Sunday, January 20, 2008

HARD TIME

On being released from 2 years hard labour in Reading Gaol, standing there, a broken man, in the howling wind and rain, Oscar Wilde said " if this is how Her Majesty treats her prisoners, she doesn't deserve to have any " Not much has changed Oscar.

The yellow press in this country like nothing better than stirring up reactionary hysteria about all things to do with prison.

It's too soft, it's like a holiday camp, criminals are pampered etc. When compelling evidence to the contrary surfaces they always get away with their lies.
Just like the recent reports of 5 suicides in 1 year at Whitemoor Prison Camb. In addition between 80 and 90 suicides are taking place each year in the system not including Scotland, attempted suicides run to thousands.

Why do they do this ? is it because they can't get a good picture on their flat screen tele ? is it because their steak is tough ?
Or, is it more likely it's because our prisons are no better than human zoos where prisoners have no hope, a place where they come out worse than when they went in.

We send someone to prison who can't read, write or count and, years later we let them out still unable to read, write or count. If this was a business it would have been bankrupt a long time ago.

My personal experience of prison is that they are hellish places where prisoners are treated no better than animals. they are given no hope of rehabilitation because of a shortage of money to run the system properly.

This is a false economy because the rate of re-offending is costing a fortune, far more than rehabilitation would and, shamefully, our Govt. knows this.
That is why we are building more jails - a philosophy of despair under successive Governments, mine included, who have never had the courage to take on the reactionary elements in society.

Don't take my word, just look at the USA where punishment has become a religion, is it working ? well the USA is now the official world leader for numbers of people locked up and it's still rising, over 2.1 million, when will we ever learn ? This not a decent society and won't be until this obscenity is dealt with.

60 comments:

Ho Lin Wun said...

Perhaps we should take lessons from the socialist paradise that is China. A bullet to the back of the head would be a lot more appropriate in taking the scum off the streets.

old and angry said...

Tough!
Build more jails, lock them up for longer.
I don't give a toss about rehabilitation.
I want revenge.
They chose their path.
Let them take their punishment!

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Ho Lin Wun) 09:23

“A bullet to the back of the head would be a lot more appropriate in taking the scum off the streets”

People are human beings not “scum” even people like you.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(old and angry) 11:31

“Tough! Build more jails, lock them up for longer” -We are already doing that.

“I don't give a toss about rehabilitation” I do.

“I want revenge” That’s what prison is.

“They chose their path” The vast majority didn’t.

“Let them take their punishment” They are doing.

None of what you have suggested will do anything to resolve crime or create a better safer society, it’s a pity we can’t lock up people like you, then you would know what punishment is and you would plead for rehabilitation.

Anonymous said...

The vast majority did not choose criminality? They why pray tell are they in prison?

Anonymous said...

You remember a while back you were on your high horse for the Jena Six accusing those who accused them of racism? Is this what you mean about Americans having a fetish for jail?

I only bring it up because one of the central figures in this "new civil rights movement" kind of wrecked the narrative for all you race hustlers out there by pleading guilty in the middle of December.

Given that this man has just copped to a racially motivated gang attack on a defenceless innocent white boy would you now like to reconsider your position? Maybe even consider apologising for your comments at the time (especially considering your new found dislike of being misrepresented in the media)?

Serpico said...

"People are human beings not “scum” even people like you."

Even the scum that kicked Gary Newlove to death?

Tory student said...

"People are human beings not “scum” even people like you"

Even paedophiles? Or gangs who attack people randomly in the street for the hell of it?

"None of what you have suggested will do anything to resolve crime or create a better safer society"

Can crime ever be resolved? No matter how utopian a society is, there will always be crime because there will always be a set of rules which some people will not follow.

In the absence of such an idyllic society, the only way to protect the law-abiding is to place the criminals in a place where the cannot harm the rest of us.

