Tougher jail terms DO deter criminals, admits Home Office

Re: Tougher jail terms DO deter criminals, admits Home Offic

I think its hard to separate the sentence from the crime as a factor, for example, most murderers serve longer sentences, but I bet recidivism is low as in over 90% of murders committed, the victim knows the assailant and is more often a "crime of passion" than not.

Conversely, the average burglar is stealing to support a drug habit, and unless you stop the habit (it appears we aren't even able to prevent them taking drugs in prison), once they are back out they need to make £100's a week to support their habit, probably with no quals and now a stretch on their record, not likely they'll get a straight job is it? I don't think the length of time in chokey will deter that kind of crim, but you wont get any argument from me as to sticking them on for 5 years for house breaking. It would stuff our already bursting prisons, but Im also in favour of making them a less nice place to be for the "shorter term" prisoner.

Deterrence is relative, who wants to do 3 yrs for shoplifting, but I wonder what answer you'd get if you asked the Brinks Mat gang or the train robbers if 15-25yrs would have stopped them doing what they did?
Re: Tougher jail terms DO deter criminals, admits Home Offic

And as if by magic....some facts to bear out the repeat offending.

Penalty fines 'boost shoplifting'

Retailers say the introduction of fixed penalty notices has led to a big increase in shoplifting.

In 2004, police were given the power to issue £80 fines instead of an arrest for first time offences and thefts of goods worth less than £200.

But the British Retail Consortium (BRC) says they encourage persistent shoplifters who know they will face "no serious sanction" if caught.

Shoplifting cost the economy £2bn last year, the BRC say.

And each individual paid an extra £90 in increased prices to compensate for it.
I guess my question would be what the increase in tax burden would be to impose a custodial sentence instead of the fine, and would that reduce the £90 taxed at source from losses?

EDIT: Just noticed Slim already had a separate thread including this story but I hope its relevant
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