Here’s something I put ‘out there’ on Google Plus (which copies to Twitter and Facebook) for small debate and discussion. Because of the radical nature of what I said, it was just ignored on Facebook, where trivial conversations reign, not main-line debates, and, well, Twitter is not really designed for ‘conversations’ just grunts.
Anyway, here’s what I said:
Not enough people in prison are killing themselves.
I’m particularly talking about those in there costing us a fortune year in year out. Surely they know that these are troubled times and we can’t afford to keep them. Killing themselves seems a very fair form of community payback.
I had been motivated by the not unwelcome news that the lodger who decided to kill his landlady and her mother in a house in Southport, not far from me, had committed suicide whilst on remand in prison. When I heard the news I instinctively nodded my head and felt it had been the right thing to do. It ended the whole process and most importantly it saved us all a lot of money.
Firstly there was the huge cost of the prosecution, the defence, the whole legal process. We would have been charged for that. Then there was the cost of all the assessments and psychological tests, and the cost of the bleeding heart pleas from the do-gooders, and the cost of the appeal, and then the costs of feeding him and keeping him in prison for the length of a third of his sentence (or however long it is that criminals bother to serve these days), and then the cost of the parole boards meeting to see if he can be allowed out on licence to live a normal life whilst his victims have none, and then the cost of keeping tabs on him whilst he’s out on licence, and so on and so on and so on. Had he stayed alive he would have cost us a small fortune.
So, all of that has been completely avoided. Good.
Whilst the memory of the two ladies he brutally murdered should not be forgotten, he now can be totally removed from our minds. We won’t see his name again after the inquest, that’s it. He won’t be haunting us like the murderers of James Bulger who sadly didn’t kill themselves whilst in prison.
Contributing to the G+ conversation was Mark who added, “Every cell with exit tablets by the bedside (with a glass of water), razor blades by the basin and a rope hanging from the ceiling. Suicide watch? – yeah, every couple of days to stop the place smelling too bad…“
Harsh? Maybe a bit harsh. Heck, I mean, somebody’s got to clean up the mess if they don’t take the tablets option! But, seriously, why shouldn’t assisted suicide in this way be available to criminals?
We all know that the overwhelmingly vast majority of those behind bars will return to society and create more victims to their further crimes. More hurt, more fear, more pointless hurt and fear. If suicide was positively encouraged in prison, the re-offending rate would go down and the public would feel so much safer. There is nothing negative about this concept.
When criminals make their decision to commit a crime, the take away their victim’s freedom of choice. Nobody forces a criminal to be a criminal. They always retain the freedom of choice to not be a criminal. They opt out of society. They should be given the opportunity to opt out of life.