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Should prisoners pay victims from their earnings?

13:59 UK time, Thursday, 30 September 2010

Prisoners should pay some of the money they earn in jail to victims and society for the harm they have caused, the Ministry of Justice has proposed. Do you agree?

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said "The government believes that offenders should make reparations to victims and society for the harm they have caused". As part of the proposals, deductions would be made from prisoners' wages and paid into a fund that would support the victims of crime.

Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, has agreed with the proposals saying "A prison sentence that combines payback to victims with a proper wage for hard work makes good sense."

Is the Victims' fund a good idea? Are the new proposals a good way for prisoners to make reparations to the victims of crime? Does the average prison wage of £8 need to be reviewed? What other ways can prisoners' recompense crime victims?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    Sticking plaster solution!!!

    I'd rather see them paying by way of longer sentences and a return to hard labour.

  • Comment number 2.

    Prisoners shouldn't be paid in the first place. Any work they do should go towards paying for their keep, the prison staff, court fees in prosecuting them and parole supervision once they leave. If there is any money left over after that (which I seriously doubt) THEN that should go towards compensating their victims.

  • Comment number 3.

    first they should get no money
    work for there food,
    get no visitors, that way no contraband
    can get into prisons that includes drugs
    sounds harsh but prison is for those who break
    the law,

  • Comment number 4.

    It all depends on what is meant by 'should'.

    Is it that prisoners decide themselves to pay, or will it be automatically deducted.

    At £8 per day it sounds as if it is going to be a token gesture eitherway.



  • Comment number 5.

    I don't understand why we don't have chain gangs. Get the prisoners out in the fresh air, cleaning up the coutryside/motorways, encourage a bit of work ethic and pride in their achievements - SIMPLES

  • Comment number 6.

    I think this is a good idea that should have been done long ago. Criminals should have to pay for the damage they do, including paying for health treatment for their victims, as well as loss of earnings. I don't see why taxpayers should pay money to compensate victims, while the criminal can claim legal aid (paid for by taxpayers) for any misfortunes that they experience in jail. I think that if criminals were hit in the pocket and forced to work to pay off fines, this may deter them from offending again. If the correspondents that want higher sentences had to pay personally for these, rather than relying on taxpayers to do so, I wonder how keen they'd be. Prison costs about £700 a week - it's not cheap and often doesn't stop criminals from reoffending.

  • Comment number 7.

    Brilliant idea, particularly the yobbo's and the gratuitous damage they do to peoples property, there's only thing most people understand and that's money. But hang on, it should include politicians and the damage they do to society, who agrees?

  • Comment number 8.

    For hardened criminals then yes. For lesser criminals I would prefer that they were put to use sorting trash for recycling, cleaning canals or streets by day before returning to prison that night

  • Comment number 9.

    I think they should be made to donate an organ. If the victim doesn't want it then it can just go to the organ donor's club or whatever.

  • Comment number 10.

    Suggestion:- ALL custodial sentences to be measured in 'money terms' i.e. Burglary £10000, Murder £250,000, etc. Make all prisons real factories with real work provided for inmates, Release to be dependant on repaying the fine!. It would be easy to include restitution in the initial fine imposed.
    Those who do not work to receive a very minimal life 24/7 in cells nothing else until fine paid. Their option!

  • Comment number 11.

    I was always told prison was the criminals payment to the victim? and to a lesser extent society.

    Surely its easier and much more rewarding to the victims if we had a "system" that guarantees the criminals get a sentence that is equal, if not nearly always greater, than their crime??

    That would be punishment. Not this, this just gives prisoners, regardless of how disgusting their crime, a way to say 'sorry'.

    But then again..doubt that would make many headlines..

  • Comment number 12.

    9. At 2:38pm on 30 Sep 2010, bob bobwell wrote:

    I think they should be made to donate an organ. If the victim doesn't want it then it can just go to the organ donor's club or whatever.

    ----------------------------------------------

    Failing that, sell it to China or some other country with a major shortage of said organs..and then give the funds to the victim; would be more than a few quid a year.

  • Comment number 13.

    Great idea long overdue ; criminals sitting in prison doing nothing all day and getting paid for it ; victims lose out every time

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    Of course they should but why are they getting money in the first place, and when you look at the average sentence being handed out would it realy be worth it to the victim.

  • Comment number 16.

    Another gimmick from this already tired government.

    How about more bobbies on the beat ? Not much chance of that, as police numbers are about to be cut by 25%.

    Tories = soft on crime

  • Comment number 17.

    If compensation is awarded then this should be paid to the victim promptly. The court should then do everything in its power to get that money back from assets ,belongings,insurances ,property,cars and future employment of said assailant. I do not agree with this nonsense where the court can be strung along by someone not paying fines and/or compensation ,claiming poverty ,or lack of work etc.This is a debt which has to be paid. Neither should there be a reduction in prison time if this debt is outstanding or if this is a second or further offence.

  • Comment number 18.

    Yet another stupid idea i don't want a penny from the low life's i want justice like long sentences and all their property confiscated. In any event how would they pay .... 2p a week over 50 years or something daft like that. Bring back the birch they would pay with that alright.

  • Comment number 19.

