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 Â£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?