In 1895, a British government committee on prisons, chaired by Herbert Gladstone, the brother of the former prime minister, found the following probabilities of a further prison sentence (paragraph 85):
|Number of Imprisonments
||Probability of Further Prison Sentence|
A century later, the Home Office found that in the first quarter of
2005, the one-year re-offending rate was:
|Previous Custodial Sentence
The data are not quite comparable, but the message is clear: Every time a person is sent to prison, he or she becomes more likely to re-offend. Perhaps it is time we learnt this lesson.