    The whole system of "doing porridge" is now so soft and cushy that prisoners for really serious crimes can DEMAND all sorts of home comforts and facilities that many of their innocent victims would dearly love to have provided by the state. They can even earn some form of pay which is an insult to their victims and decent law abiding tax payers!
    I hope that the Con/Dems take a really hard look at prison conditions and apply the 25% level of cuts that are facing the electorate. And YES of course prisoners should make some restitution to their victims where possible.

  • Comment number 20.

    Criminals should be made to pay for their crimes, but not with money and certainly not from the paltry sum they earn.

  • Comment number 21.

    Should prisoners pay victims from their earnings? Of cause they should, but instead we get prisoners/criminals suing the state for falling out of bed (http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/Prisoner-to-sue-prison-service.2805815.jp%29 or having to share a toilet (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23471333-convicted-burglar-sues-prison-bosses-for-50000-over-claim-slopping-out-breached-human-rights-law.do%29.

    There plenty of other madcap articles which would have you thinking it's tv comedy show.

  • Comment number 22.

    At £8 per week wages this govt really are making the poor pay. what next ghettos inside prison maybe a trade uunion for prisoners. would the pensioners object to their title of the poorest in society to bail out the bankers in preference of prisoners.
    Get the money for the austerity cuts from the tax evaders not the poor of society next prisoners will be released with a loan round their necks to be paid back in the future like the students

  • Comment number 23.

    9. At 2:38pm on 30 Sep 2010, bob bobwell wrote:

    I think they should be made to donate an organ. If the victim doesn't want it then it can just go to the organ donor's club or whatever.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Made to donate"!?!?!?!? Doctor worth their salt removing organs from people made to donate them. This is a very scary thought!

  • Comment number 24.

    At 2:52pm on 30 Sep 2010, Ken B wrote:
    Great idea long overdue ; criminals sitting in prison doing nothing all day and getting paid for it ; victims lose out every time

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Just wait until all the posts come in rubbishing the idea that prisoners should pay some of the money they earn in jail to their victims, and that will be proof that prisoners spend all their free time in jail on their computers commenting on this thread!!!.

  • Comment number 25.

    Re No 10, Barp ...

    The trouble with your system is that Bankers (if they are ever gaoled) will only do a couple of days for murder!

    .......................

    I would actually think this was quite a good idea but the Ministry of 'Justice' thinks it's a good idea to resist compensation for innocent but gaoled victims and even then wants to charge them 'bed and breakfast. Goose and Gander methinks!

  • Comment number 26.

    "
    16. At 2:58pm on 30 Sep 2010, Beige Rage wrote:

    Another gimmick from this already tired government.

    How about more bobbies on the beat ? Not much chance of that, as police numbers are about to be cut by 25%.

    Tories = soft on crime
    "

    It's beginning to look that way, but then they do have the libdems shackled to them.

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm in favour in principle, although as i understand it these wages are ultimately coming from the state, so wouldn't it be better to just give the money currently allocated to prison wages straight to victim support charities?

  • Comment number 28.

    Provided that they have not been wrongly convicted!

  • Comment number 29.

    yes why do people care about being nice to criminals.

  • Comment number 30.

    1) Any money should be earned.
    2) Money should go straight to their poor families whom they have let down badly.
    3) Visitations should be limited as this is a luxury.
    4) Any money left over could be given as compensation to victims.
    5) They should not have luxuries or priveledges - it is prison
    6) Should be given worthwhile work to do yes hard work.
    7) Given some kind of rehabilitation to be taught how to respect others and how to live in community with responsibility to themselves & others.

  • Comment number 31.

    Methinks that the ministry of 'justice' is considering reparations in exchange for prison time.

  • Comment number 32.

    Even ignoring the victims' feelings, the question of whether these criminals should be compensating their victims before they put money in their own pockets, and the huge cost of accomodating these people....

    isn't an average wage of £8 per hour rather an insult to the many law abiding people who work for less than this in the real world?

  • Comment number 33.

    10. At 2:45pm on 30 Sep 2010, barryp wrote:
    Suggestion:- ALL custodial sentences to be measured in 'money terms' i.e. Burglary £10000, Murder £250,000, etc. Make all prisons real factories with real work provided for inmates, Release to be dependant on repaying the fine!. It would be easy to include restitution in the initial fine imposed.
    Those who do not work to receive a very minimal life 24/7 in cells nothing else until fine paid. Their option!
    ------
    I'm not convinced it would work in practice but I think this is a fantastic idea. Gives the prisoner a skill to apply in getting a job, teaches them a work ethic and literally repays their debt to society.

  • Comment number 34.

    3. At 2:26pm on 30 Sep 2010, john wrote:
    first they should get no money
    work for there food,
    get no visitors, that way no contraband
    can get into prisons that includes drugs
    ---

    Thats a bit naive, do a google search on ways that prisoners have been known to smuggle in drugs - If nothing else its a tribute to the ingenuity of man.



  • Comment number 35.

    Not sure they should be paid at all when in prison. But, if the financial loss to the victim is quantifiable, as opposed to an arbitrary value of £10,000 for a broken fingernail for example, then I'd suggest the prisoner's assets (savings, house, car, etc) be used to repay the victim.

  • Comment number 36.

    · 21. At 3:10pm on 30 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    having to share a toilet

    #################################

    You must have posted the wrong link; it says nothing about suing the prison service because he had to share a toilet

  • Comment number 37.

