Soft justice: Thousands of career criminals spared prison in British Coalition's first year
The number of career criminals being spared jail has soared since the Coalition took office.
An astonishing 4,000 offenders have been handed community sentences, despite each totting up at least 50 convictions.
The figure for 2010 – the year Ken Clarke took over as Justice Secretary – was 17 per cent higher than 2009’s and treble that of 2002.
Incredibly, 408 criminals dodged jail last year even when being sentenced for what was at least their 100th offence.
Earlier this year, the Daily Mail revealed that the percentage of all convicted criminals sent to jail had fallen since the Coalition took over last May.
Rapists, drug-dealers, muggers, drink-drivers and thugs caught with knives and guns were all more likely to receive soft community sentences.
If the sentencing standards of 2009 had been applied last year, more than 2,000 extra criminals would have gone to jail.
Critics of the criminal justice system say pressure is being put on courts by Mr Clarke to jail fewer people because prisons are close to overflowing.
The Justice Secretary wants to scrap most terms of under six months and replace them with community sentences – meaning more repeat offenders will be let off.
Conservative MP Priti Patel said: ‘Clearly when you have got serial criminals and repeat offenders causing such harm the Government has got to start addressing the issue.
‘It is not acceptable that these people are being given community sentences when they should be locked up. The Government needs to tackle this situation; these are people who need to be locked away in prison to keep the public safe.
‘If there is a need for more prison places then we need to build more prisons. Prisons are about protecting people on the outside from the vile criminals who are being kept behind bars.’
The latest figures show that the proportion of offenders escaping jail with 50 convictions or more has risen from 0.5 per cent in 2002 to 1.5 per cent last year.
Some 3,898 criminals fell into that bracket in 2010, compared with 3,333 the year before and 1,238 in 2002.
Last year the Daily Mail revealed that the worst of the repeat offenders to be spared jail had a 50-year criminal record and 578 previous convictions or cautions.
These included 300 offences of theft as well as burglary, robbery, assault, possessing offensive weapons and public order crimes.
Conservative MP Philip Davies, who uncovered those statistics, said: ‘This shows that the criminal justice system has become a joke. It shows that despite what Justice Secretary Ken Clarke would have us believe, we have too few people in prison, not too many.’
Criminologist Dr David Green, director of the Civitas think-tank, said: ‘This rise in the number of career criminals escaping jail has been caused by political pressure from the Government to reduce the prison population. Judges and magistrates are failing in their basic duty to protect the public.
'If someone has been convicted even three or four times, jail should be considered. But these are people being convicted 50 or 100 times. It should be obvious that for these people, this is how they make a living.
‘And we should remember that not all crimes are detected. The Home Office admits that for every conviction, the offender has committed five more. So someone being convicted 50 times has in fact carried out at least 300 – and I think that’s an underestimate.’
Mr Clarke wants to replace sentences of six or fewer months – given to around 50,000 criminals a year – with ‘tougher community sentences’.
Last year he claimed: ‘Simply banging up more and more people for longer without actively seeking to change them is not going to protect the public. ‘I do not think prison is, or should be, a numbers game.
‘The army of short-term prisoners we have at the moment, who have a particularly bad record of reoffending within six months of being released, is too big and we’ve got to find some sensible community sentences.’
A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: ‘Sentencing in individual cases is rightly a matter for the courts to decide.’
Australia: 'Second-chance crime wave' in Victoria as 884 offenders freed and then commit 4177 crimes
VICTORIA Police is concerned that suspected violent criminals are being freed by the courts - despite facing serious charges - and then allegedly committing murder, rape and armed robbery.
An investigation by the Sunday Herald Sun has revealed 6096 suspects were granted bail last year and then went into hiding, missing the date of their court hearing. And, before arrest warrants for failing to appear in court were executed, 884 of them went on to commit an alleged 4117 new offences.
But Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said there were "clear expectations" on officers to remand anyone in custody who posed a risk to society or was a risk of absconding and he was "confident" this was done in all police cases. "Ultimately, it's the court's decision and sometimes the courts don't go our way," Mr Cornelius said.
"There are times when we are concerned because of the risk to the public. There are plenty of cases where it might be said they've (the courts) got it wrong."
But Chief Magistrate Ian Gray hit back, suggesting police may have let some of the bail-jumpers go. "Offending while on bail is a serious issue and the decision to grant bail is made carefully," Mr Gray said. "It's not clear from these figures how many of these are police bails or court bails - but where it's shown in court that an offender poses an unacceptable risk of reoffending bail will be denied.
