In sentencing criminals, is Norway too soft? Or are we too harsh?
....“Western Europeans regard 10 or 12 years as an extremely long term, even for offenders sentenced in theory to life,” he said.
Today, there are more than 41,000 people serving life without parole in the United States compared to fifty-nine in Australia, forty-one in England and thirty-seven in the Netherlands. That’s according to a study released this spring, which found that we are “in the minority of countries using several sentencing practices, such as life without parole, consecutive sentences, juvenile life without parole, juvenile transfer to adult courts, and successive prosecution of the same defendant by the state and federal government.”
Smart on crime: Why reforming criminal justice is now a Conservative issue
from the article in The Economist:
....It is not only in Britain that criminal-justice reform has become a right-wing issue. The Right on Crime initiative, a creation of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a think-tank, counts leading Republicans such as Newt Gingrich and Jeb Bush among the fans of its campaign to divert more offenders from prisons to non-custodial sentences. Half of all American states voted to reduce the use of custody last year.
There is plenty of room for relaxation in punitive America, which locks up almost one in 100 people (England and Wales put away fewer than one in 500). But similar forces are at work in both places. Fiscal pressure is mounting. Overall crime rates are falling. And stubborn reoffending rates suggest that some things are not working.
Prisons are one of them.
Leicestershire Pc Sandie to give US cops policing lesson
from the article in This Is Leicestershire:
New York State's police are to get a lesson in policing from a county copper.
Pc Sandie Hastings will be heading across the Atlantic for a two-week stint with a US police department to teach its officers about restorative justice.
The 58-year-old has been responsible for training her Leicestershire colleagues – and thousands from other British forces – in the concept, in which offenders are made to put right the consequences of their crimes rather than face court action.
She will explain the idea to the officers of Rochester Police Department, who patrol the city with the highest per capita homicide rate in New York State.
Restorative Justice: Differences between the US and UK
This is one more area where the UK and the US are miles apart. In the United States prosecutors often go into politics as a career so being strong on crime and talking the rhetoric helps in their campaigns. To have any chance of moving forward all political parties need to be targeted at the same time, there is little point in persuading one politician or political party to be more understanding as this will just leave the door open for his or her opposition to jump in with the policy they are stronger on crime and sentencing.
They also need to be tackled at the right time; your political system seems to run on a four year cycle. There is very little point in lobbying any politicians to be more compassionate towards offenders in the final 2 years of any administration as they will not want to seem weak on the crime ticket and also be already campaigning for the next elections. The day after any vote is the day to start.