Friday, September 14, 2007

Sex offender could get compensation

A convicted sex offender who took advantage of a teenage girl with learning difficulties at a party, has been jailed indefinitely.

Graham Bundy, 56, was branded a danger to girls and vulnerable young women by a judge at Mold Crown Court.

The indeterminate sentence means that Bundy will only be allowed out of prison when the Parole Board consider he is safe.

I think you will all agree that jailing sex offenders indefinitely is a good idea and it would be a good idea to do it more often. Unfortunately there is a little snag to this. High Court judges have already ruled this illegal meaning that sex offenders can claim damages from the prisons. Get ready for Graham Bundy to get a rather large payout.


john b said...

No, you're completely missing the point of the court case: indeterminate sentences are *unequivocally legal*.

The idea behind an indeterminate sentence is that the offender cannot be released until a parole board has determined him/her to be safe to release.

This means that sex (and other dangerous repeat) offenders can't just spend their time in jail not addressing their problems and waiting til their sentence is up - they need to take particular courses as part of demonstrating to the parole board that they are no longer a threat, and if they fail to demonstrate this then they can be kept in jail forever.

The High Court ruling came about for a different reason: because of the government's incompetence, despite implementing this scheme, they failed to provide the courses. This means that an inmate has no way of demonstrating they are ready for release, which means that they can never be released.

The High Court, reasonably, suggested that this was unfair, and that the government ought to *provide* the courses, given that it's compulsory to take them. Inmates will only be in a position to claim damages if the government refuses to do so.

John B

youdontknowme said...

You could be right however the government is cutting the budget for the prisons. Cell checks are being cut down to once a week so it's likely that they won't get any treatment.

john b said...

But the judges' intervention is likely to *force* the government to provide treatment (even if it's trying to make cuts elsewhere), on the basis that it's better to pay for the treatment courses than to pay the cash straight to sex offenders as compo...

It's another case where the judges' actions will make things work better and in line with the actual law, but where the tabloid press (with the government's complicity) has lied that Evil Out Of Touch Judges Want To Give Hand Outs To Nonces.

John B

youdontknowme said...

You would think the government would do that but they aren't the most logical bunch of people now are they?

I just blogged about a group of asylum seekers being told to find their own way to an immigration detention centre and surprise surprise they never went. I also blogged about this happening to two illegal immigrants a month ago. It seems the government has not learnt their lessons yet.