Modern women are strong and independent, capable of dealing with anything life sends their way

Britain’s record on incarcerating women has been a national scandal for decades. In the vast majority of cases it has been pointless, enormously expensive and wildly destructive, reinforcing a cycle of damaged people and broken homes that affects not just the women, but their children, families and the society that bears the subsequent costs. Now, after more than four decades of compelling critical reports on the issue, and years of earnest statements of goodwill from assorted politicians, David Gauke, the justice secretary, is at last unrolling a serious, comprehensive strategy to keep non-violent offenders out of jail.

Does the argument work if we drop the “wo-” there?

No?

Then you’re being a sexist shit, aren’t you?

42 comments on “Modern women are strong and independent, capable of dealing with anything life sends their way

  1. I would be willing to see if an experiment might work. Instead of jailing female criminals beat the shit out of them instead. And see if that improves recidivism rates.

    May is Marxist feminist trash ( she doesn’t quite talk the full left talk but tald 60% and walks the walk to a greater extent.).

    So lying bitches who ruin your life with bullshit false claims will now not even go to jail.

    It might as well be Corbin.

  2. This is the sort of stuff you would see in the Guardian ten or twenty years ago. Now it is in the Establishment paper of record, the Times.

    Keeping non-violent women out of jail, eh? What happens when they refuse to pay their taxes? Will the State just shrug, or will it make an exception in its own interests and jail them anyway?

  3. “Then you’re being a sexist shit, aren’t you?”

    As with so many things, this is where theory intersects practice. Equality is a theory. In practice, in the real world, people are not equal. They are different. Treating them the same produces different outcomes.

    It is an outstanding difference between the hard sciences & the fuzzy social sciences. In hard science, when theory doesn’t agree with experimental results you junk the theory & look for a better one. In the social sciences,you try & hammer the experiment until it fits the theory & if that doesn’t work, there must be something wrong with the experimental subjects.

  4. It’s a well known lefty-fact that men commit crimes because they are evil and women commit crimes because they are bullied into it by evil men.

  5. I hear Gauke’s legislation is to be called The Pussy Pass Act, 2018. Some recent cases (e.g. that drink-driving one the other day) have been particularly egregious. Or what about this drug-addled bitch:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4917846/Oxford-University-student-faces-jail.html

    She’s out of her gourd on cocaine, stabs her boyfriend with a bread-knife, and the judge says he won’t jail her because it would impede her ‘surgical career’ (which of course she has already embarked on with said bread-knife). No doubt she has an illustrious future in the NHS. (Note the photo of her smirking countenance as she strolls from the court.)

  6. AndrewC

    ‘It’s a well known lefty-fact that men commit crimes because they are evil and women commit crimes because they are bullied into it by evil men.’

    Not quite. Some men commit crimes because they’re evil – others because of racism, deprivation, or Thatcher.

  7. Non-violent crimes huh? I do not trust the government to define that properly. White Knighting is just out of control. The spineless wonders who rule us will give women anything they ask. Especially in the field of criminal justice where policy seems to be made by NGOs and special interests rather than with the public in mind.

    For example, in this American incident, can anyone spot anything odd about the reporting?

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-stabbing-cta-bus-20180709-story.html

  8. ‘a cycle of damaged people and broken homes that affects not just the women, but their children, families’

    Yet they did it anyway. When consequences don’t get the desired behavior, reduce the consequences. Wait . . . what?

  9. “Then you’re being a sexist shit, aren’t you?”

    While I agree entirely… I’ve heard it being argued in other contexts that if men and women behave differently, for biological reasons, it’s not sexism to treat them differently. Just sayin’. 🙂

    Of course, it’s long been said in penology that prisons are a poor method of dealing with crime. They’re expensive to run, don’t fix the underlying problem, don’t teach people how to live within the law, often teach people to be better criminals, and the criminal record makes it hard for them to get jobs afterwards, leading them back into crime.

    But the public don’t care about that. They’re vengeful. So possibly someone trying to reform the prison system, after many decades of this conflict with what the experts were saying, figured they needed a spoonful of sugar and spice to make the medicine go down. How can you persuade the public to put aside their vengeful outrage and allow prison reform? Alternative answers on a postcard, please, to…

  10. @ NiV
    Prisons are a deterrent – if you take away the risk of going to jail, you take away the deterrent.
    Also, however bad they are at their job of reforming criminals, they are far preferable to lynchings.

  11. Prison reform:

    Guns galore and the right to kill in self defence. The best result is the crim trying to offer violence dead at the feet of the righteous.