"it’s a pity we can’t lock up people like you, then you would know what punishment is and you would plead for rehabilitation"

Rehabilitation never has a 100% success rate, besides which, why shouldn't criminals be punished? The law is a set of common-sense rules which protect everyone. Most people obey the law because they realise that this is the right thing to do. Those who don't obey it know they're in the wrong so why should we slap them on hte wrists and send them on their way?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 21/01/08 - Your analysis of why people are in prison is crude and simplistic, hardly worth commenting on.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 21/01/08 - The Jena case continues to shine a light on the cess pit that is racial relations in America. I’m happy to let people who check it out make up their own minds.

I’m absolutely confident that most will agree with me.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Serpico) 21/01/08 -

"People are human beings not “scum” even people like you." That’s correct.

People are capable of terrible things and deserve punishment but, they are still people just like you.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Tory student) 21/01/08 -

"People are human beings not “scum” even people like you" That’s correct. -

“why shouldn't criminals be punished“ ? did I say they shouldn’t ? are you going to make things up to suit your weak argument ?

“why should we slap them on hte wrists and send them on their way“ ? - You’ve obviously never been in a prison.

But hold on maybe you’ve got something, maybe that’s the answer to the spiralling suicide rate, it’s because we ‘slap them on the wrist and send them on their way’ that’s why they take their own lives, right ?

Serpico said...

"People are capable of terrible things and deserve punishment but, they are still people just like you."

So you concede then that criminals deserve punishment?

If jail is not to be punishment for criminals, then pray tell, what is?

Anonymous said...

You say that prisons release offenders who are unable to read and write. If this were a business, you inform us, they would go bankrupt.

But is it not the job of 12 years of State education to teach people to read and write? If so then surely by your standards no-one should be allowed to leave until they are functionally literate and numerate?

Anonymous said...

So you are not going to say sorry for supporting the confessed perpetrators of a 6-on-1 gang attack? Why not?

I agree, it does shine a light. It shows people like Al Sharpton up for the misery pimps that they are. They, and by extension you, have been made to look like fools by this guilt plea.

All you ever needed to know about them was the color of their skin. The facts of the case never troubled your thoughts did they not?

Rabbie said...

'We send people to prison who can't read, write, or count.'

Who would you blame for this lack of basic education Councillor?

'They (criminals) are still people, just like you.'

Oh no they bloody well are not.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Serpico) 14:00 -

This is nonsense, you are saying things which you would like me to have said, I have never ever said anywhere that criminals should not be punished.

Jail is punishment, the loss of liberty is punishment, I want it to be used as a way of preventing criminal behaviour as well as punishing it.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 14:16 -

Jena once again showed the ugly face of America, people like you will always find excuses for evil, that’s why you are anonymous, that’s why you cover your faces with white hoods.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Rabbie) 14:21 -

releasing a prisoner after years in jail who still can’t read and write is a scandal.

Mind you, you seem to be able to read and write don’t you, what does that tell us ?

Tory Student said...

"You’ve obviously never been in a prison"

No, strangely enough, by obeying the law I've managed to avoid it.

"Jail is punishment, the loss of liberty is punishment, I want it to be used as a way of preventing criminal behaviour as well as punishing it"

The threat of going to prison is generally sufficient as a means of preventing criminal behaviour in the vast majority of the population.

Glad you can still see the inherent humanity in all people, even those who kick a man to death in front of his 12 year old daughter. I take it you would also be supportive of rehabilitation in other cases, how about the Wests? Or the Moors Murderers, or Ian Huntley?

Rabbie said...

(Cllr Kelly 5.17)

It tells us that the fragrant Oscar never went to jail again - once was enough, despite his being a confirmed bachelor.

And another thing, if someone has gone through the school system and come out the other end illiterate and inumerate, what makes you think being in jail will put them in learning mode? That's like saying all the unemployed would love a job when the non-Labour politicians amongst us know that a goodly percentage would run a mile at the first smell of honest toil.

Anonymous said...

You have just accused a completely random commentator of being a KKK member, with not the slightest shred of evidence.

Will you never learn!

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Tory Student) 17:30 -

I believe that killing is wrong, that includes Capital punishment.

