UK govt: Legend:
Red < 1 year
Yellow 1 - 4 years
Green 4 - 10 years
Light blue 10+ years
Your discussion about prison reform is in my opinion sadly lacking. The problem is the rationale and the system itself. While the liberals may cry foul at the ideas expressed herein, few people who have been on the victim end of illegal activity would disagree.
My articles and Book of Lemons tackles exactly that point: true fairness and justice, not the legislative system and prison reform that is going on now. The legislative system is failing. It does not stopping offending or re-offending, and the system worries far too much on the rights of the criminal and not enough on the victims or society as a whole.
If a crime has been committed, to have the judge drop the charges because 'due process' was not followed is a ludicrous concept. How does a procedural crime by the police make the criminal innocent? If there is a case to answer let it be made in a separate indictment - not by freeing the criminal.
Statistics about the re-offending rate show clearly, if you don't want people to re-offend don't put them in jail. For small time, non-violent crimes, jail is not only unnecessary - it is unwise. Compulsory supervised useful, civil community work is much more suitable, and pay minimum wage. For petty drug related charges, force them to attend and see the effects of their drugs; to view the scene of overdose victims first-hand.
For petty theft, make them work for the person they tried to rob for sub-minimum wages. For violent crimes, violence in return. If somebody has it in him to resort to violence, simple education won't help. (It needs a carrot and stick, and make it clear to the culprit it is his choice) Preparing them for the work place is meaningless and wasteful. There is a reason why crime rates are lower in third-world totalitarian regimes. The punishments are much harsher. We need like for like punishments. For example, for white collar, embezzlement and fraud; forfeit of their AND immediate family wealth for repayment.
QUESTION: What is worse than the death penalty? Answer: Life without the ability to fend for yourself. Amputate arms and legs may sound inhuman but think about it for a minute. Is anything more frightening to a potential murderer ... and then send them home, Why waste public money housing them? How dangerous would they be to society in that condition? I guarantee that as a deterrent it is far more effective.
Drink driving where somebody is accidentally killed. Take off an arm or a leg. Let them be aware for the rest of their lives that they have deprived another human being of their life. Let's see if people will still be willing to drink and drive. As a deterrent it is far more powerful and as an act of justice it is far more acceptable to the family of the victim rather than 5 years prison with 2 years off for good behavior, only to re-offend because the person is an alcoholic.
For rapists and child molesters, castration. Let's see how zero testosterone in their system affects their self-control. Anyway, how much of a threat to society can they be without those body parts. Best of all, it is far, far cheaper to society as a whole.
Finally, Britain is considering leaving the EU because it is worried about foreigners coming in and taking their jobs, and now they want to train criminals to take the jobs?