Crime stats suggest prison is no longer a deterrent

Evidently murders and rapes are on the increase, presupposing the spectre of incarceration poses no threat.


Clearly prison in its present form is no longer a deterrent.

Has it ever been? Past and latest figures from The Hat Cele have the answer.

No.

Evidently murders and rapes are on the increase, presupposing the spectre of incarceration poses no threat. A spell behind bars is not enough to stop people from killing or torturing.

The same applies to so called white-collar criminals. Take the serious crime of state capture plunging us into economic chaos.

The villains have the added benefit of not being arrested in the first place. So, the looting continues unabated.

So, where has the prison system gone wrong? It starts with a skewed judiciary who sentences a father for strangling young children to 22 years.

Hey? He’ll probably be out on parole in five, having spent the time in relatively comfortable surroundings.

Free board and lodgings. This, I believe, is where the missing deterrent factor nullifies the whole reasoning behind
internment. The cell is too comfortable.

The same would apply to the white collar crooks, if they’re ever charged, who’ll probably be provided with a television and allowed cellphones.

So, let’s look at factors that would cause the most discomfort. Two come to mind. Boredom and claustrophobia.

Don’t build prisons but rather blocks of bachelor flats. It would save land space. Provide the flat with an all-channel television and easy chair, an expensive bed and mattress and a user friendly shower.

A window overlooking the sea would complete the comfort zone? Yes. But after six months of luxury comes the dreaded boredom and claustrophobia.

Only two hours a day with two inmates at a time in a tiny enclosed backyard for exercise. Then it’s back inside
the flatlet. No visiting. Complete lockdown.

Movies? How many more weak films and their repeats, TV series and sport replays can they watch?

How many more murder novels can they read? And the more yachts they see coming and going (they might even have owned one), the more the frustration.

The same daily routine year in and year out would leave them psychological wrecks.

Let’s call it “luxury isolation syndrome”, a dreaded affliction and effectual deterrent.

Read more on these topics

Columns correctional services crime stats prisons