What is the point of Life Sentences in UK today? On this evenings news a person is sentenced to Nine Life Sentences, but the closing line of the item says that the convicted person will have to serve at lease 16 years!!
No wonder this country has so many serious offenders - even Life is no deterrent!
Life Sentences are just that. It means the convicted person will be under the control of the criminal justice system for the rest of their life.
The prison terms given are the minimum and do not mean that a prisoner will automatically be released after that time.
If it is decided that a prisoner can leave jail, they are not free to do as they wish. There will be terms attached to their release and if they break those they can be recalled to prison at any point.
Thanks for your input, your link gives a clear explanation but I still believe that Life should mean life behind bars, not part walking the streets.
I have not checked, but I wonder how many lifers have been released, only to commit murder or other serious crimes again. How many innocent people would still be alive today if the perpetrators given Life sentences were kept locked up.
I'm sure there was something on the TV news this morning which mentioned that prisoners were going to be deprived of their TV sets and civilian clothing etc. I wonder if they could pass on the TV's to some old age pensioners who may need one?
Taking their civilian clothes off them, now that must really be a bind. It might work better if they took away other privileges such as snooker tables and things. Then make them work for their keep.
I wonder if one of the reasons for a minimum term with the possibility of release after that is to give the prisoners some reason to behave themselves. If they know they are there until the end of life,they could be far more difficult to control?
This topic usually gets looked at from the wrong direction. People talk about 'life should mean life' but don't appreciate that, if that were the case fewer people would be given life sentences.
So, instead of having someone permanently within the criminal justice system and not being released unless an assessment had been made showing a low risk of re-offending, you'd have people being sentenced to fixed terms and released at the end.
There are around 1,800 'lifers' out of prison. About 5% per annum are returned to prison but the re-offending rate is said to be below 2%. If those figures are correct, then the 3% difference must be people whose behaviour leads to concerns before they have actually re-offended.
That 3% would not be returned to prison if 'life meant life'.
I'm one of those who would like to see prisons brought back to the kind that Charles Dickens describes. Or as in the book "The Count Of Monte Christo". Those were the good old days. Was it our Lord who said "Vengeance is sweet"?