So… British police are preventing courts from dealing with people because it’d be too much work to prosecute, and now, at the other extreme, the Victorian Corrections Minister wants to jail people after they’ve served their sentences.
TOUGH new laws introduced to the Victorian parliament will allow authorities to keep high-risk sex offenders in jail even after they have served their sentence.
Corrections Minister Bob Cameron said the new laws give courts the power to detain sex offenders for up to three years if they are deemed to present an unacceptable risk to the community.
If you wonder why I make such a big deal about the way the tabloid media misreport crime, this is why. Because we end up with politicians thinking that undoing the primacy of the courts in sentencing offenders, in weighing up the various factors – protection of the community, rehabilitation, deterrence, punishment – is somehow a good idea. That it’s somehow what the public actually wants.
This is the Supreme Court of Victoria. In it, people who commit serious crimes are sentenced by the Judges we appoint to do precisely that job, just as they have ever since our ancestors first realised it was a better system than mob lynchings.
Why would the public trust politicians and on-the-spot police justice to make these decisions instead of sentencing judges who have all the evidence in front of them?
Cameron’s proposal is an appalling idea. It springs from ignorance and spite, and cynical people pandering to (rather than correcting) that ignorance and spite. It won’t make anyone safer. Instead, it will result in injustice, and the waste of a good deal of public money fighting that injustice.