We are left therefore with prison, putting someone in prison without hope of release and rehabilitation is barbarism, it’s uncivilized, it’s Tory.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 18:00 Jena is a pretty clear cut issue, go and read the history of it, this guy is clearly on the side of the white establishment, you defend him if you want, maybe that explains your anonymity too.

Serpico said...

"This is nonsense, you are saying things which you would like me to have said, I have never ever said anywhere that criminals should not be punished."

No, you would rather they didn't go to jail.

I'm sure Gary Newlove's family, Brent MArtin's mother and today Jessica Wright's family will rejoice at the Terry Kelly hug a hoodie policy.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Serpico) 19:11 -

“No, you would rather they didn't go to jail”

I’d like there to be no jails and no need for them.

Jails are a sign of a society’s failure.

If the tragic people that you callously use to bolster your pathetic tough guy act were to wish as I’m sure they do that this should never happen to anyone else.

They are being let down by people like you.

Serpico said...

"Jails are a sign of a society’s failure."

Do they not have jails in socialist societies then? Or are they just euphemistically called "re-education camps"?

Society's failure. A failure of the human condition. Society sets its laws and expects its members to abide by them. Those that don't have no place in that society.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Serpico) 13:04 -

“ Do they not have jails in socialist societies then“ ?

Of course not, what would make you think that ?
“ re-education camps” that’s a good one.

In America the euphemism is “Correctional Facilities”

“Those that don't have no place in that society”

What kind of thought process is this ? Jails are part of society, prisoners, prison warders etc. are all part of society.
You might take some comfort from thinking that ’they’ have no place in society but, that is empty simplistic rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

Jena history is out there and it clearly shows that there was a gang attack in which a white boy was beaten almost to death in a racist incident. The prosecutors declined to charge the perpetrators with attempted murder and then they pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

You on the other hand seek to defend these self-confessed criminals based purely on the color of their skin. Does that not mean that race is more important to you than justice?

Serpico said...

"Serpico: Do they not have jails in socialist societies then“ ?

TK: Of course not, what would make you think that ?

Councillor, can you confirm that the following socialist countries have no jails:

Venezuela
Cuba
Zimbabwe
North Korea

Serpico said...

Serpico: Those that don't have no place in that society”

TK: What kind of thought process is this ? Jails are part of society, prisoners, prison warders etc. are all part of society.
You might take some comfort from thinking that ’they’ have no place in society but, that is empty simplistic rhetoric.


Areyou are saying is that people who break society's laws should go unpunished?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 13:49 -

This will be the white boy who carried a gun to school and attended a school dance a couple of hours after he was beaten ‘almost to death’ a real white supremacist this kid.

People like you using the word ‘justice’ is an insult to mankind.

Jena proves what we all knew America is a country plagued by the evil curse of racism.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Serpico) 13:56 Are you serious ?

You started with the jokes so I thought I would join in.

What I have I missed ?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Serpico) 13:59

Now I’m completely baffled I don’t know whether you’re joking or not now.

Having said that I would remind you that a lot of the freedoms and benefits we enjoy today came about through people breaking the law.

Do you grasp that, I can’t tell any more.

Anonymous said...

It was a ring ceremony where his scholastic achievement over his years in school was to be honoured. He attended against the advice of his doctors who tried to keep him in hospital for at least 2 weeks. It speaks to his strength of character that he further risked his life to receive his honour.

And even if it did not this act hardly singles him out as a white supremacist. By that standard anyone who discharges themselves against the wishes of their doctors are bigots.

And again you ignore the fact that the perpetrators have plead guilty to this attack. How can you defend them in this situation?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 14:34 -

I can defend them quite easily when I see you trying to stand the truth on it’s head.

When I look at Jena and see a community which is a racist swamp and when I consider that pleading to a reduced charge for black kids in places like this is a bonus.

Not so long ago they would have been lynched.

Don’t tell me about American justice for black people. “Tell it to the marines”

Anonymous said...

But the people who copped a plea in this case did so because people from both sides of the racial divide were being lined up to testify that this gang has terrorised their community for years and that before the attack they they had threatened several white people. Indeed a lot of white kids stopped walking the street for fear of this gang in the week leading up to the attack. The police were told but did nothing.