    Violence for the violent–if the person you attacked wasn’t up to sorting you–then you get roughly what you have dealt–stab /get stabbed. Beat/get beaten. I’m sure machines/robots could be devised to the job dispassionately.

    Rob, thieve etc –you do go to jail and are obliged to work until you have paid it back plus small court fees–small, no gravy train for lawdogs. When you have paid you are released. A direct disincentive to steal big. If you work then the jail has reasonable conditions. Refuse to work and you are in the Newgate/Fleet type conditions eating shit midst dripping walls for a very long sentence.

    That would do for most circs.

  12. NiV, so if someone breaks into your house and steals your stuff should they go to prison when caught? Or would you rather they get a free pass/slap on the wrist to break into your house again once you have replaced the stuff they stole in the first place?

  13. How is this compatible with the Equality Act? If women are to be prevented from being sent to prison for offences that a man will be jailed for, would he not have a case against the State for sexual discrimination?

  14. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44806139

    The 15-year-old will not be sent to prison despite being demonstrably a danger to civilised society having beaten up an elderly (74-year-old) gentleman, breaking his nose and possibly blinding his left eye.
    The only question is “what excuse will be trumped up?”

  15. Prisons work in one obvious way – the criminal cannot commit their crimes against ordinary citizens while incarcerated there.

    Only people who live comfortable lives in low-crime areas can afford to believe that “prison doesn’t work” and that criminals should not be jailed. Try living in a high crime area, one saturated with anti-social behaviour, theft, etc and continue to hold that opinion.

  16. The 15-year-old will not be sent to prison

    Well, the target is An Important Person, so there are decent odds they will be put away.

  17. There is a common misconception that prisons ‘create’ criminals. In fact to get sent to prison at all these days you need a criminal record as long as your arm. On the whole the prison population is that of recidivists with extensive criminal records. Prison may not reform them, probably can never reform them because they are criminal by nature, but it keeps them away from us.

  18. Coincidentally, I’ve a mate from the UK over at the moment. Career criminal served a fair portion of an 11 stretch for serious crime. Been talking about exactly this subject. He’d come down on the Ecksian end of this argument rather than the NiV end & would be in agreement with the majority expressed here.
    S’pose you could call his an “expert opinion”?

  19. @ bis
    An “Informed Opinion”
    “Expert Opinion” only applies to those with academic credentials.
    A couple of months ago one of my professional bodies sent out an information email stating that someone had done the first research showing that Investment Trusts outperformed Unit Trusts/OEICS (pronounced, correctly “oiks”), to which I replied that we’d done the research 40 years ago – but it seems that as we weren’t an academic institution (just a purchaser of ITs/UTs) so we didn’t count.

  20. @ Rob
    The worst that could legally happen to her is being sent to a “young offenders institution” where she will be better treated than the police officers shipped in to protect Donald Duck from similar hooligans.

  21. The incapacitation argument is the only one that holds water with me. I’m in favour of an exponential tariff so that in order to get those stories where the thieving slag has 87 previous convictions he’d’ve needed to embark on his life of crime 10²³ years ago.

  22. “NiV, so if someone breaks into your house and steals your stuff should they go to prison when caught?”

    No. They should get electronically monitored 24/7 out in the community and taught how to live a law-abiding life as a productive member of society. Set up an artificial ‘town’ for them all to live in, with lots of surveillance and zero-tolerance law enforcement, but otherwise just like any other town, where they’re expected to go to work and pay their own way. Instead of losing their freedom, they lose their privacy and autonomy for the period of the sentence. But they also get all the support they need to teach them how to do it.

    Although chances are, if they’re burgling houses they’re probably doing it to get money for drugs, which would not be such a problem if they were legalised. So stick them in a house under medical supervision, so they’re not a danger to anyone else, and sell them as many cheap drugs as they want. Or offer proper treatment to the mentally ill, if that’s the reason. Whatever.

    Show some imagination! There are *lots* of alternative in between the extremes of ‘repeatedly gang-raped in prison’ and ‘letting them go with a slapped wrist’.

  23. @Rob, July 12, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Keeping non-violent women out of jail, eh? What happens when they refuse to pay their taxes? Will the State just shrug, or will it make an exception in its own interests and jail them anyway?

    +1 excellent point.

  24. ‘taught how to live a law-abiding life as a productive member of society’

    WTF do you think was happening up until they committed their crimes???

    “But this time, it will work.”

