When young offenders go wrong

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Post by spot »

Food for discussion: why on earth should society release this chap back into the community until he's past retirement age. I don't understand why there is a term set to any sentencing, I would be grateful if someone could explain why it's standard practice. Why do we jail people, and why do we release people?







2011:

A TEENAGER who burgled six Bristol schools to fund his cocaine habit has been jailed for 16 months.

Nicholas Mann is the third of a trio of teenagers who worked together to target computer equipment in schools across South Bristol during January and February.

Mann, 19, of no fixed address, was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court yesterday to 16 months in a young offenders' institution after pleading guilty to a burglary at Cotham School and having 13 other burglaries taken into consideration.

The court heard Mann smashed a pane of glass to get into the school on February 15 and accessed an office with £1,950 of computer equipment – weeks after being released from a young offenders' institute. He was charged after police caught him with the school's camcorder the following day in Knowle West. Of the matters taken into consideration, six were school burglaries including Brislington Enterprise College and Merchants' Academy.

Prosecuting, David Hunter said Mann had also admitted taking a car and handling stolen goods. Mann had a string of previous convictions for theft and burglary and had spent several stints in young offenders' institutions.

A TEENAGER who burgled six Bristol schools to fund his cocaine habit has been jailed for 16 months. | Bristol Post





2016:

A man has been charged over a number of cash machine attacks and explosions in Bristol and Somerset.

Nicholas Stephen Mann, 24, of Hop Store, Kingsdown, Bristol, has been charged with conspiracy to steal between 29 September and 8 May.

He has also been charged with assault by beating and assault with intent to resist arrest. Seven machines have been attacked since the start of the year.



Man accused over Bristol and North Somerset ATM blasts - BBC News







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Post by Bruv »

The better question is how did he enter prison an addict and come out an addict ?
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Post by tude dog »

Why do we jail people, and why do we release people?


Depending on who you ask there are several answers to that question.

For example punishment, deterrent, rehabilitation or simply to remove them as a threat to society.

I would hope that nobody who is a threat to society is released.

To me there are a few crimes should the person never be let go, matter what. So to my way of thinking it is just how long to incarcerate someone for punishment sake.
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Post by LarsMac »

Bruv;1496572 wrote: The better question is how did he enter prison an addict and come out an addict ?


Drugs are easy to get in prison, it seems.
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Post by Bruv »

LarsMac;1496578 wrote: Drugs are easy to get in prison, it seems.


Exactly, but how and why ? They are in a supposedly secure establishment after all.

And why no plans to sort out the prisoners who's crimes are directly linked to drug addiction ?

Doesn't make sense to me.
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Post by spot »

tude dog;1496577 wrote: To me there are a few crimes should the person never be let go, matter what. So to my way of thinking it is just how long to incarcerate someone for punishment sake.
Who benefits from this punishment?
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Post by AnneBoleyn »

spot;1496583 wrote: Who benefits from this punishment?


The survivors of the victims. It's aka revenge.

eta--don't make me sorry I'm talking to you spot.
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Post by spot »

AnneBoleyn;1496584 wrote: The survivors of the victims. It's aka revenge.

eta--don't make me sorry I'm talking to you spot.


I'm listening - how do the survivors of the victims benefit from revenge? I don't understand how. It strikes me that revenge is poison to be avoided at all costs. Many people have testified to this throughout human history, I could find you examples.

If you do actually think that the survivors of the victims benefit from revenge, perhaps you could introduce an authority from any time or place who argues in favor of that position - I'd like to see who you have on side.
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Post by AnneBoleyn »

My mother was killed by the carelessness of another person. It had never occurred to me to seek revenge. The worst thing in the world happened, I lost my mother forever. Prior to that, many people said to me "You seem so Young!" I answered, "I have my mommy." Joking, of course, but not really. Nothing that other person ever suffered could ever bring me back the treasure I lost.

