This week I attended a meeting of our local Food Bank, lovely evening. One of the speakers was a lady from the probation service. I found myself wondering what our probation service had to do with the food bank, I did not see how their areas of work could coincide. As this lady began to speak I was horrified, absolutely horrified. I hope as you read my words you too will be horrified. Horrified at our government's Official Crime Encouragement Policy.
Criminals serve time in prison for a reason, punishment. During their time inside that punishment has to include a strong element, a very strong element of reformation. On release rehabilitation has to start. It doesn't.
Ex-offenders are simply thrown out into society. There are those who have nowhere to live, some are fortunate enough to have an armchair in The SMART Hub in Water Eaton to sleep in but during the day they are left to roam the streets.
The lady from probation explained how many simply have no food to eat, if it were not for the food bank they would just go hungry. Benefits ? She explained it can take six weeks to process any payment. There was one ex-offender who burst into tears saying he was hungry with no money and no way to either receive benefits or to work. Even if an ex-offender does find a job there will be four weeks until he receives money. The lady talked about how so many are forced back into crime. She quoted those who would commit a crime then go and sit in the police station waiting arrest.
Re-offending rates for those serving short-term prison terms of twelve months or less are a staggering 64.6%. Those serving longer sentences 29.9%. Please do not tell me our government has anything other than a crime encouragement policy !
Months ago I was accepted by The Justice Department to have a community payback team working to clean the grounds in University Hospital Milton Keynes. Following this I waited for weeks and weeks before anyone contacted me to take things forward. That only started to happen after I had been shouting in complaint. The planning meeting was cancelled with two hours notice as the person I was to meet was ill. Ever since then there has been SILENCE ! I have tried and tried and tried again to speak to anyone. I then complained and complained and complained but the silence remains deafening ! I have written, weeks ago, to The Justice Department where their silence is even greater. Justice ? This form of justice has been delegated to a private company to outwork our government's official crime encouragement policy.
Society deserves better. Our police service deserves better. The human beings who are convicted of crime deserve better.