If Mis-selling isn’t Theft, then Shoplifting Must be Mis-buying

Incarceration should, at most, be reserved for people we are scared of, not people we are mad at.

Above: Imprisonment statistics for the United States, 1925-2010. Incarceration should, at most, be reserved for people we are scared of, not people we are mad at, right?

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone
And let he who poses no threat fly the first drone
Scapegoating always does harm to the innocent
We forget due process and forgiveness
When we dream about security
Assume it means revenge, jails, police
That’s not maturity
And it doesn’t really help us in the least
Too many sentences are designed to be malicious
But this is harmful and indecent, so I tend to be suspicious
When the PM repeats a mantra disproved by the evidence
Fictitious intelligence, funded by Serco and their competitors
We have a justice minister who quotes from Terrie Moffit
But who will always fill a prison when it’s being run for profit
So another day passes, and he opens another sweatshop
Wouldn’t it be easier if all factories were locked?
Wouldn’t it be easier if there were no minimum wage
And if we kept manual workers housed two to a cage?
That’s the UK
It’s either: “Do what you want… with no money”
Or: “Do what we tell you, and resistance is not an option”
But while we’re told just to pay homage to the Home Office
Practitioners are smart, many have found restorative justice
In Hull, Norfolk, Thames Valley, Surrey and Northern Ireland
They resolve real conflicts between real human beings
Not the state, not the courts, although these are still stakeholders
But they’re institutions, they don’t suffer the consequences
They carry on as people’s lives are put on hold
By the fear of being re-victimised on the streets or in their homes
Three strikes and you’re out; that’s your third loaf of bread
But mis-selling is far from theft, that’s what the new regulator just said
So, to be smart on crime is to recognise the disconnect
For criminals at the bottom, the parties race towards brutality
For those at the top, the competition is for laxity
Aren’t they supposed to represent their constituencies?
Still, there’s no “us and them”
It can’t be seen as you and me
Against the muggers or the fraudsters
It should be every single person against the criminogenic environments
On the streets, in the banks, corporations and governments
Each person’s background is unique, we can only try to relate
But no crime is in a vacuum, every offender feels the weight
Whether of violence, drugs and peer pressure in the estates
Or greed, short-term profit and peer pressure to cheat interest rates
It’s like Akala said: “Absolute power corrupts absolutely
But absolute powerlessness does the same”
And so to be smart on crime is to be understanding
Every crime involves choice, but it also involves duress
And that’s the main reason that I tend to prioritise forgiveness

Also published by Smart on Crime in the Waterloo Region: 

http://www.smartoncrime.ca/blog/2012/12/if-mis-selling-isnt-theft-then-shoplifting-must-be-mis-buying-smart-crime-uk

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