    21. At 3:10pm on 30 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    Should prisoners pay victims from their earnings? Of cause they should, but instead we get prisoners/criminals suing the state for falling out of bed (http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/Prisoner-to-sue-prison-service.2805815.jp%29 or having to share a toilet (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23471333-convicted-burglar-sues-prison-bosses-for-50000-over-claim-slopping-out-breached-human-rights-law.do%29.

    There plenty of other madcap articles which would have you thinking it's tv comedy show.
    ------------
    There are 85,000 prisoners in this country. In recent years there have been at most a couple of dozen tabloid stories of the type described above. Why then do people base their opinions on the tiny number of highly unusual cases, rather than empirical data?

  • Comment number 38.

    · 26. At 3:19pm on 30 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    "
    16. At 2:58pm on 30 Sep 2010, Beige Rage wrote:

    Another gimmick from this already tired government.

    How about more bobbies on the beat ? Not much chance of that, as police numbers are about to be cut by 25%.

    Tories = soft on crime
    "

    It's beginning to look that way, but then they do have the libdems shackled to them.

    ######################

    To provide any public service such as a police force costs money, we have used all ours baling out a bunch of crooks in the city.

    Of course we will have a smaller police force, its Tory policy

  • Comment number 39.

    Not sure whether this is the best use of prisoner time, but as a rule, I'll vote for anything that makes prison more harsh, more demeaning and more unpleasant.

    I do think that a better way of making resititution to victims would be to turn off heating and lighting in their cells and the money saved was sent to the victim.

    Along with their colour tellies, Sky box, three meals a day and every other creature comfort currently paid by the taxpayer.

    The Prison Reformers clearly have never been a victim of crime...

  • Comment number 40.

    Prisoners convicted of murder, attempted murder, treason, rape, terrorism and pedophilia should all be hanged. Enough’s, enough.

    The rest should be working a sunrise to sunset day, earning an income that can be used to pay back court fees, prison costs and compensation to their victims and any other expense their prosecution and conviction has cost.

    Anything left over (though doubtful) should be given to charity. Any spare time a prisoner has (wouldn't be much if I had my way) should be used to improve upon their educational standards and abilities to interact in a proper manner with the wider community. As time draws closer to their release, all their spare time and efforts should be focused and devising a plan to get their lives back on the straight and narrow if and when released and an in-depth dissertation on their crime and the effect it had on them, their victim and those parties involved, including the impact of their crime on the wider society.

    Failure to produce a worthy dissertation would result in the postponing of their release.

    We have suffered too long in this country with too much Left-wing and liberal interference in the system of crime and punishment, to the point where more effort and finance (and what seems sympathy) is centered too much on the criminal. It is time to remove those elements that have this influence that have caused this situation.

    Going to prison should be a thoroughly nightmarish prospect, enough to deter, something, currently it is not.

  • Comment number 41.

    22. At 3:10pm on 30 Sep 2010, I_amStGeorge wrote:
    At £8 per week wages this govt really are making the poor pay. what next ghettos inside prison maybe a trade uunion for prisoners. would the pensioners object to their title of the poorest in society to bail out the bankers in preference of prisoners.
    Get the money for the austerity cuts from the tax evaders not the poor of society next prisoners will be released with a loan round their necks to be paid back in the future like the students


    This is a truly excellent idea.

    From your post, you clearly don't agree with most of the comments on this HYS, but unwittingly you have come up with a complete gem.

    Using your idea, the Prisoner has to stump up the cost of his or her incarceration and if they can't, then the money is loaned to them. So after they have been released, they have still then to repay society for the cost of their time inside.

    Have to say, this is brilliant mate. I wish I'd thought of it.

    In fact, how about you and me setting up a company to arrange loans to new prisoners to pay for their gaol time? Variable Interest rate depending on the risk of re-offending and ability to pay. All money earned inside to offset against the loan. Probably get the government to underwrite. Bribe judges to give longer sentences. Possibilities are endless.

    This is licence to print money. You sir, are a genius.

    Any ideas on curing the common cold?

  • Comment number 42.

    How about prisoners being torn apart by wild beast in the amphitheatre for the amusement of HYS posters? The ticket revenue would raise a fortune. In HYS-land being ripped apart by a lion is probably quite proportional punishment for shop lifting.

    Seriously however (I'M joking in the first paragraph although I'm scared most of you aren't) why not save some cash by the old fashioned practice of having the prisoners build their own prisons? Thats how Dartmoor and Alcatraz were built and they're both rather HYS friendly places.

    Equally there's some merit in what poster 10 suggests presuming that the 'fee' had to be paid off by work inside prison and a millionaire isn't allowed to kill 4 people then just pay 4 x £250,000. There is plenty or hard, unpleasant work that could be done by prisoners in a prison enviroment which would benefit the rest of us... filling sandbags for flood defence or sorting out mixed recycling waste would be two suggestions.

  • Comment number 43.

    What a lot of vintictiveness on this page. Prisoners are human too. Let he who is without sin etc.....

    Yes prison ers do eearn money, very little, and use it to pay for phone calls to their children and families ( which are monitored) buy tobacco etc. They go to gaol as punishment not for punishment. earning a wage, no matter how small, is part of their rehabilitation.

    Money will not really compensate many victims. restorative justice helps both victims and offenders adn this is something we should do more of.

