Socialist Worker

New Labour’s draconian plan to humiliate offenders

Issue No. 2106

A new crime report commissioned by the government shows how far Labour has abandoned any notion that the criminal justice system should attempt to rehabilitate offenders.

Instead a new review by Louise Casey, former head of Tony Blair’s “respect taskforce”, calls for stronger punishment of even minor crimes and recommends measures that are clearly designed to humiliate those convicted of a crime.

She argues that those carrying out unpaid work as part of a non-custodial sentence should be made to wear coloured bibs so that they can be identified as criminals.

She wants such work to be renamed “community payback” and contracted out to private companies – allowing firms to profit from Labour’s punitive regime.

She also proposes the posting of “conviction posters” to publicise people found guilty of crimes.

Community sentences were once touted as a more progressive alternative to just locking up increasing numbers. But Labour is now more concerned with looking tough than addressing any of the root causes of crime such as increasing inequality and alienation.

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Tue 17 Jun 2008, 18:38 BST
Issue No. 2106
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