I saw a clip of Chris Grayling (former prison’s minister) talking about the reoffending rates of violent and sexual offenders; this was when he was trying to gain support for his (now failed) privatisation of the probation service. He claimed that 60% go on to reoffend within a few months . Interesting… this must be accurate, right? He is a politician, after all. He wouldn’t possibly lie, would he? He couldn’t possibly get the figures wrong, could he?
This is what I know from the proper academic studies I have read: only around 8% of sexual offenders go on to reoffend within the first 2 years – and that’s any offence counted, including those which are not of a sexual nature.
So where did he get the 60% from? Put simply: it’s made up by either him or his advisors in order to garner support for his proposal at that time – stoking fear and paranoia. Surely, this is just a rogue dishonest politician?
Let’s talk about Michael Gove: a (reformed?) class A drug user. When this story came out all people were talking about was that he was a senior politician and should he be putting his name forward to be the next Prime Minister? What I got out of this was that 20 years ago he was a journalist faking his outrage against drug users. What’s that you say? “Politicians lie and now journalists? Where will it all end? Who can we trust for the true facts?”
One last thing: Rory Stewart made a commitment when he took over the as Prison’s Minister to reform the system; he said that he would resign if hadn’t met his targets within 12 months. What an empty promise that turned out to be; within a matter of months he had been given a new job in the cabinet and the prisons were given another minister who will get very little done in the few months he is in the job. It was just as well Mr Stewart was given another job as he was heading towards his promised resignation – that promoton was a real ‘get out of jail free’.
Be happy, be safe.
Graham Coutts, 2nd July 2019