That being said, seeking revenge may not be rational to you, but is for many others. They want a satisfaction of knowing they did their best in place of the one they lost. Depending on the circumstances, naturally, I can't condemn their feelings. That is why, IMO, justice Must be blind. I don't need to link to an authority---we both know it is true. We are the authority.
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Post by tude dog »

spot;1496585 wrote: I'm listening - how do the survivors of the victims benefit from revenge? I don't understand how. It strikes me that revenge is poison to be avoided at all costs. Many people have testified to this throughout human history, I could find you examples.

If you do actually think that the survivors of the victims benefit from revenge, perhaps you could introduce an authority from any time or place who argues in favor of that position - I'd like to see who you have on side.


Authority, shamority.

Vengeance is good.

Justice, always a worthwhile cause.
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Post by AnneBoleyn »

spot: "how do the survivors of the victims benefit from revenge? I don't understand how."

It's called emotion, don't you have any? Have you ever lost a person due to violence or negligence of another person? I hope your answer is 'No', and that it always remains that way. But if you ever did, you might be able to answer your own question.
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Post by tude dog »

AnneBoleyn;1496587 wrote: My mother was killed by the carelessness of another person. It had never occurred to me to seek revenge. The worst thing in the world happened, I lost my mother forever. Prior to that, many people said to me "You seem so Young!" I answered, "I have my mommy." Joking, of course, but not really. Nothing that other person ever suffered could ever bring me back the treasure I lost.

That being said, seeking revenge may not be rational to you, but is for many others. They want a satisfaction of knowing they did their best in place of the one they lost. Depending on the circumstances, naturally, I can't condemn their feelings. That is why, IMO, justice Must be blind. I don't need to link to an authority---we both know it is true. We are the authority.


Sad to hear about your Mom Ann. I knew somebody who while intoxicated drove and was responsible for the deaths of several people. The guy got two years in prison.

Often thought about that. If it was a family member of mine killed, would that be enough? My conclusion is there is no satisfactory answer to that so I would just let it go.

As far as that guy goes last I saw of him looked to me he was never intended to function in society.
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Post by Bruv »

AnneBoleyn;1496587 wrote: My mother was killed by the carelessness of another person. It had never occurred to me to seek revenge. The worst thing in the world happened, I lost my mother forever. Prior to that, many people said to me "You seem so Young!" I answered, "I have my mommy." Joking, of course, but not really. Nothing that other person ever suffered could ever bring me back the treasure I lost.


Sorry to hear that, and happy with your reaction, nothing can go anywhere near helping in that circumstance.

I am also humbled by the parents of murder victims publicly forgiving the killers, not wanting revenge seems a long way from forgiving.
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Post by LarsMac »

For the most part, unless there is a serious drive towards rehabilitation, in which the "criminal" is an active, and willing participant, all that prison will do is separate the individual from society for a specified period of time, with the vague hope that he/she will learn their lesson, that being in prison is worse than being on the streets. Usually, however, being in prison just seems to help them learn how to be better criminals. They meet other like-minded individuals, and learn how to be better at not getting caught.

They learn how to be tougher, and more clever.

They get out, and decide whether they really care about being a good citizen, or going back to jail.

Most were minor criminals because they took the easy path. When they get out, the path to honest citizenship is going to be even tougher than it was when they went in.
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Post by flopstock »

We need to go back to spanking kids when they are young enough to learn that there is a consequence for bad behavior. Not beat, but spank. Time outs don't work and prison is just another time out - these days with all the luxuries of home and sometimes better.
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Post by spot »

AnneBoleyn;1496590 wrote: It's called emotion, don't you have any? Have you ever lost a person due to violence or negligence of another person? I hope your answer is 'No', and that it always remains that way. But if you ever did, you might be able to answer your own question.


I bask in emotion. Emotion oozes from my every pore. I'm a die-hard romantic. That doesn't get me any closer to your point, though. I'm as upset by the death of anyone through violence or negligence as I would be were that person my child, and I happen to think that's the only moral stance which carries any meaning. Why should being a relation up the ante? Why should a lethal tragedy happening in some African backwater be any less distressing than in one's own home? It has to be, it can only be, equally tragic.