  25. i always thought a bit of restorative justice might do – however to me it means
    1) if you steal from me, I am given free reign to take anything from you up to the value of 5 times of what you have stolen from me. If you haven’t at this time got anything of value i keep the right to take from you at at anytime for the rest of your life.
    2) if you attack me i have the right to inflict the same level of damage on you without any negative legal consequences.
    It might be brutish, but it appears to me the consequences of wrong doing in this country are a lot less than the rewards of said crime.

  26. BiCR: There’s an argument to be made that every time you are convicted your sentence is your current sentence plus the accumulation of all previous sentences. So, get convicted for 2 years. Next crime get convicted for 3 years, serve 5. Next crime get convicted for 2 years, serve 7. Next crime, get convicted to six months, serve 7.5 years. etc. Wouldn’t object to it including an appeal process to declare old convictions spent and uncountable, but it keeps the deterrent and public protection potential for a littering conviction resulting in 300 years behind bars.

  27. Set up an artificial ‘town’ for them all to live in, with lots of surveillance and zero-tolerance law enforcement, but otherwise just like any other town,

    What punishment does the town mete out? Prison? Why bother with the expensive town idea and jump straight to the punishment?

  28. “WTF do you think was happening up until they committed their crimes???”

    State education system? Poverty? Culture? The usual?

    “NiV, you have confirmed a long held belief. You are a fucking idiot.”

    And your opinion is worth, what?

    “What punishment does the town mete out? Prison?”

    Exactly as I said. The public is vengeful, therefore all the scientific and statistical evidence showing that vengeance doesn’t work is worth dip. We’ll happily spend a fortune on expensive vengeance that produces ever more criminals, because that satisfies a basic human emotional need.

    Sure. It’s your money.

  29. @NiV
    I’m not sure I was clear.
    You put forward the idea of a town for scumbags to be put in, where they are constantly monitored and lose privacy and autonomy. That seemed to be the punishment. You also stated that there would be zero tolerance law enforcement.

    I was wondering, what is the punishment for recidivism in this panopticon-esque town? How would you deal with someone who doesn’t give a flying fig that you’re watching and just goes out to commit crimes anyway?

    What is the next level of deterrence and punishment?
    isn’t this monitoring town idea something we do already with behaviour orders like curfews and tags anyway?

    We’ll happily spend a fortune on expensive vengeance that produces ever more criminals, because that satisfies a basic human emotional need.

    Yep. The emotional needs of the victim and society at large are very important. If society doesn’t feel that the criminals are going to be punished, people will defend themselves – mob justice would increase.

  30. Principles of the Justice system – this is what we are trying to do (I’m not saying that it works but always defining the requirement clearly is a good idea):

    Removal from society (for our benefit)
    Restriction of liberty (for the perp)
    Revenge
    Re-education
    Reformation of the perp
    Reintroduction into society
    Restoration of social order

    Can anyone think of others?

  31. “How would you deal with someone who doesn’t give a flying fig that you’re watching and just goes out to commit crimes anyway?”

    How do *you* deal with someone who comes out of prison – having been punished – not giving a flying fig, and who goes out committing more crimes? Which is what happens today.

    The point is that the aim isn’t punishment, it’s to prevent crime. Those who have studied the subject (and I’ve not looked into the topic in that much detail myself) generally say that punishment *doesn’t work* to prevent crime.

    The main reason that people get in the state where they don’t give a flying fuck about what society thinks and go out committing crimes is that they are firmly convinced (based on a long catalogue of evidence ranging from parents, schools, neighbours, policemen, snobby middle class folk, and what the newspapers say about them) that society is out to get them anyway, that *whatever* they do they’ll be punished, so they’d might as well get something out of it in the process. They’ve got no skills, every job they go for the guy running the place takes one look at them and says “No”, they’re treated with suspicion, fear, and hostility. They’re “moved on” if they stop anywhere nice, even if they’re not intending any wrong.

    They often live in a violent culture where the toughest are expected to survive what’s dished out to them, and where they get on in life by dishing out the same treatment to others. They’re very familiar with the idea of punishment and deterrence – that’s how everybody else keeps you down, so those others can stay on top. The primary lesson they learn from being punished is that they want to be the one handing out the punishment and deterrence. That’s the position of power. That’s how you succeed, and get what you want, and how you stop everybody else from punishing you.

    The “pecking order” is one of the models of society we’ve inherited from our animal ancestors. The top animal is the biggest and scariest, the bottom animal is the weakest. Every animal is absolute master over those below, and an absolute slave to those above. Punishment is how the order is enforced. But it induces in every animal the urge to challenge the ones above at every opportunity, to rise in the hierarchy.

