It is often claimed "don't do the crime if you cant do the time". Such a statement, as well as being morally dubious, presumes that the criminal justice system rationally allocates prison time on the basis of just deserts. In fact sentencing is both more random than that and far more bias. More often than not it is the person rather than the crime that attracts the sentence. This can be personal but is often a response to the lawbreakers age, class and race.
Everyday through google alerts I get a couple of hundred news stories delivered to my inbox and today I got the following two stories one after the other in an e-mail.
Of course the whole idea of using prison as the standard response to almost all lawbreaking is silly and pointless but the way when it is used it is used disproportionally on the young, social excluded and powerless displays the inherent injustice of the criminal justice system.
Weekly round-up and open thread - This week's selection of interesting links from around the web chosen by the F-Word team
3 hours ago