This distinction between Us and Them goes a long way to explaining, among other things, the catastrophic, broken, harmful state of the US and British penal systems, and it's all centered on revenge and punishment. If someone killed my child I'd be quite content to see the killer released back into the community the next day, so long as that person accepted effective permanent treatment which reduced the risk of re-offending to no more than that of the population at large. What's missing is any will on the part of the public to develop such treatments. Revenge and punishment are higher on the agenda.

Can I bring back to the thread the question from the opening post? "Why on earth should society release this chap back into the community until he's past retirement age".
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spot;1496604 wrote: I bask in emotion. Emotion oozes from my every pore. I'm a die-hard romantic. That doesn't get me any closer to your point, though. I'm as upset by the death of anyone through violence or negligence as I would be were that person my child, and I happen to think that's the only moral stance which carries any meaning. Why should being a relation up the ante? Why should a lethal tragedy happening in some African backwater be any less distressing than in one's own home? It has to be, it can only be, equally tragic.

This distinction between Us and Them goes a long way to explaining, among other things, the catastrophic, broken, harmful state of the US and British penal systems, and it's all centered on revenge and punishment. If someone killed my child I'd be quite content to see the killer released back into the community the next day, so long as that person accepted effective permanent treatment which reduced the risk of re-offending to no more than that of the population at large. What's missing is any will on the part of the public to develop such treatments. Revenge and punishment are higher on the agenda.

Can I bring back to the thread the question from the opening post? "Why on earth should society release this chap back into the community until he's past retirement age".


Do you mean to say that you would find the cruel beating of a complete stranger which resulted in death to be on the same level of emotion as if it were your child? I can't understand your feeling the same about both. To me the stranger would be tragic but the loss of a child would be gut-ripping and unforgivable.
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Post by spot »

There's the problem in a nutshell, then. The state of our jails is a consequence of that attitude.

I would commend the story of Kind David's dead infant son in support of my position.

Nicholas Stephen Mann - the subject of my opening post - is important, his well-being is important, but he keeps being released back into society to continue his destructive unprofitable crime spree. Why is he being released? Why is he not being held until senility, arthritis and incontinence curb his antisocial behavior? Why are his prison sentences not indefinite?
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Post by Bruv »

spot;1496604 wrote: Why should a lethal tragedy happening in some African backwater be any less distressing than in one's own home? It has to be, it can only be, equally tragic.


I shall simplify.................... why does a piano dropping on your own foot hurt more than on that bloke's down the pub ?
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Post by spot »

My foot compared to the bloke down the pub? To you, it shouldn't.

We could have a separate thread about Cleator Moor if you like, that would be interesting.

Is nobody going to focus on Nicholas Stephen Mann instead of playing patty-cake tennis?
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Post by AnneBoleyn »

spot: "I'm as upset by the death of anyone through violence or negligence as I would be were that person my child"

You are lying, not only to us, but yourself. Since your life has not faced this type of tragedy, you are also blissfully ignorant.
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Post by spot »

AnneBoleyn;1496609 wrote: You are lying, not only to us, but yourself. Since your life has not faced this type of tragedy, you are also blissfully ignorant.I doubt either of us can currently know whether I would stand by my philosophy in that event, but the result would have nothing to do with whether my philosophy is sustainable. It would merely show whether I was up to sustaining it. If you prefer revenge and punishment then that's your burden of choice.

You didn't mention King David.
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Post by Bruv »

You are being obtuse on purpose.............obviously.

The question was not how much it hurts, more about how the pain AFFECTS YOU, in the first person, not as a logical dispassionate measuring of abstract pain.

Now......about Nicholas Mann and his being banged up due to an addiction that needs to be payed for by his criminality.

As Lars has already said, he needs help,but help can only be given to a person that wants to be helped.

There should be a system that stops drugs and phones from being obtained by the inmates to feed the habit that caused their imprisonment.

