Thursday, February 09, 2006

Deja Vu Again

From The Times:-
Charles Clarke today unveiled plans for more convicted criminals to serve their sentences in the community.

The Home Secretary was today launching the National Offender Management Scheme (Noms), a five-year strategy which will promote community penalties over imprisonment as punishment for non-violent crime.

The most eye-catching proposal is to force offenders to wear matching T-shirts - reportedly emblazoned with the words "Community Payback" - while carrying out unpaid labour, such as unpaid litter-picking and graffiti clearance.
Point One: there has been a plan to toughen up community punishment every year that I have been on the bench. It is always motivated by a panic about prison numbers. Point Two: If the T-shirts are introduced (which they almost certainly won't be - human rights anyone?) they will become a red-hot fashion item within a very short time. I might even buy one myself.

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