Re offending.............by Mary PFV volunteer


In answer to Max's post My brother is in and out of prison (Click Here to read).

I have to say I understand her feelings about her brother and his re offending. It does seem at times that there is more ex offenders could do for themselves, but really, what do you expect from a system that is so totally unfit for purpose?. From sentencing,(especially the IPP's which are quickly becoming an easy option). to release, the system does very little, if any, to provide the skills necessary to live life on the 'outside'.

The Probation Service, as it currently operates, is a shambles. How can roughly 15 minutes a month be considered as anything like enough?, their stubborn refusal to actively encourage and involve the family, which are then considered fit enough to help reduce re offending, beggars belief!!. Their answer is to stick ex drug users and alcoholics into the same, usually poor standard, accommodation. What hope then for those who actually want to change their reliance on prison life or just simply stay clean? None, unless you are really lucky and land up with a probation officer who goes 'above and beyond', there are many probation officers who feel their hands are tied and that simply because they are dealing with so many cases at the same time it is impossible to manage any of them properly.

Seems to me that, as usual, the problem is money, especially with the current 'cuts, cuts, cuts' mentality. Although if the money available was better spent, ie proper rehabilitation units instead of the normally sub standard accommodation they are placed in, then possibly that would help resolve the problems in cases like Max's brother.

For once The Telegraph today has an interesting article about simplifying sentences and rehabilitation. The main problem is of course societies attitude towards prisoners and indeed their families, perhaps if, as they rightly should, prisoners had voting rights maybe our MP's would start to sit up and listen to the people who actually know what it is like to serve a sentence, and who are in a better position to comment on what changes need to be made. Mind you the 'bang em up and throw away the key brigade' will fight tooth and nail to keep prisons, and prisoners at the mercy of a system which accommodates 'revenge' as part of the sentence. Loss of liberty is never enough for them.