Are non-custodial sentences ‘soft’ on crime?
Tutor: Susy Menis
Student Urfan Azad
Date submitted: 04/02/2013
At the beginning of time crime has been used for many purposes, by religious rulers, governments and you usual criminal, but who decides what crime is? Who lays down the laws, who say this is a crime. In this essay I will be answering the questions regarding custodial sentence are they soft or not but to answer this question you need to know the crime itself, and also the law in place for this crime. I also will be giving many references from academic studies and anecdotally, case studies of individuals who I know will be used because I feel this is fit for purpose due to the fact they have had such custodial sentences mentioned in this module. Crime Prevention
Crime prevention can be seen to be both disarmingly and simple and bewilderingly complex. The disarmingly simple side relates to the prosaic, obvious, every day, common sense measures that are routinely and widely taken to minimize threats of victimization. They include avoiding seemingly threatening people and places, watching out for danger, trying to protect property from predators and keeping an eye open for those dear to us. The disarmingly simple side relates to the popular notion that sufficiently severe punishment with either deters or incarcerates wicked offenders (1). Now we need to understand the importance of prevention when it comes to wicked offenders in cross reference to the question of the module, this is my first point on how to determine if non-custodial sentencing is soft on crime or not, for example I work with clients who are heroin addicts and have done for many years. These clients I work with need to support their habit on a daily bases, to support this many of them will commit crime daily, some will get away with the crime and some will get arrested, the media will show these individuals are criminals and the public with feel that these individuals need to be off the streets and incarcerated and maybe these individual are looked upon as wicked offenders. These individual will end up in prison but many have told me anecdotally “that most of us end up on a drug free wing and they contain the most drugs” now this may be hard to believe but reports such as ‘Breaking the circle’ by community group Drug Text proves this notion to be true. The report continue by even indicating that the rampant dealing of drugs in their environment, the widespread prescribing of drugs by prison medical officers, the acceptance by prison officers of cannabis dealing and use as a sedation measure, the lack of anything approaching an open access counselling and treatment service inside (2). Working with prisons is also very difficult, my experience as a community worker is that the politics and competition which go on in prison is overwhelming to say the least. Prison staff feel threaten or challenge I even had that we were ‘stepping on their toe’ when we were given access which took several months. This I find hard to understand, the goal for the line of work we are in should be the same and that is to help individual who are at the most vulnerable, trying to kick their habit and because of politics and bureaucracy they are not getting the most help they can access. Looking at the module question if non-custodial sentencing is soft on crime, looking at custodial sentence for drug service users it seems that something needs to be in place and I am not ruling out that for some custodial sentences may work, but majority of them seems to be on a carousel going around and around one need to think about what type of prevention is this and ones need to think is prevention better then cure when it comes to individual with addiction I will highlight good practice in the next paragraph which is about what help is out there for non-custodial sentencing. Intervention
There are many different types of intervention or key tools for controlling...
References: 1.Handbook of Crime Prevention and Community Safety by ProfessorNick Tilley (Editor) -, Willan Publishing (UK), 2011
2. [Online], Available:http://www.drugtext.org/Prison-probation/breaking-the-circle.html [04 Feb 2013].
3. [Online], Available:http://www.london-probation.org.uk/what_we_do/community_order.aspx[04 Feb 2013].
4. [Online], Available:http://www.dorset-probation.gov.uk/history-of-probation-work/63-history-of-probation-work [04 Feb 2013].
5. [Online], Available: http://www.dorset-probation.gov.uk/history-of-probation-work/63-history-of-probation-work[04 Feb 2013].
6. [Online], Available:http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/about-the-judiciary/the-judiciary-in-detail/jud-acc-ind[04 Feb 2013].
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