Seems like an excellent idea actually

Growing numbers of vulnerable homeless people are being fined, given criminal convictions and even imprisoned for begging and rough sleeping, the Guardian can reveal.

Jug ’em and they’ll be warm, in the dry and properly fed. Hmm?

23 comments on “Seems like an excellent idea actually

  1. It might be a good idea to keep them away from actual criminals though as on the whole they are mentally ill, not criminal. And maybe keep a few doctors and mental health professionals on staff.

    It makes you wonder why no one has ever thought of that before.

  2. Minimal security, cheap to build, maintain and run, trying to give stability and structure. Health care and 3 squares. Nothing to do with regular crims.

    Probably an excellent idea for a goodly percentage. The anti-institutional (of which there are many) might give more problems.

  3. How about something like that for oldies who are still compos mentis and physically still in one piece? Without the guards obviously 🙂

  4. This has been happening for decades. Increase in homeless, increase in treated this way.
    I know several homeless guys who would do stuff to get arrested, preferably imprisoned. Regular food, a bed to sleep in – what is not to like?
    Rather than junk food, hassle from others, sleeping rough etc.

  5. It’s a failure of the safety net and a besmirches society – which should be judged by how it treats the vulnerable. Admittedly not an easy problem, but clearly there is an issue here that should not require the criminal justice system.

  6. Growing numbers?

    ‘Data obtained by the Guardian through freedom of information found that at least 51 people have been convicted of breaching a PSPO for begging or loitering and failing to pay the fine since 2014’

    13 a year? One a month? As compared to what before?

    “How can you tell when the Guardian is lying?”

  7. ‘It’s a failure of the safety net and a besmirches society’

    Or the “safety net” is bogus and it’s not society’s damn job, anyway.

    The proscription is on the where, not the what.

  8. Gamecock: so nobody is, in fact, being imprisoned for rough sleeping. Rather, for refusing to pay a fine for begging. Why can’t the Graun tell the difference?

  9. I have long been of the opinion that people should have the right to go to “prison” (ie something somewhat equivalent) without having to commit an offence to get there, if only to reduce the incentive to commit a crime in order to get a roof over one’s head. As others have said above, probably best not to mix them up with the inhabitants of “proper” prisons for obvious reasons.

    I understand that in practice a big problem homeless shelters face is that some people don’t like living by their rules, particularly re alcohol, drugs or keeping a dog, but may also struggle to cope with refraining from abusive language, violence or fighting.

  10. Many beggars are making a goodish living begging. Stopping that is not so bad–but not by ZaNu’s abusive ASBO shite.

    Were you genuinely homeless and some bluebottle started hassling you why not stab him? You have fuckall to lose.

  11. MyBurningEars – “I understand that in practice a big problem homeless shelters face is that some people don’t like living by their rules, particularly re alcohol, drugs or keeping a dog, but may also struggle to cope with refraining from abusive language, violence or fighting.”

    Actually the biggest problem homeless shelters have is that they are full of homeless people. Hence the abusive language, violence and fighting. No one wants to live next to that. Not even other homeless people.

    Prisons have a great advantage over homeless shelters. Just as the Army has a great advantage over schools. They are not run by women in the general sense of people lacking testicular fortitude. There is discipline. Which means abusive language is probably fine but violence, fighting, shitting in the corridors, throwing things, sexual assault, those sorts of things, are kept to a minimum.

  12. My late father used to volunteer in a homeless shelter until he couldn’t take it any more.

    The amount of shite he had to take, the permanent threat of violence and the feeling you weren’t getting anywhere, did for him.

    His conclusion was that some people are lost and irretrievable. Of course, the shelter organisation had no power other than persuasion and that got them nowhere with the druggies, the the alkies, the bloody-minded and outright violent.

  13. Going to prison to get a roof and 3 a day? It’s been around for awhile: “The Cop and the Anthem” by O’Henry, written in 1904.

  14. “His conclusion was that some people are lost and irretrievable. Of course, the shelter organisation had no power other than persuasion and that got them nowhere with the druggies, the the alkies, the bloody-minded and outright violent.”

