Monday, 6 February 2012

Done the Crime, done the time

When I was younger, I read "The Green Mile" as a serialized novel. Later I watched the exceptionally good Film adaptation.

One of the things I remember distinctly about both the book and the film is the concept that when the man has been put to death, that's it. He's square with the house, his debt is paid, and he is treated with respect and even reverence.

What a pity that doesn't seem to apply in the UK.

Now, the law in the UK is that you get sentenced according to your offence, and then (except in very specific circumstances) you get automatically released after served 1/2 of your sentence. You then remain "on licence" until your sentence end date, the basis being that controlled release and rehabilitation is more effective than retribution and punishment of the loss of your liberty. Moreover, as occurred to me, you can be recalled if your Offender Manager believes you are a further risk.

So therefore, unless you do something else wrong, when you get released, you've done your time, in terms of prison. Even though you have probation time to do, you are square with the big house.

Yet suddenly, this week, I find that after nearly a year from re-release and within sight of the end of my licence, a company I have had some dealings with wants to try to make my status public to help them win a court case. Apparently Offenders on licence have no rights, and certainly shouldn't expect to be allowed phone lines, internet service, cars, insurance or even housing.

Now, as my gentle reader will know, (sorry Isaac) I am currently appealing in any case, and so anything done by an individual relying on my conviction is on shaky ground. So why then, does this company think it, and only it, is the arbiter of who can tell my neighbours etc about my offending?

And, guess what Northans MAPPA are doing about it? You're right, sweet feck-all.

Ah well, might be time to move.