Why we should lock more people up, and it’s not what you think
The writer below says "We put people in the clink more and more" and "crime is falling". He attempts no inferences from that. Could one be the the consequence of the other? He is similarly insouciant in attributing the good results in Norway to Norwegian lenience. That there might be even better results from a less lenient system seems not to have occurred to him. He can't get beyond his Leftist assumptions
I’VE always thought jail is mostly a bad idea: It takes young people and puts them in constant contact with society’s very worst. They eventually emerge with no skills but a tight-knit network of former criminals.
Under my theory, jail is mostly unhelpful for the people that are in there — we only send people to jail because it is hopefully scary enough to deter people from committing crime.
Australia has a jail addiction though. We put people in the clink more and more.
There are lots of explanations why this might be, including the fact we use private prisons even more than America. (And America is reconsidering whether private prisons are a good idea.)
In 2014, The Catholic Prison Ministry said: “Handing the administration of punishment over to corporations will lead to conflict between the social interests of citizens as stakeholders and financial interests of corporations to maximise profits for shareholders.”
And I thought they were probably right, because crime is falling:
It’s not just murders. Break-ins, robbery and motor vehicle theft all went down in the last five years. Sexual assault and theft rose.
(Taking the really long view, violent crime is at record lows: “Violent deaths of all kinds have declined, from around 500 per 100,000 people per year in pre-state societies to around 50 in the Middle Ages, to around six to eight today worldwide, and fewer than one in most of Europe.” Steven Pinker told the Scientific American in 2011.)
You can see why I was cold on prison. And experts agreed. “Putting more people in prison diverts resources from vital social infrastructure and cost effective initiatives which have been shown to successfully address the underlying causes of crime,” these experts said.
But some new research from Norway is making me weigh up my view. It finds prison is good, and it does so in a very clever way.
There is an obvious problem researching whether prison works. Ex-prisoners tend to commit a lot of crime. Did prison made them like that? Or were they always like that?
The clever thing this research does is comparing groups of prisoners who are otherwise the same, except for the judge they get. Some got a judge who puts away prisoners more than half the time, some got a judge that gives two out of three offenders community service or similar.
This means we can look at how much crime the two groups commit later, and the only likely difference between them is the influence of a prison environment.
This research finds jail is great. The prisoners who go to jail end up getting 10 fewer criminal charges. (The result is not due to simply being unable to commit crime in jail — the reduction starts from when the person is released, over an equivalent period of time.)
The ones that went to jail also have much better employment outcomes — they are more likely to find work.
There is an important point to make. Jail seems to really work for some kinds of people. It strongly improves the chances for people who were not employed. Jail didn’t prove to be either positive or negative for people who previously had jobs. The reason is probably that jail adds a lot of structure and training to their lives.
“Imprisonment causes a 34 percentage point increase in participation in job training programs for the previously non-employed, and within five years, their employment rate increases by 40 percentage points,” according to academics Manudeep Bhuller, Gordon B. Dahl, Katrine V. Loken and Magne Mogstad in their paper,Incarceration, Recidivism and Employment.
It’s worth pointing out this research happened in Norway, where jail can be pretty different (even “luxurious,”) and most prison sentences are under a year.
“In Scandinavian countries like Norway, the prison system focuses on rehabilitation, preparing inmates for life on the outside. This is done in part by investing in education and training programs, but also through extensive use of “open prisons” in which prisoners are housed in low-security surroundings and allowed frequent visits to families while electronically monitored. In comparison, in many other countries, rehabilitation has taken a back seat in favour of prison policies emphasising punishment and incapacitation.”
It seems like jail can be pretty useful for some people — so long as you design it to be useful. Unfortunately, Australia’s prisons are more like America’s than Norway’s.
We could make our prisons like Norway’s. But first we need to decide if we can stomach being “nice” to prisoners in order to actually stop them from committing more crime later. I’d support that. But I suspect for a lot of people, that’s not going to be acceptable — for them, punishment is what matters most.
Judge calls for ‘clarity’ in Aboriginal determinations
A federal judge has described as “vexed” the process for determining Aboriginality -- and he sure is right about that. I have a niece whose skin is as white as snow but she is Aboriginal under Australian law
A federal judge has raised concerns about the process for determining Aboriginality in rejecting a racial discrimination claim by a NSW cultural educator after she had her certificate of Aboriginality taken away.
Elizabeth Taylor lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission in 2013, alleging she had been racially discriminated against by an Aboriginal group.
The complaint followed a decision by elders from the Yamanda Aboriginal Association, on the NSW southern highlands near Wollongong, to take away certificates of Aboriginality they had issued Ms Taylor and her family in May 2010.
In the Federal Circuit Court, she sought more than $150,000 compensation for lost income, pain and suffering caused by the decision.
Judge Rolf Driver yesterday found no proof that Ms Taylor had been discriminated against, noting evidence she did not identify as Aboriginal until the day she received her certificate, but he said the “vexed process” of establishing Aboriginality needed to be more transparent.
“Some clarity is needed regarding who represents people within the Aboriginal community and how decisions are made,” Judge Driver said. “The process should be made more transparent to ensure the decision-making is properly focused and not influenced by personality.”
In June 2012, while still holding a certificate of Aboriginality, Ms Taylor and her father registered the Families Sharing Culture Aboriginal Corporation, a group describing itself as an educational corporation teaching Aboriginal culture to schoolchildren in the Southern Highlands that has received thousands in government funding.
After a dispute between Ms Taylor and a senior member of the association, her certificate was taken away.
Judge Driver accepted a certificate could be rescinded, but said that had happened in her case because of the falling out.
