A Criminal is a Criminal


I often derive bitter amusement from what Erwin James of The Guardian calls the hypocrisy of prison barbarism. I am also perplexed when I hear people who profess to be ‘tough on crime’ defending the right of prisoners to mete out vengeance whenever they see fit.  The advocates of media fuelled prisoner-on-prisoner ‘justice’ seem to forget that prisoners declaring themselves judge, jury and executioner have committed crimes too.  Many of them have children. Where are their children now? And what are they doing? These people don’t know because they are in prison. They committed crimes in the full knowledge that there was a strong possibility that they might be convicted and incarcerated and that, as a result of this, their children would be deprived of a parent. They themselves brought children into the world and then abandoned them. Are such people really in a position to judge the parenting skills of others? 

We are told that convicted prisoners hate nothing more than ‘child killers’, implying that there are victims who have reached an age at which it becomes acceptable to harm them. The men responsible for the killing of Rhys Jones aren’t branded ‘child killers’ although that is exactly what they are. It is worth remembering that Rhys was only a couple of years older than Shannon Matthews and yet there is no indication that they are facing reprisals in jail. One of the accused commented, ‘All this fuss over a kid.’ No. Only some kids. It’s amazing what a difference a couple of years can make.

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