Revealed: How the explosion in convicted sex offenders has sparked a crisis in our jails

Stuart Hall; One of a growing number of elderly sex offenders now in jail. Pic courtesy: Huffington Post

Stuart Hall; One of a growing number of elderly sex offenders now in jail. Pic courtesy: Huffington Post

An extraordinary report was issued last week by MPs on the Commons Justice committee revealing the impact on prisons of the growing numbers of paedophiles and sex offenders being sent to jail.
The report – virtually unnoticed by the national media ( exceptions BBC and Yorkshire Post) -provides partly an answer to those who say the police aren’t doing their job catching them and the Crown Prosecution Service is not getting enough convictions. It also suggests society failed to acknowledge the scale of sex offences in the past.
What it reveals is that Britain’s jails are being engulfed by a tidal wave of elderly offenders – and a huge proportion are historic child abuse and sex offenders like Stuart Hall.
The figures are in fact staggering. At the end of March 2013 there were 6,639 prisoners in England and Wales who were aged between 50 and 59 and there were 3,381 over the age of 60, counting between them for 12 per cent of the prison population. Custodial Convictions have jumped by 45 per cent for the 50-59 age group and by 46 per cent for those over 60 between 2008 and 2012.
The report highlights historic sex abuse cases as one of the main causes. It says there has been a 45 per cent increase in convicted people sent to jail between 2002 and 2012. They account for a third of the elderly offenders in jail
Indeed the number of infirm elderly mean that two prisons – Dartmoor and the Isle of Wight – are now becoming vulnerable persons units, where prisoners have difficulty climbing stairs,washing, carrying their meal trays and getting into bunk beds.
Nor is this particularly a British phenomenon, American readers of this blog, might be familiar with a recent NBC report revealing a similar crisis in the US.
The British report points out that the problem is likely to grow rather than diminish – particularly given the present drive to prosecute historic child abusers through Operations Yewtree, Fernbridge, Fairbank,Torva and in North Wales and Northern Ireland.
The problem for politicians is that this group are the least loved offenders – some people would want to hang them – and there is little political capital and much outrage to be gained from being even remotely sympathetic.
The one sympathetic statement came from the Howard League for Penal Reform.
Frances Crook, Chief Executive said:
“The select committee is quite right to highlight the growing problem faced by older prisoners in our overcrowded jails. Political leadership is required to address the issue and provide prisons that were never designed to be penal care homes a clear strategy on how best to handle the needs of an increasingly elderly population.
“At the same time the issue of historic sex offences is a real challenge for society. If someone is sentenced many decades after they committed a crime and where they are so infirm as to pose no continuing danger, then the courts should explore other options than simply imprisonment.”
The only danger with this – and I am only taking this from the small number of investigations I have made in this area – is that unfortunately many of the elderly abusers are still sexually active.
But society is going to have to deal with this – or more of our jails will become compulsory old people’s homes at enormous cost to the state and taxpayer.

23 thoughts on “Revealed: How the explosion in convicted sex offenders has sparked a crisis in our jails

  1. Pingback: Revealed: How the explosion in convicted sex offenders has sparked a crisis in our jails | Alternative News Network

  2. Pingback: Revealed: How the explosion in convicted sex offenders has sparked a crisis in our jails | theneedleblog

  3. Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    Personally I applaud the fact that child sex offenders are finally being brought to justice, even if it has taken many years to achieve it. No – other options than imprisonment need NOT be explored; they should have gone to jail many years ago and any added problems they may suffer are a price they must pay for dodging justice in the past.
    And let’s remember that there are still people getting away with these offences, even under the current media spotlight. In my own police area, Dyfed Powys, I know of several historical cases which the police have categorically refused to take up. Now why do you think THAT would be?

    • I think THAT would be because they’re “connected”. It’s pretty obvious they’re feeding us an endless stream of second-rate actors and other low-level celebrities in the hope that the public will get tired of the whole thing. The cover-ups continue, sadly. Most politicians and other top establishment figures will get away with it, as usual.

      • @black hole i think its to feed the ”look its a witch hunt’ fervour..thus creating a backlash to cease the investigations into the VIP abusers..

  4. How would prison cope with me, I wonder? I’m 60, can’t stand for long or sit for long or do lengthy combinations of the two either. I spend my life in a recliner. It’s that or be bedridden for most of the day. I can’t walk far either, the base of my spine’s worn away, probably through too much bending at my old work. I also wear a CPAP device at night which noisily blows air into me to keep my airways open. They collapse, frequently and noisily, without it. I sleep loads most days too, being very hypothyroid and in recovery from two eye operations. Don’t get me started on my bowels. All in all you won’t want to be sharing a cell with me at all. What would they do with me? The reason I wonder at all is because I can see myself being made destitute because of welfare so-called reforms and having to steal a lot of food just to stay alive. What would happen when I got caught again and again? How would I survive otherwise? Prison would seem in some ways appealing with three square meals a day. I’d say the problems outlined above are going to get far, far worse in the very near future.

  5. The Police have gone very quiet about the crimes committed at Elm House in London..where the [perpetrators were ‘apparently’ government personnel and MP’s….are they waiting for them to die before finally exposing them…? Instead we have the false flags concentrating (justifiably so) with media criminals…but tory ministers?..none..wonder why?..not!

    • Stephen
      From what I have seen the police are still very active under Operation Fernbridge and gathering fresh evidence. So don’t despair yet. The bnig scandal has been with Greater Manchester Police not pursuing cases involving Sir Cyril Smith – his victims suffered from other perpetrators who are still alive and should be bought to book.

