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Should gender be a factor in sentencing criminals?

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Dolph, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. Thecaferacer

    Hitman

    Joined: Feb 3, 2019

    Posts: 714

    I am familiar with the Corsten report. And in summery it states it's belief that women require a different kind of imprisonment (centres) focussing more on rehabilitation to females. What it does not address is whether the same approach would also work with males to lower reoffending rates. It's also very much based on preventing female suicides, something which is largely being ignored in male prisons

    Again, what is being argued here is to whether females who have committed serious offences should be spared jail if a male committed an identical offence in similar circumstances.

    Rich people have a far lower reoffending rate. Should they also be given preferential treatment as a custodial sentence would have a detrimental effect on their home life and would not effect the reoffending outcome.
     
  2. efish

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 11, 2014

    Posts: 1,322

    I can now see what you're concern is.

    The Corsten report does not address male re-offending rates as that was not part of its mandate.As we both know and should state for clarity and to avoid confusion for anyone reading who may not have read it.

    With regard to you're rich person remark.

    I was unaware the budget, planning and infrastructure of the criminal justice system was split into three groups men, women and rich people. As that is the reason for the differences.

    Corsten report focused on women in women's prisons. A reduction in sentencing for women in women's prisons leads to less women's prisons being built and the resources re-allocated instead towards funding for community resources for these women from the budget allocated to female offenders.

    I understand.

    If part of the prison budget and the planning of infrastructure is allocated to rich prisons then yes you probable would want to look at it in the same way.

    Although I don't think that's the case. Or I certainly hope not.
     
  3. efish

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 11, 2014

    Posts: 1,322

    It clearly shows how resources, infrastructure, planning, research and report has a specific gender focus.

    Again it illustrates the way gender is a key part of the administration of the system and the decision making process which is due in large part to the manner in which resources and infrastructure is managed.

    Reason for that, it is the way the system works. Male and female prisoners the offenses are similar as you note.

    But it is what you omit to say that makes the difference.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  4. BowdonUK

    Mobster

    Joined: Jan 17, 2016

    Posts: 2,709

    When it comes to the gender issue between men and women I always say we're different but equal.

    I don't think the amount of punishment should be different. But I'm open to the suggestion of a different kind of punishment. I'm against letting them off lightly.

    Women have less chance of being convicted of the more serious crimes than men, which could be down to how some men view women i.e. as sweet little innocent princesses.

    I think ultimately it depends on the crimes women are being convicted of. I've heard years ago that most women were in prison for not being their tv license, rent, or some other victimless crime like that. I'd have to see the types of crimes being committed generally by women. I'm against people being jailed for victimless crimes.
     
  5. Thecaferacer

    Hitman

    Joined: Feb 3, 2019

    Posts: 714

    You are again talking about post conviction services that could equally apply to male prisoners.

    Let's boil it down to the basics. Do you believe there should be a two tier criminal justice system whereby the sentencing book is different dependant on whether you are a male or female?

    And my remark on the rich is that if you start applying different rules to one group, why not expand it to other traits? And as for Corsten, you have quoted a report that only looked at and commented on women's conditions in prison and then applied that to men and women to suggest that men should be given far hasher sentencing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  6. efish

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 11, 2014

    Posts: 1,322




    You're first point. No as I am sure you are well aware its not just post conviction is it. As the article from Scotland suggests.

    Its also what the Corsten report suggested I think/ I am reasonable certain.

    I am also very aware that these measures can and should be applied across the board.

    This is like groundhog day.

    For the second time (I have already very clearly state an opinion here)

    Two tier system, no, sentencing and policy should be uniform but the system is clunky and has an obvious structural issue in the way you achieve these goals.

    As I have suggested. Repeatedly from the first post I made.

    I must have missed that or its not in the executive summery. Could you be more specific? i.e could you source the claims you are making it would be helpful. Evidence is something I don't ignore and I can't evaluate a claim based simply on the authority the speaker claims.

    I think you miss the point I am making, which is that these differences are structural and systemic and result from managing a physical infrastructure which is identified and ordered on the basis of gender.
    It makes things somewhat clunky.

    I do not think this is the result of a radical agenda favoring women. This is where the issue would seem to be

    As I do not think that the system is free of fault or does not have issues with balance.

    It clear has issues with complexity and a degree of imbalance that is in- built.

    i.e change requires altering policy then altering the actual physical fabric or plans for future development and then re-allocating resources.
    As that is done on a gendered basis Male prison/ female prison, going to be some differences when it comes to policy change and implementation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  7. Threepwood

    Mobster

    Joined: Sep 29, 2011

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    Location: Monkey Island

    I think the prison system after brexit will become more privatised and the whole system will become courrupt putting more and more people in prison for little things anyway, bit like america.
     
  8. Nasher

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 22, 2006

    Posts: 13,684

    They will need to start building a lot more prisons now then because they are all overflowing. To the point where minor criminals aren't even being sent to prison when in the past they would.
     
  9. efish

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 11, 2014

    Posts: 1,322

    Re-offending rate of people given short term sentences is not good and extremely expensive. If you remember short, sharp, shock, appealing authoritarian vote winner, which created a whole new class of high energy super-fit re-offenders. System prone to trail and error. Very politicized subject.
     