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 45.

    Here's a slightly broader alternative:

    Tack a civil claim for damages onto every criminal case as a matter of course. Give the perpetrator seven years to pay it off from when they leave custody

    It may not raise much for the victim but it would at least address the small number of cases where criminals manage to profit out of their time in prison

  • Comment number 46.

    Would be nice but how many of then will be able to aford it. They might be only be able to repay a small amount and that would probably be a slap in the victim's face to add insult to injury.

    But if it goes in to a central fund as suggested... It's worth a try I suppose.

  • Comment number 47.

    9. At 2:38pm on 30 Sep 2010, bob bobwell wrote:

    I think they should be made to donate an organ. If the victim doesn't want it then it can just go to the organ donor's club or whatever.


    About the only organ you can donate which doesn't mean instant death is a kidney. Medical execution for none payment of TV licence (the single biggest reason for women in jail) seems slightly harsh.

    Then of course how many victims of crime are both in need of an urgent kidney transplant and are the same tissue type as the criminal! Not THAT many....

    What happens if the criminal is suddenly released after an appeal reveals they were wrongly convicted? Would you take the kidney back from the victim and put it into the released prisoner?

    I 'suspect' you haven't quite thought that idea through......

  • Comment number 48.

    As everyone contributes to keeping a prisoner and the over the top charges to pay judges,lawyers and of course the police,it should be looked at in a different way.Whatever the offender has in assets should be sold regardless right down to the last penny.If an offender doesnt have any assets then it can be reflected in the time inside they spend and once outside again an attachment order be made against any wages or benefits.To make sense of the justice system we have to change it forever to stop offending altogether.We have to make repeat offenders realise that society will not tolerate criminal behaviour.Just keeping them locked up and supervised is a waste of money.Cut the costs by selecting suitable islands(the UK has many such islands) where repeat offenders will go never to return,like a three strikes and your out system.Let them fend for themselves and just drop food in from time to time.The only condition would be they could never leave without being shot. I think that might just concentrate the criminal mind on whether or not any of their criminal behavour was worth it.

  • Comment number 49.

    Criminals should have longer sentences and work for NO pay to help pay for their keep.

  • Comment number 50.

    This really is well thought-out, isn't it? I'm sure there are plenty of people in prison whose crimes (or "crimes") have no direct victim. What happens then?

  • Comment number 51.

    27. At 3:19pm on 30 Sep 2010, Horse wrote:
    I'm in favour in principle, although as i understand it these wages are ultimately coming from the state, so wouldn't it be better to just give the money currently allocated to prison wages straight to victim support charities?

    =============================================================
    No need to comment, this one says it for me.

  • Comment number 52.

    Have read past the bitter - no money for doing hard labour - comments, I think this could be a reasonable solution if handled correctly.

    Many habitual criminals return to jail because they are not able to find work on the outside and so find inside life easier. They do not have much in the way of self-respect. And that is where encouraging a work ethic is a good idea. It used to be pursued, and many of those criminals learned valuable skills that allowed them to re-enter the world at large and to become valued members of their community. There are, however, some issues that need to be addressed. The amount with which they are creditted needs to take account of the cost to the taxpayer of their incarceration. As suggested, a percentage should also go to their victim(s), the value depending on the crime. The rest should be placed into an account for them so that they have something to start off with when they are released. Also, the types of work available need to be considered. It should not be work that is taking away work from the local community, or is seen as further degrading them. It must not be seen as a punishment, but part of their rehabilitation and, like any other privilege, able to be revoked. If revoked then any accrued monies go toward continued payments to their victim(s).

    Overall, a good-sounding idea, but the devil will be in the detail.

  • Comment number 53.

    9. At 2:38pm on 30 Sep 2010, bob bobwell wrote:
    I think they should be made to donate an organ. If the victim doesn't want it then it can just go to the organ donor's club or whatever.

    #########################################################

    I know that most posts on HYS are from one extreme wing of society or the other but this one REALLY takes the biscuit, the jaffa cake and a cup of tea.

    To butcher, because that is what you are suggesting, a persons body as a means of 'punishment' is so totally repellant as to be almost medieval.

    How on earth did this post get past the moderator?


  • Comment number 54.

    · 40. At 3:48pm on 30 Sep 2010, Phillip of England wrote:
    Prisoners convicted of murder, attempted murder, treason, rape, terrorism and pedophilia should all be hanged. Enough’s, enough.

    The rest should be working a sunrise to sunset day, earning an income that can be used to pay back court fees, prison costs and compensation to their victims and any other expense their prosecution and conviction has cost.


    ##########################


    You obviously think it is acceptable to murder innocent people, because sooner or later you would

    I hope you don’t find yourself in the position that you cant pay your council tax, working a forced 18 hour day seems a little harsh for the crime of being unemployed

  • Comment number 55.

    Seems reasonable to me. Some parts of Sharia Law, that this proposal copies, are quite a good thing.

  • Comment number 56.

    Well yes. All those bankers responsible for the economic crisis should get nicked and pay all their victims.

  • Comment number 57.

    "38. At 3:38pm on 30 Sep 2010, Biederbeck wrote:
    · 26. At 3:19pm on 30 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    "
    16. At 2:58pm on 30 Sep 2010, Beige Rage wrote:

    Another gimmick from this already tired government.

