I looked up prison populations here in the UK for the 1930s, there were approximately 10,000 prison inmates. At the end of the 1970s there were approximately 45,000. Today there are approximately 90,000.
To me this proves that prison is no deterrent these days. What that politician doesn't seem to understand is that the reason prison is no deterrent is because it is now too easy for the inmates. Prison used to be a horrible place to be. Nowadays it is like a hotel, and not the sort of hotel that I could afford to stay in. I don't believe in capital punishment but I do believe that criminals give up a lot of their rights. I was incensed (again) recently when I heard that Prison Officers had been told to call the inmates 'Mr' (can't comment on what female prisoners should be addressed as) and that they had to be called 'clients', not inmates, convicts or prisoners. I make no mention here of the other privileges criminals in prison are now allowed, no wonder prison is no deterrent.