  10. Vern1961

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 29, 2007

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    Location: Swindon UK

    No. Do the crime, do the time regardless of male, female or something in between.
     
  11. Tony Edwards

    Mobster

    Joined: Feb 4, 2018

    Posts: 3,347

    In a way you are right but also there is something amiss in the UK as far as prisons or prisoners go.

    https://www.theguardian.com/society...s-jail-shameful-numbers-of-people-says-report
     
  12. efish

    Wise Guy

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    Scotland has a separate system to the rest of the u.k, a statuary procedure on sentences (like most law here its not gender specific as I suspect that would be illegal: not sure what all this fuss is on this point) of three months or less. Preferred route is community pay back order. You can still sentence but its a last resort when c.po's are not suitable.



    Re-offending rate of those sentenced to prison before the introduction of the measure was double what it was for c.p.o's
    Homelessness/ unemployment/ family breakdown resulting from confinement a factor.

    Farmer report linked in the article Dolph focuses on male prisoners/ family relationships.

    Smaller more localized dentition with close accesses to family/ children etc. May help to reduce crime and result in more stable better integrated individuals and less crime from repeat offenses.

    Not the cheap option though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  13. Zernath

    Hitman

    Joined: Feb 22, 2019

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    Location: East Anglia

    No. If women are to be treated as equals, then surely they should face the same punishment as men? If not, then we are essentially admitting that they are not equal. You can't have it both ways!
     
  14. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 30,130


    You clearly don't understand equality.
     
  15. D.P.

    Caporegime

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    At the end of the day you have to decide which aspects of prison are important: safety of society, incapacitation, rehabilitation, punishment/retribution, deterrence.
    The problem is for most criminals most of these aims are ineffective. Worst of all the effectiveness is highly variable between people so universal prison sentences simply don't work.


    In general, prisons are terrible at rehabilitation and deterrence. they are good for incapacitation (stopping dangerous criminals committing more crime on society), but the safety of society as a whole depends on rehabilitation and deterrence . The value of punishment is morally objectionable but in any case serves no purpose in improving society.

    Thus if you really want to have a safer society with less crime you want to first prioritize social programs that limit the desire of crime to begin with, and then maximize rehabilitation.


    Within this construct it is useful to find way to improve outcomes. The CPOs used in Scotland had a dramatic improvement in rehabilitation, a model used throughout Scandinavia for example.
    The UK as a whole has a terrible incarceration rate with horrendous outcomes for all involved, all at great expense to the tax payer.

    Locking up single parents clearly has many negative outcomes, and if it is known that such crimes are better resolved with CPOs or similar instead of jail time anyway, then why shoudln't society do this in order to make society safer and lower costs? It just so happens that a majoirty of single parents are mothers which makes it an easy talking point, but that doesn't mean that any changes to law will be gender specific.
     
  16. Dolph

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

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    Location: Plymouth

    Gender is an arbitrary factor in this context though. When you look at the details, those advocating using gender do so as shorthand for a load of non gender specific traits and situations that either are more prevelent for women or are stereotyped as being more female traits even without evidence.

    As such, use of gender in that scenario isn't equality, because if you should make adjustments for situations, you should do it for all people it applies to, and likewise you should not make adjustments for people it doesnt apply to just because they share a gender with people it does.
     
  17. efish

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 11, 2014

    Posts: 1,322

    I have not a clue what you are talking about.

    What you are referring to is an argument that is made by some critics and rejected by others (including feminists). The grounds for rejection are that it is not compatible with gender equality.

    In Scotland c.p.o's are not gender specific and I did insert my own opinion that I did not think that such a law would be legal or legally justified as it has to be fair.
     
  18. Zernath

    Hitman

    Joined: Feb 22, 2019

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    Location: East Anglia

    So being treated differently by the law for the same crimes as men is equality? Really? :confused:
     
  19. efish

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 11, 2014

    Posts: 1,322

    Its a non-argument in terms of what is happening in the system in practice (its a legal philosophical idea and a minority opinion).

    It lives in abstraction not in the real world or in the system.

    A few people have made the case for inequality of sentencing on gender ethnic ground's etc.

    Its not going to happen. Sentencing is not a science but above all the law has to be fair and it has to be perceived by the public to be fair.

    This of course does not stop people on both the right and the left using this issue to play politics on gender, ethnicity etc.

    That's life.

    The reality is that while you may get some disparity and bias in the system at times, as judges and juries need flexibility to judge a case on its individual circumstance, central dictate and rules here are problematic.

    The fundamental principle of the system is that everyone is treated in a like and consistent manner and that they are judged by their peers.

    Always a danger that things will change but in the great scheme of attacks on the legal system plenty more than this to worry about.

    Pointing out the bias in groups we do not like and do not agree with is an easy thing to do.
     
  20. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 30,130


    No where in the debate was it it specified that the changes should only be for women, but for single parents that fit a certain profile. Single mothers tends to form a higher percentage so is worth talking about in summary but that doens't mean the law or guidelines will be gender specific.