    How about more bobbies on the beat ? Not much chance of that, as police numbers are about to be cut by 25%.

    Tories = soft on crime
    "

    It's beginning to look that way, but then they do have the libdems shackled to them.

    ######################

    To provide any public service such as a police force costs money, we have used all ours baling out a bunch of crooks in the city.

    Of course we will have a smaller police force, its Tory policy
    "
    _________________________________________

    This isn't the right forum for this discussion, but I need to make the point. A bully is often found out, but very seldom do we think about the ones that egged him on. We are blaming the banks solely for the economic turmoil, forgetting the smug estate-agents who made money out of the sale and egged on the house boom to line their own pockets. They have been conspicuous by their absence behind the ramparts of late. Yes, the banks lent unwisely, but the estate-agents encouraged price escalation. So they are as much to blame for our economic turmoil and the lack of police we will soon witness.

  • Comment number 58.

    Why is everything about money and compensation these days? How will a prisoner paying pennies per week make any difference to anybody? I'll bet the scheme will cost more to implement and administer than it will ever pay out, so the only people winning will be those employed to run it, no doubt another unaccountable highly paid quango. Oh, and the lawyers who will no doubt scuttle off to the European Court on behalf of Joe Scrote who will complain this breaches his human rights. They'll make thousands off the Legal Aid!

  • Comment number 59.

    The money they earn should go towards their keep, food heating , clothing and the cost of overseeing their sentence. They should not be given any money at all. If they smoke and can't buy cigs. then too bad. They are after all, in jail not on holiday and should be made to work a full day without renumeration. They should not leave prison with any cash however they come to have it, let them foot the bill for their incarceration.

  • Comment number 60.

    Why don't we have chain gangs? This would cut the prison population and make real savings which could be given to the victims.

  • Comment number 61.

    There should be some kind of recompense towards the victims. I understand that in some cases, especially drug dealers, the proceeds of their crimes are often confiscated. Does any of this go towards their victims? And what of those who cause harm, either phsyical or mental, to their victims? Isn't there some way these victims can be recompensed? It would be difficult to truly compensate them for what they've suffered - I think of frail people beaten savagely for the sake of a pittance. They could never be truly compensated for the nightmares they suffer, probably for the rest of their lives, let alone the physical pain. So yes - let there be some kind of recognition that the criminals have, by their very actions, created victims.
    As for so-called lesser crimes, why not allow community service to be much harder than it is? I don't advocate going back to the 'old days' but there's nothing wrong with collecting litter [maybe it's the same litter some of them discarded some time ago!] There are plenty of things that need doing which, according to the 'authorities' - we don't have the manpower or resources for.

  • Comment number 62.

    How much do they earn in prison? If it is the token amount prisoners usually make, to pay for ciggies etc I think it is petty and counter productive. What one would like them to learn is a bit of personal responsibilty, like developing a saving ethic, that will hopefully lessen the chances of reoffending. Reparations is likely to cause resentment, not responsibility and rehabilitation.

    However, whether a current prisoner or released, they should not be allowed to cash in on any notoriety they may have achieved by writing a book, involvement with film or television or lecturing/speaking. If not garnished by law, the victims (or beneficiarys) should be allowed, encouraged and even supported to sue for compensation out of those earnings.

  • Comment number 63.


    Payment and recompense should be in full (as far as practical).

    On release from prison they should then repay their upkeep while inside.

    Why should prisoners hand taxpayers about £50,000 tariff per year when the average salary is about £27,000?

    Justice is also about fairness to VICTIMS as well as prisoners.

  • Comment number 64.

    Should prisoners pay victims from their earnings? Yes and bring back sentences with hard labour, and make them wear a ball and chain 24/7. For young offenders, bring back borstals run on a military régime. In both cases they loose all privileges once incarcerated. Make the prospect of custodial sentences a thing of dread, as they once were.

  • Comment number 65.

    No. A great idea but totally impracticable: the systems and procedures required would cost more than the country has to spend.

    Better for the government to continue to provide victim compensation & support as is.

    But there is no reason why prisoners cannot make things to sell, the proceeds of which could be donated to the victim compensation fund. And we need to rebuild British manufacturing.

  • Comment number 66.

    32. At 3:24pm on 30 Sep 2010, MattWasp wrote:

    isn't an average wage of £8 per hour rather an insult to the many law abiding people who work for less than this in the real world?"

    Erm - I think you'll find it's £8 per WEEK, rather than £8 per hour. Next we'll have complaints about slave labour since they're being paid considerably less than the minimum wage...

  • Comment number 67.

    Nice idea, but the European Human Rights Act won't let it happen, the first prisoner made to pay will go screaming to the army of lawyers waiting outside the gates. Victims count for nothing when it comes to Human Rights.

  • Comment number 68.

    Yes.

    And if they try to dodge working then they should be put to work on low-paid tasks such as sorting recyclable refuse.

    In fact, they should be made to do that sort of work while they are prisoners to pay off their victims.

    Our society has become far too soft, they need to realise that actions have consequences, often by experiencing the consequences for those without empathy nor imagination.

  • Comment number 69.

    If ever they put MPs in prison for their expense fiddling, as a tax payer I would definately look forward to a modest return from their earnings.

  • Comment number 70.

