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Parole Decisions - Mr Malarkey

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9 hours ago, Uhtred said:

But that's the nature of democracy isn't it?  [...]  Far better to have parole decisions made by someone directly accountable to the electorate than by some faceless pubic servant, however "expert" they may be. 

Actually it's a very bad idea indeed.  Justice is very rarely well served by 'democracy' and a Minister (or a judge) who is concentrating on what is popular rather than what is right is not doing their job.

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Posted (edited)

I imagine if you were of sufficient financial means, you could appeal it the whole way to the UK Privy Council?

Edited by Rushen Spy

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Actually, on balance I suspect it makes little impact on the basis that:

  • The majority of serious criminals are packed off to the adjacent Isle to serve their sentence, and;
  • Judging by the Court Listings, a fair percentage of people going through our prison system seem to be repeat offenders so will be back inside sooner or later.

I do agree with Roger Mexico though - its seems disjointed to allow a politician to have the final say. Especially one with no expertise.

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8 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:

Actually it's a very bad idea indeed.  Justice is very rarely well served by 'democracy' and a Minister (or a judge) who is concentrating on what is popular rather than what is right is not doing their job.

So who should do it and how do they account for their actions? Would you model it, for example, on the Interception of Communications Commissioner role who audits interception of communications to ensure they are proportionate and reasonable? (Who is of course a lawyer!). Should similar audit controls therefore be applied to the Minister’s parole decisions? Or should the Parole Board be the final arbiter, with the Minister taken out of it? If so, by the same token, should planning inspectors have the final say on planning appeals, with the Minister taken out of that loop too?

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how about people just serve the sentence they were given?

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3 minutes ago, WTF said:

how about people just serve the sentence they were given?

Not a bad idea at all.

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2 hours ago, Uhtred said:

So who should do it and how do they account for their actions? Would you model it, for example, on the Interception of Communications Commissioner role who audits interception of communications to ensure they are proportionate and reasonable? (Who is of course a lawyer!). Should similar audit controls therefore be applied to the Minister’s parole decisions? Or should the Parole Board be the final arbiter, with the Minister taken out of it? If so, by the same token, should planning inspectors have the final say on planning appeals, with the Minister taken out of that loop too?

I don't know if there is some mechanism for auditing the Parole Committee's decisions, but you would hope there would be.  I don't think you would need a dedicated individual to do it on Island - it would be better having some external person who knew how things operate elsewhere and had some experience with the best way to make these decisions elsewhere.  It may already be done as part of the process of prison inspections.

Actually planning shows the dangers of giving the Minister the final say on a subject.  Inspectors' decisions are only supposed to be over-ruled where there are matters of national importance that over-ride all other considerations.  But far too often it looks like doing something for a powerful applicant or a mate or whoever.  Parole decisions are more secretive and the Minister doesn't seem to intervene as much, but you could easily see the same thing happening.

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2 hours ago, WTF said:

how about people just serve the sentence they were given?

Because then they have no incentive to improve their behaviour in prison. Parole used to be described as 'time off for good behaviour' and the system gives them a reason to examine their offending and improve in other ways.  It also should be remembered that, once out on parole, if they misbehave they can always be called back to serve the rest (and possibly more) or their sentence.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:

Actually it's a very bad idea indeed.  Justice is very rarely well served by 'democracy' and a Minister (or a judge) who is concentrating on what is popular rather than what is right is not doing their job.

These days we have judges that concentrate on what is popular (for their mates in Athol Street it seems) rather than what is right.

."Oh, he's a deemster. He must be good and pure and upright and know what is right and what is wrong". More like: "He is a deemster, he is just another Athol Street wide boy looking to feather his nest from on high and look after his pals"

 

 

3 hours ago, Manx Bean said:

I do agree with Roger Mexico though - its seems disjointed to allow a politician to have the final say. Especially one with no expertise.

Bill has expertise and is a dab hand at tea and toast and fixing fridges and that.

Edited by gettafa

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1 hour ago, Roger Mexico said:

Because then they have no incentive to improve their behaviour in prison. Parole used to be described as 'time off for good behaviour' and the system gives them a reason to examine their offending and improve in other ways.  It also should be remembered that, once out on parole, if they misbehave they can always be called back to serve the rest (and possibly more) or their sentence.

isn't it a bit like the discount for pleading guilty rather than fighting a lost cause for the sake of it?   time off for good behaviour is all well and good,   but you've either behaved or you haven't if there is a score system the numbers add up in your favour or they don't.  having people then decide whether those numbers should count based on how sincere you can make your false grovelling look seems a waste of time.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, WTF said:

how about people just serve the sentence they were given?

Given they usually serve about half of their sentence, hardly a deterrent is it. If parole is to be given then it should go to those convicted who hold their hands up in the beginning rather than waste our tax money on legal aid fighting something they know they are guilty of

Edited by Neil Down
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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Rushen Spy said:

Theoretically, I'm not so much opposed to final say residing with the Minister of Home Affairs as much as I'm aghast that the Minister is Bill Malarkey. Is this really the cream of the crop, the best we can do as an island? I think for something as basic as parole, it's okay for it to sit with the minister. It's not ideal but I imagine it can be appealed?

The bar for Home Affairs minister isn't exactly set high. 

Let's not forget about the last one and his responsible drinking warnings

Edited by Dave Hedgehog
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10 minutes ago, Dave Hedgehog said:

The bar for Home Affairs minister isn't exactly set high. 

Let's not forget about the last one and his responsible drinking warnings

To be fair not only did he warn others but he then went on to selflessly demonstrate what a bad mix weak-willed people and strong drink can be!

Above and beyond....

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4 hours ago, Roger Mexico said:

Because then they have no incentive to improve their behaviour in prison. Parole used to be described as 'time off for good behaviour' and the system gives them a reason to examine their offending and improve in other ways.  It also should be remembered that, once out on parole, if they misbehave they can always be called back to serve the rest (and possibly more) or their sentence.

But they shouldn't need an incentive other than not go back in jail, that should suffice, and if that isn't incentive enough for some then those are going to be habitual offenders no matter what the incentive.

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