Internationally, the rate of offenders returning to prison within three years of release exceeds 70 percent, which creates an alarming burden on every economy. Experts met last March from around the world at the International Exhibition and Seminar on Correctional Facilities in Columbia to re-think crime prevention.
In the UK, serial criminals with more than 100 convictions are dodging jail terms. Shock new figures revealed that courts have spared over 1,000 of the UK’s most prolific wrong doers.
Repeat offenders cost taxpayers billions of pounds a year with the price of their crimes, court hearings, legal fees and probation services. Due to this, a hard core of offenders is being recycled in the justice system without ever going to prison. Soft justice is being given to criminals who commit some of the worst offenses, including sex crimes and robbery. In one shocking case in the UK, a burglar sentenced for the 65th time was given another chance despite his criminal career stretching back 50 years.
The legal system must uphold fairness in society. Just because there are too many offenders, the courts don't sentence them? No way in the world is this right.
However, the United States criminal justice system has the highest prison population in the world with 2.2 million people incarcerated and approximately 7.7 million people under some form of correctional supervision. The system has a lapse rate in excess of 70 percent.
I like the idea of the haven, but obviously, they could never accommodate the huge numbers quoted. However, crime is a problem that won't go away. Other solutions come to mind. Send all repeat offenders to another planet where they can cope on their own. Or segregate like with like—no rules, until there are very few men standing. But that's my fiction writer's mind at work.
What would you suggest if you were asked to sentence a convict who has already raped 20 women, or another who has stolen old people's life savings multiple times?