There were also the witnesses who intervened to stop the attack before the kid was killed. The attack only stopped once the gang was physically restrained from further violence. The people who stopped them gave statements to the police stating that the level of violence was constant and that had they not been stopped the outcome could have been much worse.

So you have witnesses to testify to previous behaviour, witnesses who actually laid hands on them while they carried out the crime and that these witnesses came from across the community to stand up to a group of thugs who were borderline feral.

I would imagine they copped a plea because they realised that if they did not the trial would last a day or two and they would get much harsher sentences.

I take it you believe that the perpetrators of a 6 on 1 gang attack should not have been prosecuted?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 15:09 -

I think that I actually have to read this kind of thing to remind myself that people like you still exist and what America is really like.

A ‘gang’ of teenage black kids terrorised a community which is 85% white over a couple of years, did they start at 12 yrs, 13 yrs 14 ? in the American South to, well, who would have thought that eh ?

This is a place where black kids have to ask for permission to sit in the shade of a ’white tree’ where the Sherriff threatened the black kids with these words “ I can destroy all of your lives with one stroke of my pen”

You should go and pour more fuel on your burning cross, you are beneath contempt.

Anonymous said...

The kids did not have to ask permission to sit beneath a "white tree". Black kids in the town have claimed this is a fabrication of the media. The sheriff was addressing the total body of the students when he said that remark, both black and white were in that meeting.

All this just so you don't have to admit that the only thing that you need to know about their "innocence" is the color of their skin?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 17:03 -

The media right ? On the side of the blacks right ? Do you think that we are stupid ?

I don’t feel inclined to trust you, you come across as a ‘good ole boy’ a dumb knuckle dragging racist, your version of events is a joke, a sick joke.

Kaufmann said...

"releasing a prisoner after years in jail who still can’t read and write is a scandal. "

Quite right, they should keep them in prison until they can read and write.

Serpico said...

"Having said that I would remind you that a lot of the freedoms and benefits we enjoy today came about through people breaking the law."

That's comforting. Future freedoms we can look forward to without impunity are:

- mugging old ladies
- gathering in gangs and beating people to death for looking at us in a funny way
- soliciting illegal donations for party political purposes and not declaring them.

Socialist utopia is on its way folks.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately my "version" of events is the version that both sides of the racial divide accept as the truth.

These boys were allowed to terrorise their own community (the black community) because they were half-decent football players and were viewed as a meal ticket by the school and the town. So yes they did spend a good number of years subjecting their community (the black community) to thuggery. How do we know this? Because black people went on the television and said so. Yet still Sharpton came.

Did you know that there is not a shred of evidence offered in their defence? They were caught red handed in the act, they are not even denying it and you are defending them. Why is that?

You ignore all the contrary evidence and the admission of guilt simply because the perpetrators are black and the town is in the American South.

Anonymous said...

Does your concern about the standards of prisons have anything to do with the story TerryWatch is reporting now. They claim that Tommy Williams is to be charged over the case that got him the sack from the GCC.

If he is charged will you (as the other Lab councillor for the area) be pressing for him to step down from the council while the case goes to court?

Perhaps he could do an Archer and write a prison diary?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Serpico) 09:18 - What I said about past law breakers was true, why can’t you comment on that ?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 09:34 -

There are two completely polarised positions on this, there is the one that the whole world knows and there is the one held by you and the KKK who were out demonstrating in Jena 3 days ago demanding ‘white rights’ and an end to ‘Martin Luther King Day’ you are in good company.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

Anon -

Identify yourself and I''l answer this comment.

Calumn Johnston said...

My name is Calumn Johnston and I live in the Foxbar area of Paisley. Sorry, I should have put that down as my name

So now will you tell me how you are going to react to the Williams story?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Calumn Johnston) 15:36 - Not nearly enough Calumn, are you telling me that you read ‘terry watch’ what do you make of it ?

Should I take it seriously do you think ?

Calumn Johnston said...

