there and ever since I have been posting my eyes have been well and truly opened to the double standards you can see from an archive post above.


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    Reply with quote  #82 

    Criminals escape vetting in UK

    Published: 9 Jan 2007

    John Reid has admitted he knew nothing of a Home Office blunder which let criminals who committed crimes abroad to escape vetting in the UK.

    Watch the report: 



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    Reply with quote  #83 
    11 January 2007

    CHECKS were being carried out in Scotland yesterday to find out if serious offenders have been allowed to work with children by mistake.

    A Home Office blunder means that murderers, rapists and paedophiles who have been convicted abroad were not entered on police databases.

    Files on 27,529 offenders, who committed crimes abroad, were allowed to gather dust in the Home Office instead of being put on the UK police computer.

    Yesterday, in a statement to MPs, Home Secretary John Reid said police had identified 540 of the "most serious" cases.

    In Scotland, vetting agency Disclosure Scotland began checking the offenders as they were entered onto the database.

    The serious offenders were being treated as a "priority".

    And extra staff have been made available as the agency prepared to double-check the names of all 27,500 offenders. Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson said agencies were ready to carry out the checks.

    Reid said the system for gathering information on overseas convictions had been "fragmented and piecemeal".

    When the blunder became public on Tuesday, it emerged 25 rapists, 29 paedophiles and five murderers were among those left off the database. The failure meant they would not have been detected if had they applied to work with the vulnerable.

    MPs and MSPs continued to voice fury yesterday.

    Scots Tory leader Annabel Goldie said: "It is a very serious state of affairs when potentially more than 500 criminals, could have returned to work in the UK without any record of their conviction on the British database used by all UK police forces."


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    Reply with quote  #84 


    A Home Office blunder means that murderers, rapists and paedophiles who have been convicted abroad were not entered on police databases.


     However they are not long in refusing people with minor offences to work with kids.


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    Reply with quote  #85 
    12 January 2007

    A BILL to end automatic early release from prison cleared its first hurdle yesterday.

    Under the Custodial Sentences Bill, prisoners serving more than 15 days will serve part of their sentence in jail and part on licence in the community.

    Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson denied it was a soft option.

    She claimed licence conditions would be "as tough as they need to be to protect the public but also to get the offender to address the things that cause him or her to continue to reoffend".


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    Reply with quote  #86 
    15 January 2007

    LEGAL chiefs at the Executive have been accused of wasting £25,000 on a play-day for civil servants.

    The justice department said the day - featuring juggling lessons, balloons and bell-ringing - was to help staff "think beyond their immediate policy areas".

    But opposition politicians labelled it "a jolly" and "taking the mick".

    About 200 civil servants took part in the exercise, organised by justice department head Robert Gordon.

    During the day, they were encouraged to team-build by constructing a tower out of balloons.

    Then they were taught bell-ringing, rubber ring assembling, plastic duck fishing and juggling with scarves.

    The day out, in Edinburgh, is featured in the Executive's magazine Scoop.

    The article includes pictures of Gordon struggling with a red piece of chiffon scarf as he tries to master juggling.

    There is also a picture of a man in a blindfold trying to scoop a plastic animal out of a green bucket.

    The day also featured a TV-style interview between Gordon and Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson called When Robert Met Cathy.

    The jaunt took place days after it was revealed rapes had risen by five per cent and drug crime was up six per cent.

    SNP justice spokesman Kenny MacAskill hit out: "Team-building is one thing, but taking the mick at the public's expense is another. This appears to be too much of a jolly and not enough about addressing justice."

    Conservative finance spokesman Derek Brownlee said: "The justice department has to work effectively, but how playing with chiffon scarves and balloons helps is difficult to see.

    "I think the morale of the department would be better served if they felt they were making a difference to their area of responsibility.

    "These types of activities bring the whole government into ridicule."

    But a justice department spokesman said: "We make no apology whatsoever for investing in staff development through away days and other teambuilding exercises. We have made great progress in improving the justice system and reducing crime.

    "But it remains important that civil servants are encouraged to think beyond their immediate policy areas if we are to continue to deliver better results for the taxpayer.

    "Anything which helps improve the way our committed professional staff work together to improve the service to the public is a contribution to our goal of a safer Scotland."


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    Reply with quote  #87 

    New bill targets organised crime
    An armed police officer outside Parliament
    An armed police officer outside Parliament
    New powers restricting the activities of those suspected of money laundering, fraud, drugs and human trafficking are to be included in a Serious Crime Bill.

    But the government faces criticism that the civil orders may prove unworkable given the problems it has had imposing control orders on terrorist suspects.

    The bill is also expected to strengthen powers to seize assets such as cash, properties and cars from criminals.

    Breaching the new order could lead to a five-year prison term.

    Home Secretary John Reid called for cross-party support for the new laws.

    "We are bringing in reforms to get the Mr Bigs of the organised crime world," he said.

