It is Obvious

Chris Rick has got altogether too much to say

How wrong can you be?

Posted by chrisrick13 on December 13, 2010

It is obvious: I know a lot.

I spend a lot of time, much more than I should, surfing the tv channels to find something to watch.  Why don’t I just switch it off?  One day I will work up the courage.  I end up watching 24 hour news, if I want to reminisce, or police action programs.  I am constantly amazed by them.  I watch a pair of robbers steal a car, drive across four counties smashing into many cars and police cars, finally writing off the car they are in before running off.  They are mostly caught and then get…100 hours community service or a stiff warning or being banned from driving.  I know if I did it I would be locked up for 20 years.  However I have found two heroes: Razor and Sharp.  There is nothing politically correct about a German Shepherd.  They chase down criminals and it is interesting seeing what the habitual offender does: they stand stock still.  If the criminal is relatively new to the business they have to be warned, “NO SUDDEN MOVEMENTS OR THE DOG WILL BITE YOU.”  The experienced ones already have teeth marks in their arms.  I love it.  Here is justice on the streets.  Razor is the main man!

So why am I disappointed when the robbers are not put away for 20 years or have their hands chopped off?  Why am I delighted when Razor tears a chunk out of someone (saves on food bills)?  An eye for an eye?  I want to see bad guys suffer?  I want to see an integrated programme of training that persuades them not to offend again?  I am very sure that without threats of punishment there is no reason to obey any law.  I see it everyday: no parking signs on my local high street that are never obeyed because nobody is ever punished for for disobeying them.  I believe that the only way to get people to obey the rules of society (the laws) is to give them a stake in society and goodness, we’ll never manage that.

So prison is not about rehabilitation.  The increasing numbers in our jails shows that although it is a deterrent it is a poor one.  What is the purpose of prison?  I heard a third reason yesterday.  It never occurred to me.  Prison keeps the dangerous people away from the general public.  It is the modern day equivalent of deportation to Australia.  Instead, with cuts, they are going to be let out because we can’t afford to keep them there.  I don’t care that they learn all sorts of skills in there – they won’t  be round my house practising them if they are kept there.  But the cost is being moved on to the general public.  I will need to buy a very old car, another Land Rover.  Put some serious locks on my doors and windows and start doing Aikido again.  I’ll also write to Police! Action! and see if Razor wants to retire to suburbia for all the steak he can eat and an occasional arm.

It is obvious: I know a lot less than I think I do.

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