Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Fake charity steals from reformed prisoners

Ah yes, as bland churnalism, this can hardly be beaten:

At least £1m a year will be taken from prisoners' wages and used to help crime victims, under legislation coming into force today.

About 500 offenders who work outside prisons in community schemes will see their take-home pay cut by 40 per cent, as part of the "rehabilitation revolution" promised by Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary.

There are also plans to take cash from prisoners who work behind bars, although they receive just £10 a week on average.

Under the Prisoners' Earnings Act, 40 per cent of prisoners' wages – after tax, national insurance and any court-ordered or child support payments – will be given to Victim Support. Javed Khan, the charity's chief executive, said the money will be used "to deliver real, practical support for victims and communities".

Policing minister Nick Herbert said: "Making offenders pay financial reparation to victims will require them to take personal responsibility for their crimes.

I scarcely know where to start with this bollocks, but here's some random thoughts:

"Victim Support" is a fake charity, largely supported by state extortion. If you look at their accounts:

Income from the Ministry of Justice was £38.6m for the year. Income from other statutory bodies, including local authorities and criminal justice agencies, was £10M.

They spend a bloody large percentage of their income on salaries:

Total expenses for the year were £49.6m (£48.6m in 2008/09) of which £35.1m relates to staff salaries (£32.9m in 2008/09).

I can't find evidence for Javed Khan's salary, but his predecessor earned a tidy £100,000 per annum, apparently.

So, it sounds like Victim Support is nothing more than a lobbying organisation, funded by the state to lobby the state ... evidently for more funding!

It certainly doesn't sound like there's a massive amount of money left for, you know, supporting victims in any kind of financial way.

Another thing to bear in mind is that the tiny handful of prisoners who are allowed to work outside of prison, often have to fund a lot of their living expenses. They are rarely paid much more than the minimum wage. So there is now a massive incentive for the handful of prisoners that everyone agrees are a safe bet to reintroduce into society, to say "fuck you, I'll just sit here and rot some more."

A million pounds is pretty much chump change, even to Victim Support, as it will barely fund another dozen over-paid earnest, executive staff. Who all have hearts of gold.

Dickhead Herbert is also being pretty fucking disingenuous about this crap, because 90% of prisoners will not qualify for paid work, so only the tiniest proportion of prisoners, who are by definition the ones who have done the least damage to society or have the best chance of fitting back in, are bearing the brunt of this petty spitefulness.

All in all, a triumph for the unthinking, the mean-spirited and the average Daily Mail reader. Oh, and a handy little burnish for the tough Tory brigade.

Cunts. One and fucking all.


Ronnie Soak said...

Nails and Heads Obo, Nails and Heads. Sounds like it will be a return to the 18th Century, when debtors were put in prison to "Pay off" their debts by working with their pay going on food, living expenses and the debts never being paid off.
What next, inviting the public in the gawp at them? Encouraging the residents of Holloway to whore themselves to pay off Victim Support wages?

Nobby said...

I'd pay to watch, Ronnie. Bethlem Hospital had to make money somehow, and a 1d viewing gallery helped nicely.

Rational Anarchist said...

My wife used to work for Victim Support. Apparently they do actually do some good work, but it's in spite of the management, rather than because of them.

The staff who actually make the calls to victims of crime are given very strict time limits and targets for how many people they have to call each day. A good proportion of the staff don't bother actually calling most of the people that they say they have (anyone not reached is sent a letter instead - and printing off the letter is a lot quicker than making the call then writing it all up, hence better for your stats) and when my wife suggested a great way to reduce the number of people they would have to call (i.e. a way to identify the people who really need help rather than just everyone) she was told that it would make the company look bad as they'd be making less calls. Never mind that they'd be giving better help, and to the people who need it - that wasn't important.

That's why my wife left - it was all about the targets and the victims that were meant to be helped were almost viewed as an impediment that got in the way.

(Incidentally, much of the actual counselling that they provide is done by unpaid volunteers)

Evil Denier (paid by Big Oil) said...

Fake charities steal.
And the Sun rises.
Every morning.