"Courts are obliged to apply the law. There is a presumption in favour of granting bail unless an accused needs to show cause or show exceptional circumstances."
Mr Cornelius cited the release of captured drug kingpin Tony Mokbel, who subsequently fled to Greece while on bail and was on the run for more than a year before being rearrested and extradited back to Melbourne. "I hope that Mokbel would be one case that would provide a source of reflection for our judicial colleagues," he said.
The statistics were obtained under Freedom of Information requests over several months. Police would not reveal the identities of the alleged murderer and other criminals who reoffended while at large.
Mr Cornelius revealed a newly published six-month performance report flagged outstanding warrants as an issue and that police statewide would now be conducting regular operations. "If a suspect has made a decision to skip bail and not turn up to court it's likely they have also made arrangements to go to ground and not be found," Mr Cornelius said, explaining why suspects were not located straight away.
"The volume of warrants is going up because courts are dishing out more each day, while we are still trying to find the ones we already have. It's on our radar. Our focus is on outstanding warrants and we need to pay a great deal of attention to it."
All officers are notified of a warrant if they happen to stop a person for any reason and run a check on their name.
The police's job becomes harder if the suspect moves to another suburb, interstate or even overseas. "The impetus and motivation is very much there to catch everyone who is wanted on a warrant," Mr Cornelius said. "For every crime there is a victim and if we don't have the accused there is a victim out there not getting justice. "The 4117 figure is a number that serves a reminder to Victoria Police to pay attention to this matter."
The Justice Department refused to comment on the issue this week after being asked on Wednesday.
Bank of Gay America
Mike Adams writes to the Bank of America about new persecution of Dr. Turek
Dear Mr. Moynihan:
I want to bring to your attention a recent decision made by your HR team that I think does not reflect your leadership of Bank of America. Dr. Frank Turek was fired as a vendor for his political and religious views, even though those views were never mentioned or expressed during his work at Bank of America.
By way of background, Dr. Turek is an eight-year veteran of the United States Navy, and he and his wife have two sons serving in the United States Air Force. He has conducted leadership, teambuilding and other training programs for Bank of America on several occasions since 1995. His programs have always earned high marks, hence the repeated invitations.
In late May of this year Dr. Turek was hired to present at a meeting of your Global Business Management & Analysis Team within Global Wealth and Investment Management. The title of his presentation was called “Why Can’t You Be Normal Just Like Me?” The presentation helps participants adapt to diverse personalities to improve productivity and relationships—the essence of inclusion and diversity. The meeting was scheduled to take place at your Merrill Lynch facility in Pennington, New Jersey on June 17.
Three days before the event Dr. Turek was abruptly fired by an HR representative. Why? She explained that someone Googled his name and discovered that he had written Correct, Not Politically Correct: How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone. Marriage was not the topic of his presentation, nor has it ever been in all his years of working with the bank. Moreover, as his book reveals (although no one at the Bank is likely to have read it), Dr. Turek treats all people with respect, whether he agrees with them politically or not. Nevertheless, in the name of “inclusion” and “diversity,” he was immediately excluded for his political and religious viewpoint. Mr. Moynihan, please answer this question: Do you have to have certain political or religious views to work at Bank of America?
I know you cannot really believe that free speech and religion rights vanish when one works with Bank of America. I know that you cannot believe that all political conservatives, Jews, Christians, Mormons and Muslims should be fired for their deeply held beliefs. But that is how the Bank of America policy of “inclusion” was applied to Dr. Turek. He was fired because of his personal political and religious beliefs—beliefs that are undoubtedly shared by thousands of your very large and diverse workforce. Or is it really diverse?
I assume the intent of the Bank’s value of “inclusion” is to ensure that people in that diverse workforce will work together cordially and professionally even when they inevitably disagree on certain political, moral or religious questions. Dr. Turek agrees with that value and was demonstrating it. He was being inclusive working with the Bank. But your Bank of “America” was being exclusive by refusing to work with him, even though his viewpoint was never discussed during work.
If you deny that your culture is dramatically tilted toward political correctness, I ask you to consider this: What action would have been taken by your bank had Dr. Turek written a book in favor of same-sex marriage but a conservative employee had complained? Got a bit of a double standard? Or is that somehow “different”?
My purpose in writing is two-fold. First, I ask you to move to correct your culture of exclusion, which is falsely advertised as a culture of inclusion and diversity. Dr. Turek has been excluded now from earning a living with your company. Moreover, I am concerned about the thousands of conservatives, secular and religious, who are employees of the Bank. In my view, such totalitarian political correctness is immoral and un-American, and I doubt it engenders a climate of diversity and collaboration you champion.