    It does get them somewhere with the people who are actually salvageable, and who can be shifted to different (and heavily segregated/controlled) programs that addresses their specific problems.
    Bonus is that once you’re in one of those, the sheer idea of going back to the shelter commons is a BIG motivator do pick yourself up, etc.
    It’s not a pretty place to be in.

    But yeah… you can’t help those that refuse any help.

    Mind, I should not be saying this, but the Labour Camp option would be a preferred option for the young shytes/(special) snowflakes we’re getting in locally for me personally.
    It’s one thing to be hit over the head by Life so you go under after a decade or so. It’s quite another you’re so spoiled rotten/lack any form of motivation/[fill in] , you’re not even making the damn effort at early 20. Those lads/lasses need some prodding of the buttock.

  15. “Martin

    I know several homeless guys…”

    How well? Well enough to care enough that you offer them a space to sleep on your living room floor?

  16. “imprisoned for begging and rough sleeping”

    Two very different things.

    It’s like those headlines “1 in 3 women have been raped or sexually assaulted or been wolf whistled at or leered at by an ugly bloke”

  17. Andrew – yes well enough to help where I can. No room on my living room floor, not that a floor / sofa / bed would solve the problems these guys have.
    People think of homeless as needing a place to sleep like that’s the problem they have.
    Completely missing the other problems.

    There used to be an old guy, Irish Terry. In the years I’ve known him several well meaning idiotic organisations have got him into a flat or house. And within months he’s evicted. He’s a pensioner.
    And to be honest a very nice guy. Just a big alcoholic.
    Its not him causing the evictions so much as those around him who latch on to him.
    Plus no concept of paying bills, dealing with banks, finding a quiet place to have a wee (he’s used bus shelters before now – while the shelter is being used by the public).
    His needs are complex and far beyond getting him a roof over his head.
    And he’s one of the people unable to use shelters as he does not conceive of the rules. He’s the worst smuggler of 3 litre bottles of drink I’ve ever seen.

    There’s another guy, Gary. Some mental health issues and he’s been known to attack someone to get put away for a few months in the warm. He’s been found a flat and lost it too.
    And no hostel in the country that operates a risk assessment (as they should all do these days) can have him. Failing risk assessment in even the most liberal shelter.
    His needs are complex and requires a significant NHS input. Which generally doesn’t get done because he’s one among thousands needing help from an overworked group of people.

    There are some homeless where a small bit of help can stop them being homeless and back on their own feet. They are not usually the long term homeless.
    Simple solutions sound good in the media, they can be some of the worst solutions for some people and make matters worse.

  18. ’Lawyers, charities and campaigners described the findings as “grotesque inhumanity”…’

    I guess these lawyers, charity wonks and campaigners have never had to walk down Southend high street getting hassled by scabby junkies for spare change, or they might have a better idea of what ‘grotesque inhumanity’ means.

  19. @martin

    Couldn’t we just put them in a field and supply them with free alcohol and blankets?

    Probably cheaper than what we are doing at the moment.

  20. My town has one regular persistent rough sleeper. Often sleeps on the porch of a church in town.

    The curate there got him sorted out with a flat etc, but he just refused it, and went back to sleeping rough.

    I’ve no idea what these campaigners would want to do about people like him – he appears pretty harmless, just wants to live the “lifestyle” he has, such as it is. Undoubtedly he’s got metal health problems, but I’ve done doubt that there is much that could be done about that short of sectioning him, which seems extremely ott.

  21. Lawyers, charities and campaigners use homeless and rough sleepers as props, tools to get society to accept changes they demand.

    They couldn’t care less about homeless and rough sleepers. They use them because YOU care.

  22. @ Gamecock
    Some charities exist solely because they *do* care about the homeless – mostly run by genuine Christians (like “theProle”‘s curate), but I am fairly sure there is one run by Muslims and at several by Jews – Emmaus UK, for example, gets people off the streets and frequently back into permanent housing and jobs.
    Some so-called charities act as fronts for campaigners but there are hundreds, probably thousands, of genuine old charities that exist in England to provide housing for the elderly poor as well as dozens of modern ones trying to tackle the problem of modern homelessness alongside two or three fronting political campaigns.

  23. “Some charities exist solely because they *do* care about the homeless”

    Absolutely! But they have a conspicuous absence of lawyers and campaigners.

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