According to today's Daily Telegraph, The Ministry of Justice now accepts that Jon Venables will have to be given another new identity when he comes out of prison. This will apparently cost £250,000, with close supervision from Probation Officers costing another £1 million per year.
Why. Why, should the taxpayers have to fork out this sum which is far more than it would cost to keep him in prison?
Now, I am not one of those people who believe that children under a certain age don't know what they are doing. My 18 month old grandson certainly knows right from wrong within his environment, and personally, I cannot understand how any 10 year old brought up in the UK with exposure to television and the media, doesn't know that killing is wrong.
Nevertheless, I was prepared to accept the prevailing view that he perhaps wasn't aware of the seriousness of his crime, that rehabilitation was an appropriate course of action and that in due course he would have to be released and given a new identity.
However, he is now an adult, for whom the claim was presumably made that he had been rehabilitated, but notwithstanding this, he has committed further serious crimes. It is surely impossible to claim this time that he was not aware of what he was doing, and this being so, he should be forced to accept the consequences of his actions..
On this basis, why on earth should he be provided with another new identity at such enormous cost? I'm all for giving someone a second chance, but he's had his and I don't think there is any way we should pay for a third chance. If he feels that he will be unsafe out of prison, he should be given the option of staying in, which will cost considerably less than the probation costs of £1 million a year. It is his fault, and no-one else's that he is in his present predicament, so why should we pay?
And if you want to know why I don't believe in rehabilitation in this country, you should read some of Winston Smith's blogs. The most recent shows, to me, that if you are unable to apply any sanctions or punishment, it impossible to bring any discipline or order into the lives of those in care. If Venables was "rehabilitated" in a similar manner, I'm not surprised at what happened.
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