  6. As a victim of one of those elderly men currently doing thirteen years in Walton I agree with Mike Sivier NO, other options than imprisonment need NOT be explored. It took me thirty years to walk into a police station. But that is not a reason to let the guilty get a get out of jail free card just because they’re old. When he chose to rape me when I was 7 he knew what the consequences of getting caught would entail yet he chose to rape me anyway. So 3 weeks, 3 months, 3 years or 30 years after the fact. When they finally get caught they should go to jail.

  7. dear david hencke

    re Elm Guest house as we know that a certain Harvey Proctor was a visitor to EGH and according to the MM list where cert ain prominent MPs were helping Mr Proctor with his Tie shop business for some reason I came across an article that suggest a LOT of financial help was forthcoming from MPs at the time..very odd as that business was doomed to failure..it makes one wonder just wtf was going on there..when you consider that business of his was registered in…Richmond Upon Thames ie close by where the abuse crime were being commited..

    “Mr Proctor turned from politics to hosiery and opened his shop in Brewers Lane, off Richmond Green, in 1988 with a pounds 2,000 grant from the Government’s Enterprise Allowance Scheme, and a little help from his friends: a start-up fund of pounds 75,000 was organised by Tristan Garel-Jones MP, the former Tory deputy chief whip and one of the party’s best-known fixers.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/members-interests-top-tories-lose-on-proctors-shop-the-retailer-1445666.html

  8. dear david hencke, do you think the westland helicopter affair had connections to EGH..? you had LB connected to it and heseltine funding harvey proctors business (along with other tory fixers) all seems kind of coincidental dont you think?

  9. I am one of the Staffordshire Pindown child abuse VICTIMS and I was maliciously dragged through Lord Falconers Secret Family Courts over a 7 year period, falsely accused of having a syndrome that an American paedophile psychologist had invented (Parental Alienation Syndrome) and repeatedly threatened with prison if I committed Contempt of Court which is being interpreted as breaking gagging orders by talking to other people of the abuse I suffered. Other Pindown victims have been treated just as badly, I know I am not the only one.
    So dont expect me to weep for the sex offenders who are banged up, I can’t find any sympathy inside of ,me for them, all my sympathy is for the victims of their evil crimes against children

    • @zoompad my sympathies with you..recently an article i came across about False memory syndrome was shown to be the malicious disinfo set up it was noting how opinions in media dramatically changed once the FMS approach was used/ mentioned..that tells me how the abusers and their friends will go to any lengths to keep things quiet or in their favour..

      • They couldn’t exactly use False Memory Syndrome on me, because I didn’t have recovered memories, I just simply never forgot what they did to me in the first place. The way I was treated was like a lump of dog poo, to be shoved in the bin. Once I had come out of the Childrens Court system I wasn’t any use to them any more, they are only interested in people that they can use as money magnets. The Secret Family Courts are surely the biggest financial scam ever. They’ve got gangs of lawyers, they have secret meetings, they’re not interested in either side, all they care about is how much money the case can screw out of the public purse.
        I didn’t know what Parental Alienation Syndrome was at first, I had no idea why they were pursuing me in the courts. If you go to a lawyer you expect them to fight your corner, but the Secret Family Courts is riddled with professional losers. They were all chatting and joking round with each other at Wolverhampton Court, the cruel bastards even denied me the chance to sit quietly away from them all joking and laughing, to read my Bible and pray. They even denied me that.
        I will never forget how cruel they were.

      • @ZOOMPAD Its a cruel world by the looks of it, cruelty by negligence, greed selfishness ignorance and just plain ”i cant be arsed” syndrome…when the profiteers take over everything and charge us for using emergency service ‘products’ then thats when you know how badly the world is really messed up…

  10. I agree abusers should be punished whatever age they are when it goes to court, at least those which involved any form of rape or physical force. However, many of the acts now considered attacks were not regarded in that light 40/50 years ago. People laughed them off, society laughed them off which allowed touching young girls up to become run of the mill and not taken seriously. Girls and women were either told they were being silly if they made a fuss. I do not know many women who didn’t experience similar as young teens. If every woman now in her 50s and 60s were to name and shame the men who did this to them, there would be queues from here to next week I actually feel society was largely at fault for turning a blind eye to practices we now regard as abusive. It allowed men, especially after the ‘sexual revolution’ in the 1960s to feel that ‘anything goes’ I was touched up by friends fathers, an uncle, a bus conductor who was quite old at the time himself. However, I would not agree with putting any one who is no longer a threat to society in prison, let alone infirm elderly men..House arrest for them might be a more appropriate option, it would cost the tax paper nothing really, what is the point of a country in recession where people are literally going hungry , using up money on putting old people into prison when it could make a prison of their own homes . The main punishment would surely be stripping them of any honours and the naming and shaming of them. We do not need to then pay to lock them up in facilities which are actually not humane for an old inform person. I have never believed in doing anything as an act of revenge , no matter how angry I am. Revenge makes us bitter inside,

    • Liz

      you do have a big point here and the jails are getting pretty full of elderly men. In cases where children have been raped by paedophiles though, I see no alternative but a custodial sentence. There also is the problem of elderly paedophiles out of licence committing further offences and at the moment supervision is not good.

  11. Strange how these reports shall not be finalized until after the 2015 General Election. That should give enough Civil Servants time to have some happy holidays together. The truth is too dangerous for ordinary people to know ,otherwise their would be a very different type of revolution in happening in 2014. Heil Finkelstein .

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