    "We hope this will have a huge impact, and we hope opposition parties will give the support necessary rather than what they have done every time we have tried to bring in strong powers to tackle crime and terrorism, which is vote against them and claim they aren't strong enough."

    'Lower standard of proof'

    BBC Home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw explained: "The proposal for serious crime prevention orders is another example of the government's determination to tackle crime by using the civil courts, which rely on a lower standard of proof.

    "Under the plans, the High Court would be able to impose strict conditions on a suspects' activities and businesses, restricting where they go, who they meet, their access to bank accounts and the internet.

    "The measures have been likened to the terrorist control orders, which have been dogged by problems since their introduction two years."

    He added that the three terrorist suspects already on the run - the third having absconded this month - "raised doubts about the wisdom of introducing a similar scheme for gangsters and fraudsters".

    The serious crime prevention orders would be applied for by the Crown Prosecution Service, Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office or the Serious Fraud Office.

    An order could be imposed by the courts if they believed on the balance of probability that the suspect had acted in a way which helped or was likely to help a serious crime.

    Orders would also be used if courts felt it was necessary and proportionate to prevent such criminal harm in the future.

    It would be a High Court civil order that could be challenged in the Court of Appeal.

    The Home Office suggested more than 1,000 people could be targeted by the proposed order.

    Gun haul taken from criminals



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    Reply with quote  #88 

    The jail system is in "serious crisis" with overcrowding affecting rehabilitation of offenders, the chief inspector of prisons has warned.

    Ann Owers said some jails have become "riskier places to manage" because of the overcrowding problem.

    Many male prisoners had mental health issues that would be better addressed in secure hospitals, she said.

    Crime reduction charity Nacro said Ms Owers' findings were as a result of the UK's "addiction to prison sentences".

    There are nearly 80,000 prisoners in England and Wales, with some inmates held in police stations and court cells to ease overcrowding.

    Tackling behaviour

    Speaking at the launch of her report, Ms Owers said there was no easy way out of the current overcrowding crisis.

    And she questioned plans to erect new quick-build units on existing sites.

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    "As fast as quick-build units are put up they will be filled," she said.

    Long-term planning from the Home Office "should have happened some time ago", she added.

    "It is normally considered good practice to build an ark before a flood not during it," she said.

    In her report, Ms Owers expressed concern about the impact that overcrowding is having on the growing number of offenders on indeterminate sentences.

    She said those prisoners presented a "management problem" because there wasn't enough space to find the "right" prisons for them, where their offending behaviour could be tackled.

    Ms Owers also warned that more than 1,000 foreign national prisoners are being held beyond their sentence, while they await deportation.

    Prime Minister Tony Blair has conceded that prisons are currently "full to bursting point".

    The prime minister said 20,000 new prison places had been created and there would be a further 8,000 added to that total soon.

    Last week, Home Secretary John Reid came under fire last week over a letter he wrote to judges and magistrates, asking them to imprison only the most dangerous of offenders.

    He denied encouraging softer sentences for criminals to ease prison overcrowding, but said he was merely re-stating existing guidelines. Serious offenders should still be locked up, he said.


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    Reply with quote  #89 

    Lord Fraser of Carmyllie
    Lord Fraser of Carmyllie
    Crown Office to take no action against Lord Fraser

    The Crown Office has announced that no proceedings are to be taken against Lord Fraser of Carmyllie in connection with an incident on a Scot Airways flight from London to Dundee just before Christmas.

    The former Lord Advocate had been arrested for an alleged offence under the Air Navigation Order.


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    Reply with quote  #90 

    Man who answered his mobile in court is fined £100. 

    A MAN who answered his mobile phone while standing in the dock of a sheriff court found the ten-second call cost him £100 yesterday.

    Mark Gemmell, 22, had just stepped into the dock - where he was facing motoring charges - when his mobile went off.


    As its "Happy Hardcore" techno-dance ringtone echoed round the court, Gemmell delved into his jeans pocket to pull it out.

    But instead of turning it off and apologising, he put it to his ear in front of an aghast Sheriff Andrew Cubie and said "Hello, mate, I'm sorry, I'm in court at the moment, can I call you back?", before ringing off.

    Giving an instant finding of contempt of court and fining him £100 for it, the sheriff said: "That was absolutely ridiculous, Mr Gemmell."

    Gemmell's solicitor, Frazer McCready, asked for seven days for his client to pay. The motion was granted.

    Every courtroom door at Stirling Sheriff Court, where the incident occurred, carries signs instructing people to turn off mobiles before entering, and warning them that they can be held in contempt if they do not comply.

    The charges for which Gemmell, a plant operator, had been appearing - driving without due care and attention, driving with excess alcohol, failing to stop after an accident, and failing to report the accident in Bannockburn last year - were continued for trial at a later date.

    Gemmell, of Cowane Street, Stirling, said later: "My mate was ringing to see if I wanted to go for a pint after the court. I think I'll need two now. I was telling him I'd call back, not having a long conversation. £100 for a ten-second call is way over the top."

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