They might then be more open for help with the addiction
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Post by spot »

And in the meantime, why is he not being held under an indefinite sentence? Who benefits from his periodic release?
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Bruv;1496612 wrote: You are being obtuse on purpose.............obviously.

The question was not how much it hurts, more about how the pain AFFECTS YOU, in the first person, not as a logical dispassionate measuring of abstract pain.I'm not being obtuse. You're confusing the meaning of words. The pain of a broken foot is a physiological consequence of nerve stimulation. It's the same as you get if your teeth are drilled without anesthetic. I might point out that I spent twenty years having my teeth drilled without anesthetic when I needed treatment, so I speak from experience. The pain you're trying to compare it to is the self-inflicted consequence of a confused and ill-prepared mind, and has nothing to do with nerve endings.

help can only be given to a person that wants to be helped.That, I think, is a bogus platitude and is obviously untrue. We choose not to impose lobotomies on people in his position, for instance. If we provided that treatment he would no longer be a risk to society. Somewhere between that unacceptable extreme and the present position is the prospect of a cure. We can even make it a voluntary procedure, so long as there's no prospect of release unless he accepts it or reforms himself in a sufficiently persuasive manner.
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Post by Bruv »

Discussing stuff with you Spot, reinforces my long held opinion that people can be too intelligent, or probably over think simple problems.

And.......why do you ask questions that you have already made up your mind about ?
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Post by spot »

Bruv;1496615 wrote: Discussing stuff with you Spot, reinforces my long held opinion that people can be too intelligent, or probably over think simple problems.

And.......why do you ask questions that you have already made up your mind about ?


But I haven't. I don't know a workable answer, that's why I asked. We agree, I think, that there's currently no reliable rehabilitation route. That's why I started with the core question, as I see it - Why on earth should society release this chap back into the community until he's past retirement age. Do you have a suggestion, a way toward an answer to that? In what way is it a simple question? What is this simple problem I overthink - again I don't know, but you seem to.

This is one of two major issues I can't see past, it's frustrating to be told I've pre-judged the answer.
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Aside from the fact that there are not enough prisons to contain everyone objectionable to society already, sounds like a great idea.

And if he were locked up indefinitely that would be great until someone else is released who is perceived to have committed a greater crime. Then there would be protests in the street and lawsuits up the wazoo.

Maybe we could see if these folks would be agreeable to being calmly put to sleep
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flopstock;1496618 wrote: Aside from the fact that there are not enough prisons to contain everyone objectionable to society already, sounds like a great idea.The US has already built eight times more prison cells per unit of population than the average across the world, you're way past it being a great idea. You tried it and it's failed.

Maybe we could see if these folks would be agreeable to being calmly put to sleepThe thread's about ethics. What approach to recidivism is ethical and what's not. Locking up a fifth of the world's prisoners out of a twentieth of the world's population isn't ethical, but the US does it. Having a prison population with a racial or economic profile different to your population isn't ethical but the US does it. Killing your inmates isn't ethical but you do that too - in a fashion which, were it a veterinarian practice, would have the place closed down for blatant deliberate animal cruelty. When it comes to penal policy, the US is the most backward country on earth and that's entirely down to your ignorant prejudiced insistence on revenge and punishment instead of effective treatment.

Could we perhaps offer the thread a few pointers to effective treatments which would be also be ethical, please, specific to Nicholas Stephen Mann? There's an urgent need for an answer. I've put a single instance forward deliberately, so we can try to avoid vague generalities. Why are we releasing Nicholas Stephen Mann without first reducing his re-offending to a background level. Surely he doesn't have a natural-born right to re-offend indefinitely, it would impinge too greatly on the right of the collective rest of us not to be afflicted with his criminal behavior.

