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September 16, 2006

John Hemming MP: Hospital Orders & Public Safety

Editors Note: The forth article in our "Personal Views" series is written by John Hemming MP, the Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley. He has kindly agreed to write an article for us that introduces an issue he believes currently is under-reported - Hospital Orders. You can be rest assured it will be something that we follow up. He also has a blog, which can be founds here.

If you would like to add your personal view, you know where to find us.

Read on for John's article.


I am always surprised when people say "Prison does not work". There are clearly people who are a danger to society. Prison in locking them out of general circulation protects society. It is clear, therefore, that in that aspect of protecting society that "Prison Works".

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September 13, 2006

Mark Adams: Does Prison Work?

Editors Note: The third article in our "Personal Views" series is written by Mark Adams. It originally appeared on his own website, in response to our launch. He has kindly agreed for us to republish it here. If you would like to add your personal view, you know where to find us.

Read on for Mark's answer to the question "Does prison work?".


As recently as a year ago I would not have thought twice about calling myself a conservative. Today that is no longer the case. Politicians in Britain and America have taken the word away from the Thatcher-Reagan legacy of limited government so instead I call myself a libertarian. This has led me to evaluate some of the central tenets of conservatism that I had not previously questioned.

Thus I welcome the launch of a new netroots movement called prisonworks.org. In the first instance I welcome debate and the left-liberal consensus that prison does not work, rightly or wrongly held, should not stand unchallenged. More importantly, it provides an opportune moment for me question one of my longest held beliefs and ask, does prison work?

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July 22, 2006

A Review of the arguments for and against increased use of prison sentences.

The headlines today are presenting Home Secretary John Reid as tough on crime. Whether this turns out to be the case is problematic as Blair, Straw, Blunkett and Clarke talked equally tough, but what they delivered over the last nine years was severely limited by the almost fanatical opposition waged by our liberal elite, and by those working within the criminal justice system. John Reid is still at the talking tough stage so it remains to be seen if he will be able to stand up to the inevitable liberal backlash which will follow, or if his name will be added to the long list of compromised New Labour politicians.

In the light of these developments exactly where are we with the tough on crime/soft on crime, prison works/prison doesn’t work debates. Where is the evidence supporting the two sides of the argument?

Before we consider evidence, let’s briefly look at the problem from first principles.

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June 30, 2006

The Backdoor Liberal Response To The Public’s Call For Tougher Prison Sentences

Do I detect a new trend in prison sentencing?

Following the blaze of publicity over recent weeks concerning lenient sentencing, including the MSM assault on the government, and (I hope) a growing awareness on behalf of the public of the failure of the current liberal “soft-on-crime” agenda, the government must feel that they need to do something, and do something urgently. They have two options. To bow to the wishes of the dissenters, such as myself and all those who support a tougher criminal justice system, or to wriggle, spin, mislead, or generally lead us to believe they are getting tougher whilst in reality doing the opposite.

The following story leads me to believe the latter.

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