Father Frank Brennan is calling on Labor to support a same-sex marriage plebiscite
Brennan is a notoriously Leftist priest
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is expected to tell Labor MPs to block the legislation in the Senate, but Father Brennan said Labor should ensure the issue is dealt within the next few months.
He said he thinks same-sex marriage in Australia is inevitable.
"The risk for the Labor Party in opposing a plebiscite will be that instead of the matter being resolved by February, it will drag on in the public mind for the next year or two and then we won't know until after the next election whether there is indeed to be a plebiscite," Father Brennan said.
"And then it will take some time before the Parliament actually votes.
"So the real question is: is it better to get this over and done with now, with certainty, by February; or is it better to put it on the long finger, in the hope of the Labor Party causing maximum embarrassment and political agitation for Malcolm Turnbull?"
Federal Cabinet has signed off on plans to hold the same-sex marriage plebiscite on February 11 next year earlier in the month, and to allocate public funding for both the "yes" and "no" campaigns.
The question to be put to voters will be: "Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?"
Labor and the Greens have voiced concerns about the cost of the plebiscite, as well as the prospect of a potentially divisive public debate on the issue.
The Greens are opposed to a plebiscite, and Mr Shorten has said it was the "second-best option" to a direct vote in Parliament.
Despite hinting that he will tell Labor MPs to block the legislation in the past, he has not ruled it out completely, leaving the door open to compromise.
Attorney-General George Brandis and his Labor counterpart Mark Dreyfus will meet on Monday to discuss the bill.
The Prime Minister will need nine of the 11 crossbenchers in the Senate to pass legislation for the plebiscite, if the move is opposed by Labor and the Greens.
Productivity Commission identifies six government services that could benefit from privatisation
SOCIAL housing, some hospital services and public dental care are among six priority areas that could benefit from privatisation, the Productivity Commission has found.
The commission released a preliminary findings report today that identified six areas it believes could benefit from being privatised.
* social housing;
* services at public hospitals;
* specialist palliative care;
* public dental services;
* services in remote indigenous communities; and
* family and community services.
“Reform in the areas we have identified has the potential to improve the lives of users and the welfare of the whole community,” Productivity Commissioner Stephen King said.
But the Labor Party has been angered by the new report, warning it could lead to higher prices and fewer services.
The commission suggests there’s room for improvement in the management of social housing services, highlighting concerns such as long waiting lists, poorly maintained properties and a lack of information to judge providers’ performance.
A majority of properties were run by government entities but there was a large number of providers, including some profit-making, which could do the job, it said.
Giving people greater choice could also give them more options for a roof over their heads.
On hospitals, the commission said it would welcome evidence on whether governments could use routine renegotiations with providers to consider alternatives to public healthcare.
That’s because most public hospitals didn’t have a formal selection process and providers rarely changed, it said.
The commission added while allowing private operators to run public hospitals was rare — because of a series of failed attempts in previous years — this wouldn’t be much of a problem today because of better checks and balances.
And greater user choice over public hospitals could help disadvantaged people.
States and territories could consider replacing senior management in government operated hospitals who don’t perform well.
“This would not require switching to a non-government provider,” it said.
Some hospital services could benefit from privatisation says a new report.
Some hospital services could benefit from privatisation says a new report.Source:News Corp Australia
On public dental services, the commission said they could be made more contestable if bids were allowed from private operators.
“More competition and choice could involve using delivery mechanisms that allow users to choose between competing private dental practices.”
Labor leader Bill Shorten, who said the opposition would fully study the report, said Australians had seen such moves before.
“Here we go again,” he told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday. “Why is it that the government uses code words in this report that the public get less service and pay more money.”
Yesterday I raised the issue of the Greens staging a pre-planned walkout during Pauline Hanson’s first speech last week. The Greens came seriously unstuck. What was obvious to everyone is that the Greens just hate the idea of anyone saying anything to contradict their own twisted view of the world. And why is it that the Greens are so keen to defend Moslems from even gentle criticism?
The Greens are hostile to our Christian civilisation, and they instinctively ally themselves with anyone else who is hostile to Christian civilisation.
Following yesterday’s editorial I received a flood of favourable comment, so here is some more on the same subject.
Pauline Hanson’s Senate speech was bold and courageous in the face of the bland faces of opposition parties who have no stomach for the difficult truths Australia faces in the future. Pauline represents the silent majority who are reluctant to speak out because of our anti-free-speech laws. Many fear retribution from the very people Australia welcomed as citizens and various Muslims openly stating they have no respect for our laws or society and advocating the introduction of sharia law.
It is a sad state of affairs when in the twenty first century human beings have to deal with archaic beliefs supported by embittered people including even deranged individuals with no regard for human life. Australian governments have been asleep at the wheel when it comes to immigration from the third world. One of the main drawcards to Australia is the ridiculous welfare support given to these people. Once in the system they can manipulate and maneuver with many never working in their lifetime getting huge government payments to support their multiple spouses and numerous children. And then they tell us they don’t like us!
As for the Greens, these self-righteous pompous individuals lack the basic common senses to realise their country and their lifestyles are in danger of being hijacked. Open your eyes and ears, read the news occasionally and consider the innocent Australians whose lives have been destroyed by criminals that openly support sharia law and other Islamic militants who exploit Australia’s gullibility. How strange it is that some people still vote for a political party which supports such activity.
Australia is a wonderful country with many beautiful aspects and it should be kept that way. Australians don’t want to live in a lawless society divided by violence and aggression so let’s support the sensible politicians, like Senator Pauline Hanson, The Member for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby MP, Senator Corey Bernardi, Senator Brian Burston, Senator Jacquie Lambie, Senator Bob Day AO and the Federal Member for Dawson in Queensland, George Christensen MP. All of these proudly uphold and support the Australian way of life instead of condoning subversion.
Save Australia before it’s too late!
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here