    "Is the Victims' funding a good idea? Are the new proposals a good way for prisoners to make reparations to the victims of crime? Does the average prison wage of £8 need to be reviewed? What other ways can prisoners' recompense crime victims?”
    `

    Having the victims seek revenge money is one step away from vendettas.



    How ludicrous to think that £8 per day can compensate a victim.

    Victims should be paid by the state.

    Another reason for prison is that their deprived of freedom . Freedom is relative and it's a loss of friends that is a real punishment. I think it was Kim Philby who said “All you need is friends”

  • Comment number 71.

    "1. At 2:21pm on 30 Sep 2010, Wyn wrote:
    Sticking plaster solution!!!
    I'd rather see them paying by way of longer sentences and a return to hard labour."

    Who or what are they paying then, apart from your rather primitive desire for vengeance? How does that help victims?
    And how very clear it is from some of the near-psychopathic posts on here (I don't mean yours) that the writers are not REMOTELY interested in the criminals' rehabilitation, but just want an excuse for painful, violent punishment. This lust for pain and suffering in others shows them to be worse than many of the criminals themselves. We condemn the willing tools of the state, the informers, the torturers, the executioners, in other societies. But obviously there's a bunch of people in Britain that would fill the bill only too well. Thank god it's just a stupid, pathetic, ignorant, throwback, anti-human minority, with an exaggerated presence on here that doesn't reflect their true numbers.

  • Comment number 72.

    Where does this figure of £8 and hour come from?
    My understanding is that prisoners don't earn even £8 a week, their 'wages' are held centrally and their account is debited when they make a purchase from the prison shop.
    Money,drugs and mobile phones are smuggled into prisons by warders, workmen and family members.

  • Comment number 73.

    I think prisons should ultimately be run via a workhouse ethic.

    They should be self sustainable and gain sustainability via work ethic.

    Sentencing could and ultimately should be consistant with morally due recompense to victims.

    If you steal £50.00 or £50,000 and blow it on drugs/whatever, you stay in prison until it is paid back, same with recompense to victims of violence and sex attack etc.

    The starting point could and SHOULD be 50% ABOVE the current Criminal Injurys Compensation Schemes stated award amounts.

    Simples, even a meerkat on heroin could work out moral justification.

    If such a system was in place, prospective criminals would think 10 times, let alone twice about offending, and if they negate to think, then tough, get them out of society until they DO learn to think.

  • Comment number 74.

    More efficent seizure of assets and of proceeds of crime might be more effective?

  • Comment number 75.

    I'm surprised that the Tories don't do away with the concept of custodial sentencing for anything other than unpaid fines and change the existing legal system to a fee based one.

    That way the rich really COULD get away with murder.

  • Comment number 76.

    Politicians should pay crime victims out of their party funds as most crime is as a result of decades of their failed social and criminal justice policies.

    As for prisoners they should work to pay for the cost of their internment and those that refuse to work get bread and water.

    Also, like many other people I would like to see the use of chain gangs and meaningful employment introduced. There is so much work that prisoners could do that would benefit society.

    Finally, what I can never understand is the estimated cost of keeping a prisoner which far exceeds what most families have to live on, so what makes up this enormous cost and how can it be reduced?

  • Comment number 77.

    In some prisons, they have had day release initiatives, where prisoners go out to work during the day and return to prison at night.
    Some of their earnings paid for their prison accomodation, some went to victims and they kept some, hence this is NOT a NEW idea, but this particular initiative is a bit weak.

    I do not know if the practice is still in operation.

    I would get private industry to build new prisons and they get paid out of prisoner working profits, hence an incentive to make prisoners productive.

  • Comment number 78.

    40. At 3:48pm on 30 Sep 2010, Phillip of England wrote:
    Prisoners convicted of murder, attempted murder, treason, rape, terrorism and pedophilia should all be hanged. Enough’s, enough.

    The rest should be working a sunrise to sunset day, earning an income that can be used to pay back court fees, prison costs and compensation to their victims and any other expense their prosecution and conviction has cost.

    Anything left over (though doubtful) should be given to charity. Any spare time a prisoner has (wouldn't be much if I had my way) should be used to improve upon their educational standards and abilities to interact in a proper manner with the wider community. As time draws closer to their release, all their spare time and efforts should be focused and devising a plan to get their lives back on the straight and narrow if and when released and an in-depth dissertation on their crime and the effect it had on them, their victim and those parties involved, including the impact of their crime on the wider society.

    Failure to produce a worthy dissertation would result in the postponing of their release.

    We have suffered too long in this country with too much Left-wing and liberal interference in the system of crime and punishment, to the point where more effort and finance (and what seems sympathy) is centered too much on the criminal. It is time to remove those elements that have this influence that have caused this situation.

    Going to prison should be a thoroughly nightmarish prospect, enough to deter, something, currently it is not.

    ################################################
    ################################################

    Could not have said it better myself mate - 100% agree with you!!!

  • Comment number 79.

    "72. At 4:43pm on 30 Sep 2010, LeftieAgitator wrote:
    Where does this figure of £8 and hour come from?
    My understanding is that prisoners don't earn even £8 a week"

    -----------------

    As per the BBC article:

    Ms Lyon welcomed the plans, saying: "A prison sentence that combines payback to victims with a proper wage for hard work makes good sense."

