Based on over 30 years research of government sentencing policy and work in the criminal justice system, David Fraser’s book demonstrates that the State’s increased reliance on alternatives to imprisonment has allowed all categories of violent crime to flourish in Britain; that, the homicide rate, for example, doubled between 1964 and the turn of the millennium; that the numbers of life threatening attacks have increased rapidly over the last 40 years, and that justice officials have hidden this development with a blizzard of deceptive statistics whose purpose is to mislead rather than inform the public.
Anti-prison groups and other apologists for offenders tell the public that violent offenders can be ‘managed’ in the community under supervision to the probation service, that prison doesn’t work because it makes offenders ‘worse’. The analysis presented here shows that none of this is true. Readers will be informed that contrary to the misleading propaganda regularly fed to the public, that parole is a cruel absurdity and should be abolished, that criminals under probation supervision as an alternative to imprisonment, commit hundreds of murders and other serious crimes every year, while the governments own figures, kept away from the public eye, makes it clear that long prison sentences are our best protection against violent (and other) crime, and are effective in encouraging criminals to reform.
The book demonstrates that the death penalty was an effective deterrent to homicide but its purpose is not to argue for its reintroduction. But by acknowledging its effectiveness, we can argue the case for a re-vamped sentencing system that is as effective as was the fear of the hangman’s noose. Evidence shows that the adoption of a 2 or 3 strike sentencing system resulting in mandatory long prison terms would provide the public with a much greater degree of protection. Other English speaking countries who have, in response to public demand, legislated this type of system have found that it discourages further violence and has produced startling reductions in crime.
David Fraser was a senior probation officer and criminal intelligence analyst with the former National Criminal Intelligence Service (now The National Crime Agency). He has had many articles published along with two well received books, the first of which was recommended for the George Orwell Prize in Literature. It provoked wide interest in this country and abroad and was commended to the House of Commons during a speech by an MP. David Fraser is married with two adult children and two grandchildren and lives in the South-West of England.