    So when they take your punishment, all they see is a boss animal angry at the violation of the pecking order, keeping them down. And so the moment your back is turned…

    The basic problem is that they have a dysfunctional culture/society, and the way ‘punishment’ interacts with it only makes the problem worse. Punishment doesn’t work. You have to fix the broken culture, and you can only do that by having them live in a culture that isn’t broken (which prisons obviously aren’t). But humans in more civilised society still have that same vengeful instinct – that if somebody does something you don’t like then you punish them to force them to stop – and we’re all trapped, like in an endless blood feud.

    How do you stop a blood feud? Think about it.

  32. How do *you* deal with someone who comes out of prison – having been punished – not giving a flying fig, and who goes out committing more crimes? Which is what happens today.

    By putting them back in. And we keep putting them back in until they stop, or die.

    You didn’t answer my question – what happens in your system?

    The “pecking order” is one of the models of society we’ve inherited from our animal ancestors. The top animal is the biggest and scariest, the bottom animal is the weakest. Every animal is absolute master over those below, and an absolute slave to those above. Punishment is how the order is enforced. But it induces in every animal the urge to challenge the ones above at every opportunity, to rise in the hierarchy.

    Wow. Demonstrating a lack of understanding of how the animal world works here.
    Chimp troops for example. The biggest and strongest may not necessarily be the leader. The leader is the one who can get most loyalty from other troop members. If being strongest is your claim to leadership you’re screwed. You may be bigger, stronger and meaner than any other chimp, but as soon as there are two of them, you lose. This is seen in the wild. I use chimps as an example, because they’re fairly close to us.

    You aren’t master to everyone below you and slave to those above. That’s a very basic model of society, and a flawed one. Everyone has responsibilities in any social structure. The King has responsibility to defend his subjects. If he doesn’t, he isn’t King very long. He also has responsibility to keep order. So in that respect he is servant to the masses. They have a responsibility to pay taxes/provide food/goods so that he can do this. Yes, there’s a heirarchy, but the top needs to keep the bottom and middle happy as well.

    How do you stop a blood feud? Think about it.

    I’ve never been in one, but I would guess at wiping the other side out…?
    So death penalty for the worst criminals it is then.

  33. “Wow. Demonstrating a lack of understanding of how the animal world works here. Chimp troops for example. The biggest and strongest may not necessarily be the leader. The leader is the one who can get most loyalty from other troop members. If being strongest is your claim to leadership you’re screwed.”

    There are many different strategies of increasing levels of sophistication, culminating in the human cultures of cooperative economics. ‘Pecking order’ is one of the more primitive and inefficient, but it’s one that’s wired in to most organisms at a very basic level. But just because there are more sophisticated and successful strategies around doesn’t mean the primitive ones have been entirely abandoned, or are never used.

    Gang culture is closely based on the ‘pecking order’ strategy as far as its in-group organisation goes. The main reason for joining a gang is as protection from out-groups – rival gangs. People give (limited) loyalty to the hierarchy in exchange for protection. People follow the rules to stay members of the gang, and seek to ensure the gang leadership remains strong to defend the group, but within those rules they compete to be strongest and highest in rank. As far as in-group dynamics go, it is indeed quite close to master/slave, enforced by punishment.

    (And most human societies throughout history have had slaves. It’s not like there’s no precedent!)

    If you leave people to self-organise with no cultural input, they start with tribal gangs. However, the most sophisticated strategies – the ones responsible for our economic success, and only developed in the last 400 years or so, are *taught*. The problem is that some people haven’t been taught how to behave to create a modern society – they’ve inherited a broken, flawed system from their marginal communities instead, and it leads to crime.

    Most prisoners have had their experience of school disrupted by truanting and exclusion, and leave school at the first opportunity, with no qualifications. Compared with the general population, convicted prisoners were:

    • 10 times more likely to have been a regular truant.

    • Nearly 25 times more likely to have been excluded from school.

    • Nearly 3 times more likely to have left school at sixteen or younger.

    • Nearly 4 times more likely to have left school with no qualifications.

    • 23% of male and 11% of female prisoners attended a special school compared to only one per cent of the general population.

    • 48% of prisoners have a lower level of reading ability than an 11-year-old; 65% have lower numeracy skills; and 82% have lower writing skills.

    Low skills feed into low employability: only half of prisoners have the reading skills, less than one-third the numeracy, and one-fifth the writing skills necessary for 96% of all jobs.

    Employment reduces the risk of re-offending by between a third and a half. But two-thirds of prisoners arrive in prison from unemployment. Unemployment in the general population is normally between 5% to 8%. Among prisoners (in the 4 weeks before imprisonment) it is 67%.