    But she said that, for such a fund to mean anything, the average prison wage of £8 a week needed to be reviewed.


    The £8 per hour is people failing their reading comprehension....


  • Comment number 80.

    As most posts on HYS about benefits usually has the daily fail ranters going on about how they should be made to work for benefit. Can someone tell me what work, to be undertaken by a prisoner, should not be performed by a benfit recipient?



  • Comment number 81.

    so how much of the £8.00 per week are they going to deduct.20p
    it's just tokenism at it's worst.
    if you take that bit of money from the prisoners they will just sit in their cells and do no work at all.
    they will still get fed and clothed.
    that little bit of money is used to buy stamps to write to their families [who have not committed a crime in most cases]
    or buy phone cards so they can talk to their children for 5 minutes a week or perhaps half an ounce of tobacco and a box of matches,
    either way you will just alienate the prisoners against the system and the prison staff
    what stupid idiot thinks up these ideas

  • Comment number 82.

    So, most of the posters here agree with the idea.
    Forgetting the fact that a lot of prisoners are in prison as they have little outside of it i.e. Jobs and an income, so the idea of paying it back outside the 4 walls is nonsense.
    And to get £8 a week from a prisoner is frankly an insult to me and whatever crime I have been the victim off.
    I would rather that £8 went straight back into HMS prison service to help pay for their upkeep. £8 a week isn't much but £8 a week * 100k can only help.
    Or even better, use that £8 a week to pay for bigger, better prisons so we can send criminals away for a real amount of time rather than letting them out after less than 1/2 their sentence has been served.

  • Comment number 83.

    Prisons of today are a joke, my wife worked in a tough scottish prison for 1 year as a medic. all cells were centrally heated, had t.v and free view along with games consols if the inmate could provide or these were hired.

    why not just do what the americans do, make them work for basic living requirements, food/phone cards/smokes etc

    build roads,buils other prisons, plough fields or my favourite, sort all the countries recycling into piles !!!

    i wouldnt want money from a person who lets say killed my wife, i would want to see them hang from a noose !

  • Comment number 84.

    I always thought it ludicrous that prisoners were actually paid while in jail - they should expect to work for nothing. But if they are paid then I agree that the money should go to victims. Nobody should come out of jail better off than when they went in - it's supposed to be a punishment and a deterrent, not a hostel for low-paid workers.

  • Comment number 85.

    "
    36. At 3:35pm on 30 Sep 2010, Biederbeck wrote:

    · 21. At 3:10pm on 30 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    having to share a toilet

    #################################

    You must have posted the wrong link; it says nothing about suing the prison service because he had to share a toilet
    "


    Which part of the sentence "The 32-year-old said he had access to a shared toilet with an electronic lock" did you not understand. Granted the article goes deeper into "slopping out" and other so called "inhuman" breaches of his human rights, but I'd have thought you'd have gotten the point that's it's sheer madness that this can happen.

  • Comment number 86.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 87.

    "
    37. At 3:36pm on 30 Sep 2010, Billy wrote:

    21. At 3:10pm on 30 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    Should prisoners pay victims from their earnings? Of cause they should, but instead we get prisoners/criminals suing the state for falling out of bed (http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/Prisoner-to-sue-prison-service.2805815.jp%29 or having to share a toilet (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23471333-convicted-burglar-sues-prison-bosses-for-50000-over-claim-slopping-out-breached-human-rights-law.do%29.

    There plenty of other madcap articles which would have you thinking it's tv comedy show.
    ------------
    There are 85,000 prisoners in this country. In recent years there have been at most a couple of dozen tabloid stories of the type described above. Why then do people base their opinions on the tiny number of highly unusual cases, rather than empirical data?
    "

    Even if it were exactly ONE case it would be ONE case too many. Criminals are scum, and deserve to be treated as such.

  • Comment number 88.

    Of course they should if it is absolutely necessary to "pay" them in the first place. Why do they need paying for work they carry out.

    They not owe a debt to their victims but society and many are lucky we no longer have 'Capital Pinishment' as a deterrent!!

  • Comment number 89.

    "
    38. At 3:38pm on 30 Sep 2010, Biederbeck wrote:

    · 26. At 3:19pm on 30 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    "
    16. At 2:58pm on 30 Sep 2010, Beige Rage wrote:

    Another gimmick from this already tired government.

    How about more bobbies on the beat ? Not much chance of that, as police numbers are about to be cut by 25%.

    Tories = soft on crime
    "

    It's beginning to look that way, but then they do have the libdems shackled to them.

    ######################

    To provide any public service such as a police force costs money, we have used all ours baling out a bunch of crooks in the city.

    Of course we will have a smaller police force, its Tory policy
    "

    Yeah well as far as I know no banker went around rapping, murdering and committing armed robbery. What they did was legal, totally wrong, but legal no one going to jail over it, a shame but true. Blame the Labour Government for allowing it to happen, but don't compare bankers to pedo's and other scum, they're not quite that bad.

  • Comment number 90.

    Mods:
    "Phillip of England wrote:

    …We have suffered too long in this country with too much Left-wing and liberal interference in the system of crime and punishment… It is time to remove those elements that have this influence that have caused this situation."