Sorry, what else do you need from me? I thought just knowing my name and the fact I am from the area would be enough. Sorry.

Reading back through it I thought the whole star trek thing was a bit silly and some of their comments are a bit sensitive like you hit a nerve but so far all the stories they have written about Tommy Williams have been true as far as I can tell.

But if this latest thing was true what would your reaction be?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Calumn Johnston) 16:16 - Your trust in ‘terry watch’ is indeed touching, when they write about me or friends of mine they are telling the truth right ?

I don’t want anything to do with the people who write this stuff, but I suspect you already know that, have you ever thought of becoming a secret agent ? With that kind of subtlety you could go far.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Calumn Johnston) 16:16 - Your trust in ‘terry watch’ is indeed touching, when they write about me or friends of mine they are telling the truth right ?

I don’t want anything to do with the people who write this stuff, but I suspect you already know that, have you ever thought of becoming a secret agent ? With that kind of subtlety you could go far.

Calumn Johnston said...

Sorry, I only asked.

I found Terry watch from a link on a Herald article about the "thick woman" joke they put online.

Just thought I would ask you your opinion. I wish I had not now.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Calumn Johnston) 16:40 - Give me an honest analysis of ‘terry watch’ then, and refer me to the quote in the Herald which mentions ‘terry watch’

Calumn Johnston said...

http://www.theherald.co.uk/politics/news/display.var.1948513.0.Alexander_agent_says_thick_women_jibe_a_joke.php

That is the story you comment on in another one of your posts. The last commenter is one of the Terry Watch contributors. I googled the term and found the site.

I already gave you my honest opinion of the blog. I think that some of their criticism is quite overblown and they have too much time on their hands. In some cases they seem to be almost screeching.

But some of it seems to be reasonable. I have read almost all of it, some is downright childish but so far everything they have reported about the Williams case has come to pass. So I thought I would ask your opinion, that was all.

The Incorrigible Plagiarist said...

As someone who also reads the Terrywatch web site with something approaching bemusement (I have already sided with you on this issue! - in fact I was accused on Terrywatch of being one of your sycopants... funny old world out there sometimes!)

You need only follow the comments on
the Herald story

to find references to Terrywatch.

As google seems to still be beyond you, can I assure you that the internet has some wonderful search engines which very quickly enable you to locate web links to stories relevant to any enquiry...

For example, you type into the search box "Terrywatch" and press the button marked Search. In the blink of an eye, Google shows you where to find Terry watch. I imagine that the 'magic' behind such a device may make you suspicious of those responsible, but it works, honest! Give it a bash some day.

Anyway, now would you care to answer Calum's question, which has also intriqued me - having googled the names involved, well it does seem that there could be something to the story, even the Record/Mail is printing it...

Or is your prevarication on the issue just a stalling tactic in the hope that it will all go away...
What's next? Start insulting him (me)? Accuse him (me) of some sort of ...cism that only you and the Labour party are against?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Calumn Johnston) 12:02 - Do you really expect me to comment on this site, it’s more commonly known as a hate site.

James Coleman said...

Calumn wasn't asking you to comment on the site. He was asking you to comment on a story that happened to be featured on it.

I'm guessing one of them has some involvement or knows someone with some role at Glasgow City Council because it's a word for word account of what actually happened. It's the talk of the steamie over in Glasgow. Whatever else Tommy Williams has going for him he has committed an offence and like anyone else deserves to the the price for that.

Labour need to start getting tough on any wrongdoing in our own ranks -intentional or otherwise because as things stand the public are getting the (false) impression that we're in it to line our pockets. I'd like to see a policy where people resign to clear their name rather than clinging on. It's damaging the party, wider politics and is a distraction from the real issues.

Serpico said...

"Do you really expect me to comment on this site, it’s more commonly known as a hate site."

Not hate, just ridicule.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(James Coleman) 26/01/08

“He was asking you to comment on a story that happened to be featured on it” And I have a policy of having nothing to do with a hate site targeting me.

“Labour need to start getting tough on any wrongdoing in our own ranks”

We already are.