    The same proportion have never experienced regular employment or having a job that was really worth having. Over one in seven say that they have never had a job at all.

    From here.

    They’ve not even learnt to read and write! How do we expect them to have learnt our post-industrial culture well enough to fit in? As well to expect an Amazonian tribesman dropped into the middle of London to cope.

    I think part of the problem is that this learning is so well-integrated into our society that most people are not even consciously aware of it. They don’t remember learning it, they don’t understand how it works, or realise how complex it is, they just assume it’s universally understood. It’s like the language they speak, or the ability to walk. Which means they’re at a loss when they come across someone who doesn’t speak their language, or know how to walk. How do you teach something that you yourself don’t understand, and are scarcely aware of?

    “Everyone has responsibilities in any social structure. The King has responsibility to defend his subjects. If he doesn’t, he isn’t King very long. He also has responsibility to keep order. So in that respect he is servant to the masses. They have a responsibility to pay taxes/provide food/goods so that he can do this. Yes, there’s a heirarchy, but the top needs to keep the bottom and middle happy as well.”

    Yes, this is the sort of thing you’ve got to teach.

    However, you say the top need to keep the bottom happy – but you’re not doing. You’ve built a society in which those at the bottom have no chance of prospering, and then left them to it. They don’t understand the concept of responsibilities to others, because nobody has ever showed they feel any responsibilities to them. All they’ve seen is punishment. So who’s fault is that?

    “I’ve never been in one, but I would guess at wiping the other side out…?”

    Ah! Civilisation!

    So Mr Civilised, this is what we tell the criminals, is it? Their only answer is to wipe the rest of us out? Well, OK. If you insist…

    The death penalty for stealing a loaf of bread has already been tried – and it rather famously didn’t work. People still stole bread. Have you got any more bright ideas?

  34. @NiV, July 12, 2018 at 11:15 am

    What Rob, July 12, 2018 at 2:00 pm says

    the criminal cannot commit their crimes against ordinary citizens while incarcerated there.

  35. Pcar, so are you proposing life sentences for everything?

    You can’t commit crimes when dead, either. So the ‘death penalty for stealing a loaf of bread’ policy ought to work at eliminating all crime, too. Funnily enough, though, it didn’t. Why is that?

  36. Am I?

    I assumed that your comment “the criminal cannot commit their crimes against ordinary citizens while incarcerated there” was an answer to my point about additional bright ideas, given that the death penalty even for trivial crimes failed to eliminate crime.
    (You didn’t say what you meant by your comment explicitly, but you guys never do. So I have to guess.)

    However, it fairly obviously doesn’t work any better – firstly, since you’ll have to let people out of prison eventually, when they’ll have no alternative but to go back to committing crimes (unless of course you keep them in prison forever), but secondly, even if you *do* keep them in forever, that’s still only equivalent to the death penalty in preventing crime. Which as I noted, didn’t work.

    Thus, your proposal doesn’t seem to solve the problem as stated. What’s “silly” about pointing that out?

  37. @NiV

    The Prison failure to reform you refer to is because prison is not used early enough.

    One month in jail after fist shoplifting, vandalism etc would prevent crime becoming a habit.

    Jail early, jail often.

  38. “One month in jail after fist shoplifting, vandalism etc would prevent crime becoming a habit.”

    The criminologists appear to be saying otherwise. Do you have evidence for your claim?

    I can think of lots of reasons why such a move could be counterproductive. A month in jail would just result in them taking better precautions against getting caught, or would be dismissed as an occupational hazard, or would shift it from the ‘scary unknown’ to the ‘mundane known’ and so remove some of the fear of it, or would win them bragging rights with their gang/peers, or would result in them losing their job and becoming unemployable, forcing more shoplifting to pay the bills, or leaving more time and resentment for vandalism. Jail breaks up families and increases family poverty, creating more of the same people who become criminals in the next generation. It increases their anger and resentment against society; their sense of unfairness and that society has it in for them; their feelings of desperation that their problems are unsolvable. And it doesn’t fix any of the fundamental problems leading to people becoming criminals.

    (It’s like the way that socialists think that the way to solve poverty is to give money to poor people, and nothing will convince them otherwise. It sounds logical. Poverty is a lack of money. Provide money, and the poverty goes away, right? Except that poverty is actually caused by a dysfunctional sub-culture and a consequent lack of education, and benefits do stuff all to fix that. They just perpetuate and exacerbate the cultural problem, and block the market’s solutions from having any effect. This seems like similar thinking, to me.)

    I’m open to the possibility that the criminologists, after their many decades of study, have all got it wrong. But how and why? What’s your evidence?

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