Prison sentences and repeat offenders

  Midlands Prison. Photograph:  Bryan O’Brien

Midlands Prison. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien


Sir, – How many times do we hear of a burglar being given a light sentence even though they have 50 to 100 convictions? Now call me a cynic but if someone has been convicted 50 times, I would expect that they have probably committed in excess of 250 crimes. The law-abiding citizens of this State deserve proper protection. I would suggest that such protection should mean that recidivist criminals are given increasingly severe sentences, as they clearly aren’t showing any signs of reforming.

Around the country people live in fear of the next mugging or burglary. In recent times there have been some horrific burglaries, which not only involve ransacking a house but the vicious beating of the people in the house. To say that people who live in remote areas live in fear is an understatement. Yet so many criminals don’t seem to fear being caught and they seem to see their punishment as a short-term break.

Our politicians don’t see this as a political issue worth running with. Why, I have no idea, as this clearly would be a vote-getter. We certainly don’t have a party of law and order in this country.

Real democracy is the will of the people. It’s time for a serious ramping up in prison sentences for serious crimes. This would require significant additional investment in the prison system. So be it. A few human rights activists would jump up and down but the majority in this country would sleep better at night. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.