    "REMOVE THOSE ELEMENTS" (from the context he clearly means Left-wing and liberal thinkers.)
    Removing elements is surely a call to murder or otherwise silence them. Is this legal? Is it allowed on here? Wouldn't someone who wanted to 'remove elements' best be described as a terrorist? The 'remove' and 'elements' sound beyond extreme right-wing to me.

  • Comment number 91.

    I'd rather them pay with a nice, long sentence in a cold, dark cell that they can't leave at all until they've served their FULL sentence.

  • Comment number 92.

    · 85. At 5:14pm on 30 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    "
    36. At 3:35pm on 30 Sep 2010, Biederbeck wrote:

    · 21. At 3:10pm on 30 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    having to share a toilet

    #################################

    You must have posted the wrong link; it says nothing about suing the prison service because he had to share a toilet


    Which part of the sentence "The 32-year-old said he had access to a shared toilet with an electronic lock" did you not understand.

    ##############

    None at all, I understand the sentence perfectly, where does it state that the prison authorities are being sued because he shared a toilet. It doesn’t

  • Comment number 93.

    · 87. At 5:15pm on 30 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    "
    37. At 3:36pm on 30 Sep 2010, Billy wrote:

    21. At 3:10pm on 30 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    Should prisoners pay victims from their earnings? Of cause they should, but instead we get prisoners/criminals suing the state for falling out of bed (http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/Prisoner-to-sue-prison-service.2805815.jp%29 or having to share a toilet (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23471333-convicted-burglar-sues-prison-bosses-for-50000-over-claim-slopping-out-breached-human-rights-law.do%29.

    There plenty of other madcap articles which would have you thinking it's tv comedy show.
    ------------
    There are 85,000 prisoners in this country. In recent years there have been at most a couple of dozen tabloid stories of the type described above. Why then do people base their opinions on the tiny number of highly unusual cases, rather than empirical data?
    "

    Even if it were exactly ONE case it would be ONE case too many. Criminals are scum, and deserve to be treated as such.
    ###############################

    People are criminalized for all sorts of reasons; the vast majority are because of some sort of payment default

    To describe all inmates as “Scum” only shows your ignorance, but then I suppose we all realise that anyway

  • Comment number 94.

    It costs around £50,000 a year to maintain a single prisoner in UK.

    It would be much cheaper and more beneficial if we contracted out prisons to say, Zimbabwe or Bangladesh and paid them £10,000 per year for each prisoner..... plus £375.00 outward flight, plus £130.00 to cover costs for return journey, namely-

    1.£90.00 for a good pair of boots to walk back to UK,
    2. A Rugrats rucksack
    3. A waterproof map
    4. A de-magnitised compass (but they dont know it)
    5. A multi pack of Wrigleys so they dont get too thirsty
    6. 6 multipacks of King size Mars bars, to help them work rest and play
    7. A hat in the design of a doughnut, no explaination needed
    8. A Burmese passport
    9. A how not to apply for parole book but with changed cover to - How to apply for parole

    This way, we could save £30,000 per year per prisoner and also pay upto £10,000 per year compensation.

    Its a win win win win win win situation for taxpayers, victims and law abiding citizens, and meerkats.

  • Comment number 95.

    Given the huge expense of keeping someone in prison this is a completely farcical proposal. A Crime is an offence againt the state. If an individual suffers as a result of that crime, then apart from the return of property or funds to their rightful owner, if there is any compensating to be done, the state should do it - whether the state then extract funds from the criminal is another matter. Making crime more about a relationship between individual and criminal is going to encourage another sort of relationship: revenge - which is excatly what the criminal law exists to prevent.

  • Comment number 96.

    · 89. At 5:18pm on 30 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    "
    38. At 3:38pm on 30 Sep 2010, Biederbeck wrote:

    · 26. At 3:19pm on 30 Sep 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:
    "
    16. At 2:58pm on 30 Sep 2010, Beige Rage wrote:

    Another gimmick from this already tired government.

    How about more bobbies on the beat ? Not much chance of that, as police numbers are about to be cut by 25%.

    Tories = soft on crime
    "

    It's beginning to look that way, but then they do have the libdems shackled to them.

    ######################

    To provide any public service such as a police force costs money, we have used all ours baling out a bunch of crooks in the city.

    Of course we will have a smaller police force, its Tory policy
    "

    Yeah well as far as I know no banker went around rapping, murdering and committing armed robbery. What they did was legal, totally wrong, but legal no one going to jail over it, a shame but true. Blame the Labour Government for allowing it to happen, but don't compare bankers to pedo's and other scum, they're not quite that bad.
    ########################

    Once again a tirade of utter rubbish which has no bearing on the subject at all and you use that word again,

  • Comment number 97.

    Sounds like it will probably cost MORE to implement and administer than ANY realistic benefit, hence taxpayers will be forking out more which instead could be given directly to victims.

  • Comment number 98.

    Nice to have earnings, which is more than many victims have as a result of crime perpetrated against them.

  • Comment number 99.

    Should prisoners pay victims from their earnings?

    Why not? After all, we burden our university students with years of debt for the offence of higher education.

  • Comment number 100.

    "
    93. At 5:33pm on 30 Sep 2010, Biederbeck wrote:

    To describe all inmates as “Scum” only shows your ignorance, but then I suppose we all realise that anyway
    "

    Why do like criminals so much, something to hide perhaps?

 

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