Following the recent misunderstandings in Tottenham, North London, the government is to consider bringing forward changes designed to increase the amount of prison places available. The new system, thought up by High Court judge Sir Henry Parsnip-Brown, would see criminals being imprisoned on a rotational basis, with those sentenced to perhaps 12 months imprisonment having to serve the 12 months in any number of stages, with in-between periods when they'd be released though remain under tight control of the probational services.
"Overnight the amount of prison spaces would virtually be doubled without any new prisons needing to be built at all" the judge explains. "With the new system I'd be able to send two offenders to prison who'd only require the same prison space. One of them would then go straight to prison while the other one would have to wait for perhaps three months for that first chap to come out, then the second chap would take over that cell space to serve his first three months inside."
One advantage of the new system, though there are many, would be that a reward system could be applied whereby offenders might have part of their next scheduled stage of imprisonment reduced by a said amount if they'd shown that they'd stayed out of trouble during a non-imprisonment stage of their overall sentence. It wouldn't be like today when a suspended sentence means the offender doesn't have to spend any time in prison at all. Indeed, with youth offenders a simple prison sentence of just a few months could in theory be spread over a very long time, perhaps one week in prison followed by a year outside. In this way the authorities would be able to keep a close eye on that person possibly all the way up until they're in their thirties. During that time there'd always be the possibility of having their sentence increased if there was to be any sign of misbehaviour on their part.
"Clearly this sort of system wouldn't be appropriate for the more violent sort of crimes" admits the judge. "However, by freeing up the prison spaces we already have would mean we'd be able to send the violent offenders to prison for much longer. The whole system would discourage people from committing the crimes in the first place, and so that in itself would make more prison spaces available to us to be able to put these violent people away for good."
Of course this is just a spoof. Pity innit!