Mail readers say prison is more effective than community orders

In a Facebook poll Hartlepool Mail readers have overwhelmingly disagreed that community orders should replace short prison sentences.

Thursday, 17th October 2019, 5:54 pm
Updated Monday, 21st October 2019, 12:39 pm
A large majority of our readers want short prison sentences, rather than community orders.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has told MPs that better alternatives to short periods behind bars, such as community orders, were more likely to be successful. However, he does not want to scrap the option of custody.

We asked in our poll: “Which do you think is a more effective punishment: a six-month jail sentence or a community order?”

Of the 143 people who had voted at time of writing, 84% said prison, 16% said community orders.

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Scott Collin said: “There’s been stories on The Gazette showing repeat offenders. Person A, with 100 previous convictions … If folks are re-offending, it's not working.”

Andy Hagon saw both sides, saying: “The Tories want to look tough on crime. Locking people up is their answer. The Lib Dems want tougher community sentences to be more widely used, and more to rehabilitate offenders, supporting them so they don't want to re-offend.”

Darren Parry favoured a hard line, saying: “Why not triple the jail terms? that might have more impact.”

Sandra N John Cuthbertson said: “Seriously, months? Any sentence should start of at one year at least for God’s sake. That’s why people laugh when they get caught, they know the most likely outcome is months or a fine.”

Stephen Clinton said: “It costs just short of £40,000 to keep a prisoner for 1 year on average. Plus addressing any medical/mental health issues. You're looking at a lot of money saved by scrapping the short sentences.”