If Mr Mann would like to register and join the discussion, we'd be interested in his thoughts.
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Post by Bruv »

spot;1496616 wrote: But I haven't. I don't know a workable answer, that's why I asked. We agree, I think, that there's currently no reliable rehabilitation route. That's why I started with the core question, as I see it - Why on earth should society release this chap back into the community until he's past retirement age. Do you have a suggestion, a way toward an answer to that? In what way is it a simple question? What is this simple problem I overthink - again I don't know, but you seem to.

This is one of two major issues I can't see past, it's frustrating to be told I've pre-judged the answer.


My apologies, I thought you were 'leading' us to the right answer, specially after the the lack of empathy toward personal pain (mental and physical)

Anyway...........let me give you my solution.......this might go on a bit.

Offenders of this sort in my little experience start young, they spend the first couple of times they are caught, being 'warned off' 'shown the error of their ways'. They are brought into a system of social care, where do gooders talk to them in care worker jargon, they are encouraged to 'set targets' 'work through' their problems. The social workers move on,while the offenders learn more about the system and use it for their own benefit with new naive young police and community workers. Then they 'Help' the young offenders to widen their horizons with outings and special personalised care........the offenders learn more about the care work system than real life.

My point is they use the system, as it is, and win, win, win, with an occasional loss. Shop lifters/burglars/muggers get caught and receive punishment for only a small proportion of their crimes......so it's worth the chance, and they know it.

I believe first time offenders need what was once called a 'short sharp shock' A short custodial sentence with harsh conditions, meaning no luxuries such as TV, telephone calls, PC games, with a military type regime of waking early, some form of structured work and basic foods. The length need be as short as a single week, but during this time their feet should not touch the ground. Second offence should it happen would be same again but longer. The intense regime would be run by ex-military, the inmates would sleep in single cells, with no socialising with fellow inmates. The idea is to frighten and punish.

The likes of Mr Mann are a long way down the road, he's on first name terms with the local police who know the type of crime and the times he is likely to commit them,where he hangs out, his bed times,his mates, his meal of choice when he gets locked in their cells.

He personally needs a prison free from drugs so he can become drug free under controlled conditions, and having no access to drugs may make him agreeable to treatment, otherwise, prison is just like the outside for him, hassling between fixes.

The reason we keep on releasing him........is because at any time he may see the futility of his life and change his ways..................many have.

I am sure some tweaking to the basics that I have overlooked may be required, but it is worth a try I reckon, the present way just is not working.
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Post by spot »

Bruv;1496626 wrote: The reason we keep on releasing him........is because at any time he may see the futility of his life and change his ways..................many have.So this change of ways is tested by releasing him periodically to find out whether or not it's happened, and each time it hasn't happened he gets locked up again?

Are you saying there's currently no place to test this change of ways other than in the community? Because if that's so, you have the route to a solution. We need to develop a test which can be applied before release.

Are we any closer to solving the puzzle yet?
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Post by Bryn Mawr »

Bruv;1496612 wrote: You are being obtuse on purpose.............obviously.

The question was not how much it hurts, more about how the pain AFFECTS YOU, in the first person, not as a logical dispassionate measuring of abstract pain.

Now......about Nicholas Mann and his being banged up due to an addiction that needs to be payed for by his criminality.

As Lars has already said, he needs help,but help can only be given to a person that wants to be helped.

There should be a system that stops drugs and phones from being obtained by the inmates to feed the habit that caused their imprisonment.

They might then be more open for help with the addiction


Then surely, whilst he remains an addict (and there are tests that can be done to check whether he is) and refuses to be helped, he remains a dander to society and should not be released?
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Post by Bruv »

Think we all missed the part where drugs are almost freely available in prisons.

If a drug is available in prison...............who is at fault ?

The way you help an addict is to wean them off the addiction by a controlled withdrawal, out in the wide world most addicts take the easy route and blag and steal to satisfy their needs. Inside a prison should be ideal for treatment........if drugs weren't leaking through poor security and thereby topping up any treatment they might be receiving.

These people aren't nice people whilst addicted, they lie and cheat, so you either treat them with or without their consent, or just freely supply their needs, having drug porous jails doesn't help the authorities or the addicts.
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