People who break the law should no longer be branded offenders, a leading criminal justice campaigner has said.
Frances Crook, head of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said the “insulting” term demeans individuals and hinders their rehabilitation.
She said: “Someone who commits an offence is not an offender, they are someone who has done something. The action does not define the whole person. They may also do good things and they will certainly fit into other categories that can offer a different definition like parent or friend. By insisting that the offence overcomes all other parts of the person we are condemning them to a sub-human category for whom there is no hope.”
I’m sure, somewhere in the world, there’s a serial killer who really kept up his lawn.
“Terrorists,” you’ll remember, has long since been supplanted by “those somewhat-touchy persons of indeterminate appearance,” so I can’t say I’m the least bit surprised by this sort of thing.
Still, if she gets her way, we’re going to need another word. In honor of this criminal-justice pioneer, I propose that all of Britain’s legally-challenged individuals be dubbed “Crooks.”
(Via Amy Alkon.)