Clarke blames 'broken penal system' for London riots
London, Sept 6 (ANI): UK Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has said that the country's "broken penal system" is one of the reasons behind the riots that erupted across England in August.
According to the BBC, Clarke wrote in an article for the Guardian it had "not yet been widely recognized" that the majority of those charged with rioting or looting were known criminals, and almost three quarters of those aged over 18 had a prior conviction.
"That is the legacy of a broken penal system, one whose record in preventing reoffending has been straightforwardly dreadful," he wrote.
"In my view, the riots can be seen in part as an outburst of outrageous behaviour by the criminal classes, individuals and families familiar with the justice system who haven't been changed by their past punishments," he added.
Clarke praised the justice system for imposing swift, tough penalties on convicted rioters, but said punishment alone was 'not enough'.
The present system's record in preventing reoffending was "straightforwardly dreadful," he added.
According to the report, Clarke outlined his planned changes to the penal system, including making prisoners work harder while behind bars, but said there needed to be wider changes to address "the appalling social deficit that the riots have highlighted".
"It's about having a job, a strong family, a decent education and beneath it all, an attitude that shares in the values of mainstream society," he wrote. (ANI)
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