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Paying Foreign Prisoners to Leave the Country

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posted on Oct, 10 2006 @ 10:20 AM
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Prisoners' cash plan is condemned

A plan to pay prisoners from outside Europe a package of up to £2,500 to leave the UK has been criticised.

Home Secretary John Reid outlined the plan as part of a scheme to try and ease the UK's overcrowded prisons.

But the £20m scheme was denounced as a "waste of taxpayers' money" by Mark Leech of the Prison Handbook, a guide to the England and Wales' penal system.



What on earth?


While the article states it would be a cost efficient idea as it costs £37,000 a year to house a foreign prisoner (or any prisoner) while it would only cost £2,500 to pay them to leave the country, its using the tactic of throwing money at the problem as a solution, a problem solving method which this Government is famous for.

Its madness!

The Government is considering paying criminals to leave our country after they have committed a crime, that sounds very much like bribery to me.
A crime warrants a punishment not a reward, what kind of society are we breeding if we reward crime?

If a foreign national commits a crime that warrants a prison sentence then they should be deported back to their country of origin and refused entry into Britain for a set number of years.

Rights and responsibilities are linked, you can only have one with the other.

The whole reason the prison system is overloaded is because current and past Governments refuse to consider practical alternatives, prison to me is somewhere those who are a threat to society or repeat offenders should be sent.




posted on Oct, 10 2006 @ 02:21 PM
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Originally posted by Prometheus James
the article states it would be a cost efficient idea as it costs £37,000 a year to house a foreign prisoner (or any prisoner) while it would only cost £2,500 to pay them to leave the country


- Sounds like someone has sat down and soberly costed the alternatives.


its using the tactic of throwing money at the problem as a solution, a problem solving method which this Government is famous for.


- Yeah but be honest PJ, they're only "famous for" it with a certain bunch of opponents, right?

You know, the sort of people who bang on at length and pretend that all the progress across the country is just a mirage and who will happily deny the new schools, hospitals and general improvement in the public services is all just 'waste' and 'bureaucracy'.



Its madness!


- Well lets think about this.
Is it?
Is it really?

Or is it madness to continue to shell out £37k p.a. if you could get rid of the problem for a one-off £2.5k?

Presumably that's just a 1yr figure, if the person was to go and commit another crime and be locked up for further years then theose other months/years 'inside' must equate (in todays money) to further years at £37k p.a., right?

So, if it can truly be made, are you honestly saying a £34.5k saving is madness?
Do you really think so?

Cos, whilst I'll accept it sounds unusual, if it can be done I'd far rather we (as a country) make the big savings than follow some (far more expensive) moralistic ideology.


The Government is considering paying criminals to leave our country after they have committed a crime, that sounds very much like bribery to me.


- Well if that was what they were doing then I suppose it might do but then the article specifically states that is not the plan anyway:

A Home Office spokesman said the deal would not include giving cash handouts to prisoners.

The money instead would be spent on grants for accommodation, education, or training to help set up a business if they agree to be moved out of the UK.

news.bbc.co.uk...


A crime warrants a punishment not a reward, what kind of society are we breeding if we reward crime?


- Well as said PJ, they aren't being given cash.
So there can be no question of this being some kind of 'reward'.

What is intended is a one-off payment to get them to leave and burden the British taxpayer much less than would otherwise be the case.

It agree it might sound unusual but if the net practical effect genuinely is that the British taxpayer ends up paying out far less £ then isn't the government doing it's duty to the taxpayer?


If a foreign national commits a crime that warrants a prison sentence then they should be deported back to their country of origin and refused entry into Britain for a set number of years.


- I don't think any of this changes anything to do with the deportation rules.

As best as I can make out this involves those foreign born prisoners who are otherwise entitled to remain in the UK, those legally and permanently allowed to stay here in other words.

Those not eligible to be here still face deportation after serving their sentences as usual (and as has been tightened up after the big recent fuss about them).


Rights and responsibilities are linked, you can only have one with the other.


- Well that sounds fine but in practise it is not usual to grant people leave to stay and then withdraw that right if they later on commit a crime.

They're supposed to become like the rest of us and if they commit a crime face justice as any of us would but not also face deportation just because of their foreign 'roots'.


The whole reason the prison system is overloaded is because current and past Governments refuse to consider practical alternatives, prison to me is somewhere those who are a threat to society or repeat offenders should be sent.


- You'll get no argument from me there but until someone can conjure a way of breaking the typical British 'lock 'em all up and throw away the key' mentality we're in the minority on this.

The government is really only reflecting the public mood (which steadfastly refuses to recognise that overall crime levels are falling even if a few categories have risen etc).

