Recoil from Prison
A person is released early from prison when they've been extra good and managed not to stab anyone during their jail term. They are recalled back again if they misbehave when out, the way they did to get them put in jail to start with. To put things in perspective, it's pretty difficult to get yourself locked up nowadays. So if you manage it, it's quite likely you're going to keep doing whatever you did to get put inside.
In case you were wondering how the probation service decide who gets released early, they weigh up all kinds of factors such as likelihood of reoffending, history of offending, severity of crime, etc, and then kick them out anyway because they need the cell for someone else.
As a police officer, I get passed the fax telling me to go and bring someone back to prison. Usually with their address given as the bail hostel they are supposed to be living at, and which they aren't living at, hence the breach. I go to the hostel, find that they aren't living there, and put the fax in the bin. If the person never commits another crime and so never comes into contact with the police again, they will never, ever be caught. Funnily enough, we're not too bothered about locking up people who haven't committed any more crime. A prize for the reader who guesses how often that happens.
The stupidest, most idiotic and troubling thing about the whole laughable charade is that nine times out of ten the probation service know full well that these people are going to breach their conditions when they release them. But they do it anyway, because they need the cells.
We all know that ridiculous sentences are being handed out daily for crimes as heinous as rape and murder. We all know that in most cases the offenders will not serve even half of the time announced. And yet we are surprised that thousands of people are at large who shouldn't be, and that they're out there repeating the crimes that sent them to jail in the first place.
I'm aware that I sound somewhat like a Daily Mail reporter. I'm not devoid of compassion, and believe it or not consider myself fairly liberal. I just have this old-fashioned, backward attitude that the Criminal Justice System might run more effectively if the police didn't have to do every job twice.
Apart from saving money, we might even- gasp- save lives.
'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.