Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass by the Canberra Centre or anywhere else in Canberra !

It seems that as we march around the Monopoly board of life, more than ever before we’re landing on the Go To Jail square.

Canberrans are being thrown in the slammer at the highest rate in a decade. This has been revealed in a new ABS report into prisons nationally. It also shows that the Alexander Machonochie Centre is full of recidivists. It’s got a revolving door at the front. We have the same low lifes who are committing crimes, being convicted, going to jail, then getting out and doing it all again.

A staggering 77 percent of ACT jailbirds have been in before. The national average is 59 percent. That’s a huge difference, but it doesn’t surprise me.

When ACT Police get news of a house burglary, I can tell you that even before they’ve been to the scene, they can usually instantly come up with a shortlist of half a dozen likely perpetrators. Sometimes it’s dangerous assuming that the ‘usual suspects’ are responsible, but in reality it’s the same people committing the same crimes over and over and over again.ratters

The report showed 77 per cent of ACT inmates had spent time in jail before, which was above the national average of 59 per cent and the highest percentage of repeat offenders of any state or territory. This is a revolving door and I don’t know that it works for me.

I spoke with Corrections Minister Shane Rattenbury on my radio program on Friday morning.  You can listen here. He views the figures somewhat differently that I. He concedes that our recidivism figures are quite high, but he says that it’s because we have a rather low incarceration rate. Those who are in jail are the ones who should be in jail.

I guess it begs the question, what do you with someone who continues to commit robberies. If they front up to the courts time and time again for stealing cars and breaking in houses at what point do you just give them a massively long sentence ? When do the rights of the general population overtake those of the criminal ?  When should a society lose patience with those who are doing the wrong thing ?