The justification for this statement follows...
In the UK there are twenty times more men in prison than women.
If asked, most people will say, "It's because men commit more crimes". And so they do. But twenty times more? Really?
The number of crimes committed by each sex can be gauged from the number of sentences passed each year - that is, the number of cases coming to court in which the verdict is guilty and a sentence is required. And the result is this...
- In England and Wales there are just over three times more men sentenced per year than women (perhaps x3.3).
Ah, you might say, that'll be because men's crimes are so much more heinous than women's. But men's crimes would need to be 7 times more heinous than women's on average to result in twenty times more men being prison. It doesn't sound likely, does it? But what are the facts? Read my,
I examine the data for England and Wales and conclude that, in fact, the disparity is due simply to gender bias. The overall disparity breaks down as follows,
- The majority of sentences are not prison sentences. Other punishments include fines, community service, suspended sentences or enforced remedial treatment. Averaged across all crimes, men who are sentenced get sentenced to prison 3.4 times more often than women (as a proportion of the total sentenced). But is this deserved or is it gender bias? In the essay I examine the frequency with which men and women get sent to prison in individual crime categories. I find that men are sent to prison more often than women, and by a comparable factor, for virtually every category of crime. So the disparity in the frequency of men and women being sent to prison is not due to men are committing more of the more serious crimes. Whatever the crime, men are far more likely to be sent to prison - by a factor of 3.4 on average.
- For people who are sent to prison, how do the lengths of sentences compared between the sexes? Over all crimes, and averaging only over cases where a prison sentence is awarded, men receive on average a sentence which is 64% longer than women. Again we can ask, is this justice or is it gender bias? And again in the essay I have looked at sentences awarded to men and women for the same category of crime. With only a very few minor exceptions, men receive longer sentences than women for virtually every type of crime. So the disparity is gender bias.
- Finally I looked at the effect of parole, i.e., what proportion of their sentence do men and women actually serve? I do not have such firm data on this, but the indication is that women serve rather less of their sentence than men (48% and 53% respectively on average). Again we can ask is this fair, or is it gender bias? You might think that women behave better in prison - one of the key factors in deciding parole. But not a bit of it. Quite the opposite. Women prisoners are subject to between 20% and 50% more disciplinary actions (per 100 prisoners) for bad behaviour in prison than are men (including more cases of violence). So, the preferential treatment of women by parole boards is another case of gender bias.
Men are subject to massive gender discrimination in the criminal justice system. If male offenders were treated in the same way as female offenders there would be only one-sixth of the number of men in prison. About 68,000 men would not be in prison if they were female, leaving a male prison population of only 13,000.
I am not the only person to have made the above observations regarding the far harsher treatment of men in the criminal justice system in the UK. On the contrary, a great many people have made the same observation before. All that is needed is to examine the readily available data on the Office for National Statistics web site with an open mind. But feminists continue to claim the opposite. On the 16th October 2012, Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, led a debate in the House of Commons again making essentially the same points, i.e., that men are treated far more harshly than women. His motivation for so doing were the "countless groups and organisations calling for the number (of women prisoners) to be reduced. Far too many politicians - male as well as female - are willing to trot out politically correct nonsense on the subject, repeating 'facts' that do not bear any scrutiny at all, and there are far too many calls for something to be done about a problem that, by anybody’s standards, is hard to see exists based on the actual evidence." He was probably referring to the works of Baroness Corston.
In 2007 the Home Office published a report by Baroness Corston on the treatment of women within the UK criminal justice system, especially prisons. The thrust of the report's recommendations were for a more understanding, caring, compassionate treatment of offenders. I could be persuaded that some of the report's recommendations are good ideas. I tend to think that there must be something more constructive to do with offenders than simply having them sitting bored to death doing nothing for months or years. But there is one little problem. This caring, compassionate and understanding approach is for women only. Of course, the report was commissioned to be about women only - but that only begs the question "why?". And it is clear from what is written in the report that the furthest thing from the good Baroness's mind is that a similar approach should be adopted for male offenders. On the contrary, she looks forward to closing women's prisoners in order to make room for the ever growing number of men being imprisoned - an issue in which she sees no problem. You cannot lock up too many men! Examples of the gems to be found in the report include: Equality does not mean treating everyone the same. Err...yes, it does, actually, Baroness. And, Women must never be sent to prison to teach them a lesson. Err...yes, they should - it's called "punishment". I know you are familiar with the concept, Baroness, because you have no trouble applying it to men. I am tempted to say that this vile document is the most gynocentric thing I have ever seen coming out of a formal governmental source - but unfortunately the competition in that respect is very strong.
Not content with her efforts in 2007, the good Baroness, in her capacity as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on women in the penal system, wrote a letter to the government on 8th February 2011 recommending that they impose a target to reduce women prisoners by 10% within a year and that they appoint a Ministerial Champion for women in the penal system. The latter would, of course, have been strongly placed to implement the remaining 2007 Corston proposals. It is staggering to me that so much sustained effort is expended on just 5% of the prison population whilst totally ignoring the other 95% - solely because of their sex. But worse - that very 95% is only so numerous because the men in question have been treated so much more harshly than women. Many people may be little interested in the treatment of offenders. After all, it doesn't apply to you, does it, my law-abiding citizen? True, and maybe you have little sympathy for convicted offenders. But, if nothing else, this issue serves as another stark proof of the pariah status of men in our society.