Sophie Willett

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Sophie Willett

Post by heroisthai on Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:54 am

Sophie Willett, of the Howard League for Penal Reform, told CNN: "I think we must expect that participation in the public disturbances is an aggravating factor when you come before the courts. Stealing a bottle of water in the riot environment is different to going into you local shop and stealing a bottle of water. But, in that spirit we must apply some sort of proportion to this and actually we have to look at people's genuine, ongoing danger to the community and that is what we need to look at when we send people to prison."
On a visit to Cheshire, northwest England, Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters Wednesday that tough sentences were necessary for deterrence.
"They've [the courts] decided to send a tough message and it's very good the courts feel able to do that. What happened on our streets was absolutely appalling behavior. This is sending a clear message that it's wrong and won't be tolerated. It is what our criminal justice system should be doing."
And it's not just about jail time. Convicted offenders are now being threatened with eviction if they live in public housing.
Many of those charged are minors whose identities are normally legally protected. But now prosecutors have the power to "name and shame" under- 18s charged in the violence.
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