Suspended Prison Sentence – Less Effective Without Specific Treatment
Today’s headlines show former EastEnders and Shameless star, Jodie Latham, has pleaded guilty and received a suspended sentence for growing cannabis in Lancashire. Latham explained that he grew the cannabis through concerns about buying from local drug dealers and risking his celebrity status.
It seems the threat of prison is being used as a deterrent but this is rarely successful – if it was the prisons would be empty, would they not? Take the history of Jodie Latham himself as an example of how this type of sentencing as flawed.
The talented actor has previous convictions, two of which are related to cannabis. Giving a two year suspended sentence to someone who has repeated drug related offences is clearly not treating the problem.
RedChair agrees with giving suspended sentences to people convicted of these types of offences however there has to be some kind of treatment in place to prevent it happening again.
A person that has an ongoing relationship with drugs will not be able to simply stop through fear of being sent to prison. If that were the case, people would simply not take the drug in the first instance.
RedChair’s solution to this is to ensure the criminal justice system signpost individuals to attend good quality treatment facilities.