Posted by BE on October 12th, 2015
In an article in yesterday’s Sunday Star Times on the role of imprisonment in the rehabilitation of offenders, Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar expresses the view that the first priority of sending people to prison is to keep the public safe. It’s a relatively moderate statement from McVicar, expressing perhaps the philosophy behind the excellent work done by the Trust on behalf of the victims of crime.
A more characteristic expression of McVicar’s understanding of the proper function of imprisonment appears elsewhere in the article: His “second priority” is punishment:
“We shouldn’t be ashamed to talk about that. Criminals need to be punished for their actions.”
Mr McVicar is, according to the article, worried that our country’s prison policy is more concerned about helping inmates than punishing them. And he’s not a believer in rehabilitation:
“If you can rehabilitate those people then you would have rehabilitated them long before they were imprisoned. The problem is when they get to prison they’re not long off becoming a career criminal… We need to focus on punishment and then rehabilitation once they’ve served time.” Read the rest of this entry »