Letters


More prisoners, less crime

From David Green

Sir: Douglas Hurd pointed out that the prison population increased from 44,000 in the 1980s to over 75,000 today ('Does prison really work?', 14 May). If '"prison works" in reducing crime,' he says, 'then obviously a sensational increase in the number of prisoners should produce a sensational reduction in crime. But it hasn't.'

Actually, it has. A casual glance at the crime figures, available to anyone who goes to the trouble of looking at the Home Office website, would have revealed to the distinguished former home secretary that crime began to fall by rather a lot soon after the prison population increased. The prison population was about 45,600 when Michael Howard became home secretary in 1993. He increased the prison population sharply, a trend continued since 1997, so that now there are 75,500 prisoners.

What happened to crime? According to the British Crime Survey, crime fell from a peak of 19.4 million crimes in 1995 to 11.7 million in 2003/04. Is there a connection? The Home Office has found that the average prisoner committed 140 crimes in the year before going to jail. A full year in jail would, therefore, prevent 140 crimes per prisoner. Since 1993 an additional 30,000 criminals have been incarcerated, thus saving 4.2 million crimes (30,000 x 140). Offenders with a drugs problem (about 70 per cent of all prisoners) commit 257 crimes per year. Imprisoning 30,000 of them prevents 7.7 million crimes, uncannily close to the actual fall according to the British Crime Survey.

David Green

Director, Civitas,

London SW1

From John Mustoe

Sir: Douglas Hurd is much too nice a person to have anything to do with the prison service. Prisons are full of people who see good people as suckers, and more robust action is going to be needed if we are to get the prison population down.

The ending of slopping out was kind, humane, progressive even, and that may give a warm glow to Lord Hurd, but for the prisoners it made life a little easier, a little more tolerable, more comfortable.

What we need to do to cut the numbers of people who will risk a prison sentence is to make the experience very nasty indeed.

No TV, no radio, the bare minimum of boring food, no heating (throw them another blanket), hard work earns slightly better rations, passing literacy and numeracy exams earns better rations, but the whole thing is a very big misery. Criminals will have a very bad time and people will tend not to do things that are painful. It is called aversion therapy.

John Mustoe

Bedford

Influence of affluence

From Dennis Outwin

Sir: You have suggested several reasons for the disappointing Conservative vote in the recent election (14 May). Here is another one. Far from suffering in the way your contributors suggest, I would say that the middle classes have never been better off. The signs are everywhere. Saga cruises and other expensive foreign holidays, low inflation, a stable currency, low unemployment, a continuous house-price boom, increasing inequality and reduced social mobility since 1997, record sales of champagne - these are not the indications of middle-class stringency. Any member of the middle class who is hard up today must be either ill or incompetent (or, to be fair, looking after sick relatives).

The signs are, of course, that it will all end in tears, perhaps sooner than we think. If so, Blair will be hooted off the stage, followed closely by Brown. But that day has been expected for some years, and we are still waiting for it. Meanwhile the middle-class attitude seems to be 'Let the Good Times Roll!'

Dennis Outwin

Gorleston, Norfolk

Hospital makes you fat

From Ian Duke

Sir: Like Jessica Johnson (Letters, 14 May), I too have recently visited an A&E unit. The story was the same: vending machines packed with high-fat, high-sugar snacks.

Kingston Hospital defends its policy on the grounds that it is a 'response to patients' demands' and that the patients' environment guidance on which star ratings are assessed states, 'Visitors should be able to access food and drink around the clock. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Letters
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.