Sadly this is exactly the kind of thing far too many have exploited and are prepared to exploit (in all 'colours' of government in the last 30yrs).


JAK

posted on Oct, 10 2006 @ 04:27 PM
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I am a genuinely a little lost here. I am neither attacking or defending the point here but asking for a little clarification:

It seems to be that:

    The Guardian

    Prisoners from countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA ) - which comprises the 25 EU nations plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein - will be offered a package worth between £500 and £2,500 to go home, rather than face detention while they are considered for deportation. Others will be encouraged to serve the remainder of their sentences in jails in their home countries.

So the cash incentives themselves are offered on the condition that they forego "detention while they are considered for deportation" and just agree to leave the country.

What about those 'encouraged to serve out their sentence in their home countries'? This must of course be the case, there would be outrage if criminals were just released to freedom in their home country. My question is though just why exactly would their home country agree to this repatriation and the costs it would incur? This suggested policy is justified over (as well as prison space) the cost of keeping prisoners. Surely the suggestion is not that any country would just accept this without question, even in a country where it may cost less there is still a cost so how are these home countries to be compensated?

Also, if this is the case, (like I said I am a little lost on this) then why aren't the Conservatives (who are trying to attack the policy and let's face it need all the good PR they can get) addressing this?

    BBC

    Mr Leech said: "This means the taxpayer will have to stump up around £20m to pay for this gimmick - it is completely insane and unfair and it should stop right now."

If there to be extra costs paid to the offenders country to keep them imprisoned the why is it not being addressed by the party who are attacking the idea on cost anyway? And if this (compensation for the home country) is not the case then again, why would they just accept this expense of incarcerating someone convicted in another country?

When chatting to a friend about this he asked "I wonder if we'll get a spate of crimes when the jails become full." to which I replied 'If it is public knowlege then maybe it is unavoidable.'

Thinking on this, could it also be why the opposition's argument to this Labour policy is apparently so shambolic, (if the points above are valid) because both parties would be screwed if he prisons were full and crime became rampant without the threat of any effective deterrent?

As I said I am confused here and I'm having real trouble believing that my above interpretation is not missing something huge though because if the above is correct then there's holes in this big enough for a bus to fit through. I would appreciate anyone filling in the blanks.

Jak

[edit on 10/10/06 by JAK]



posted on Oct, 11 2006 @ 09:34 AM
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Originally posted by JAK
What about those 'encouraged to serve out their sentence in their home countries'?


- I can't claim to be an expert in this JAK but I do know that prisoners held abroad can apply for what amounts to a 'transfer' home to serve the remainder of their sentence back here in the UK.
This sounds like something similar with the prisoner being actively encouraged to go away.

Presumably this encourages foreign nationals that have not been deported or perhaps cannot just be deported to do likewise and request transfer to their home countries.


This must of course be the case, there would be outrage if criminals were just released to freedom in their home country.


- I can't prove it but I get the feeling that more than a few of those convicted of dubious or lesser crimes abroad either disappear to be quietly released and/or get full remission of sentence to be quietly released soon after they return here.
I'm sure it's not that different elsewhere.

When was the last time anyone heard anything about either a prisoner returned home serving their sentence here or a deported prisoner serving their sentence abroad?


My question is though just why exactly would their home country agree to this repatriation and the costs it would incur?


- Presumably this is part of the recent governmental discussions that have taken place where countries give various undertakings so that deportation can now take place where previously it was claimed it would be life-threatening etc for the person to go?

I'm sure that if it does happen like this then there will be sufficient inducements to encourage other countries to do this (contracting out prisoners to the poorer nations?).


why aren't the Conservatives (who are trying to attack the policy and let's face it need all the good PR they can get) addressing this?


- Possibly because Mr 'Sunshine' Cameron has (unlike his predecessors) finally twigged that pretending it's all doom and gloom, the UK is going to hell in a handcart and the sky is about to fall in at any second isn't such an attractive message to the public.

I'm sure they will pop up to use this at some point but as the party of 'more prisons and more locked up' the torys have pretty much only got a single trick here and a well-worn one at that.

I wouldn't be so sure that the general public wouldn't be interested in those cash savings, particularly if it also meant the deportation and end of 'johnny foreigner' and his little crime problem.
Maybe those little fascist tendancies are something none of the parties wish to go out of their way to encourage?


As I said I am confused here and I'm having real trouble believing that my above interpretation is not missing something huge though because if the above is correct then there's holes in this big enough for a bus to fit through. I would appreciate anyone filling in the blanks.

Jak


- Dont know if there's much in the way of any actual answers there JAK but that's my take on this one.



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