Socialist Worker

One law for the rich

Issue No. 2353

The government likes to talk about the benefits of prison and the need for criminals to pay for their crimes. But it seems that some criminals need to repent more than others. 

Disgraced former cabinet minister Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce left prison this week. They were jailed for perverting the course of justice after Huhne got Pryce to take his speeding points.

The average sentence for the offence is ten months. Huhne and Pryce served 62 days of an eight-month sentence.

Pryce announced on her release that she would be writing a book, Prisonomics, about how prison treats women. But her experience was nothing like that of most women prisoners.

Around a third of women prisoners in Britain lose their homes while in prison. 

And 58 percent of women released from prison say that unemployment contributes to them reoffending—and often getting sent back to jail.

For Pryce, prison is a tool for generating yet more cash.

The justice system doesn’t exist to stop crime and make society safer for us all. It exists to police working class people and make society safer for the rich.

Huhne and Pryce didn’t quite manage to evade justice altogether, as rich criminals usually do. 

But their cases show up the injustice at the heart of the British justice system.

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What We Think
Tue 14 May 2013, 18:13 BST
Issue No. 2353
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