Second, this story will be told beyond the confines of Townhall.com. I want to give you the opportunity to respond before it is.
I thank you for your attention to this matter and look forward to your prompt reply. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Mike Adams
For those readers who recall Dr. Turek being fired as a vendor by Cisco for the same reason earlier this year, you may be wondering how these two cases are related. Since Bank of America fired Dr. Turek two days before I broke the Cisco story in my June 16 column titled “The Cisco Kid,” they could not have learned about Dr. Turek from me. It just seems that we have two bigoted California-based companies that independently seek to “out” those who believe what reasonable people have always believed—that the primary reason the government endorses marriage is not because two people of any sex love one another, but because only heterosexual unions can procreate and best nurture the next generation.
Unless Mr. Moynihan stops his company’s unreasonable and un-American politically correct witch-hunt, I’m closing my Bank of America account. Unreasonable, un-American bigots should not be handling my money. They simply cannot be trusted.
Can't Even Go to the Park
The same people who say I shouldn't impose my morality on them, are imposing immorality on me and my children to the point that I literally have a hard time even leaving my home anymore to do something as simple as visit the park. And this is freedom?
I am a Catholic stay-at-home mother of seven, and I live in the state of Massachusetts where "gay marriage" has been legal for seven years and it's just one aspect of the larger secular agenda. Because we have so many little children, it takes a phenomenal effort to go anywhere. We have only filled our truck with gasoline twice this entire summer vacation. We go to Mass and we go two miles up the road to a small outdoor swimming pool. That's pretty much it.
At the pool this summer there were homosexual couples with children and, while I was polite as my own young daughters doted on the baby with two "mommies", I also held my breath in anticipation of awkward questions - questions I'm not ready to answer. My young daughters are all under the age of eight and they are not old enough to understand why a baby would have two women calling themselves "mommies".
When there were two men relaxing at the side of the pool unnaturally close to each other, effeminately rubbing elbows and exchanging doe-eyes, I was again anxiously watching my children hoping they wouldn't ask questions. They don't see Daddy do that with anyone but Mommy. We haven't been back to the pool for a couple of weeks, except once but it rained. The truth is, now I don't really want to go back.
So what am I harping about?
Today we decided to go to the park. We live near a nice park that is safe, clean and quiet. Two of my daughters were in the sandbox, one on the slide, the other on the swings, and as I lifted the baby out of his stroller I looked up to see four women laughing at a baby boy as he was swinging in one of those bucket baby swings. That seems harmless enough, but I'm so sensitized to the strangeness in my community that I've developed this ever-present jumpiness whenever I'm in public. Sure enough, two of the women, so happy to see a baby boy laughing, embraced and remained standing there rubbing each other's back in a way that was clearly not just friendly affection.
This is my community. I find myself unable to even leave the house anymore without worrying about what in tarnation we are going to encounter. We are responsible citizens. We live by the rules, we pay our taxes, we take care of our things. I'm supposed to be able to influence what goes on in my community, and as a voter I do exercise that right. But I'm outnumbered. I can't even go to normal places without having to sit silently and tolerate immorality. We all know what would happen if I asked two men or two women to stop displaying, right in front of me and my children, that they live in sodomy.
So now I go on a rant.
Our taxes are being used to fund contraception, abortion and IVF already. That offends me in ways that are inexpressible. I read last December in the Wall Street Journal how two men near us are raising two assembled daughters after announcing to the world how they killed two other siblings in surrogate mothers in India. Let me guess? I shouldn't offend them though, right? And what's next at the park? A needle exchange drop-box for heroin users? No joke. These things are not isolated, it is all the same issue at a fundamental level. We're being pushed to accept immorality and it's not just on TV and in Washington D.C. It's right in front of us too.
We fund a lot of illegal immigrants here (just ask the President about his auntie) and helping people who really need help is not something I'd ever oppose. But it's still haunting me that just this week I learned of an illegal immigrant who killed a young man innocently out for a ride on his motorcycle. The illegal immigrant, who didn't have a license, was so drunk he didn't notice when he hit a motorcyclist and then dragged the 23 year old college graduate a quarter of a mile while people were yelling at him to stop. When he finally did stop, the young man was still alive until the drunk driver put the car in reverse and backed up over him before driving away. He's charged with vehicular homicide and "reckless conduct creating a risk to a child." He had a six year old in the car with him.
Do you think knowing this happened about seven miles from my home makes me afraid to leave the house? You bet it does. But that just adds to everything else I'm being asked to tolerate. Seriously, is this freedom?
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.