London Bridge Attack Victims Were Advocates for Prisoner Rehabilitation

Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt, who were killed in the attack, had worked with a prison education program backed by Cambridge University.


Comments: 23

  1. First time offenders need a chance at rehab. Repeat offenders prove that they don’t get the message and need to be excluded from the public.

  2. Ms. Jones’s “warm disposition and extraordinary intellectual creativity was combined with a strong belief that people who have committed criminal offenses should have opportunities for rehabilitation.” Depending on a person’s personality and the crime involved, it could be easier to rehabilitate some people than others. People seem to be born with the capacity to develop a limited range of personalities. The personality that emerges, from this limited range, appears to depend on the person’s interactions with and responses to his or her environment. While no personality is predisposed to criminality, if a person commits a crime, his or her amenability to rehabilitation probably depends to a large extent on his or her personality. In addition to personality, the ability to rehabilitate a person likely depends on the crime he or she has plotted and/or committed. It could be harder to rehabilitate anyone who has perpetrated an act of terror. If a person whose personality has sociopathic tendencies (such as no concern for another’s pain) accepts a terrorist ideology, then my guess is that such a person might be next-to-impossible to rehabilitate.

  3. These are horrendously brutal murders committed by a sociopath. Notwithstanding, labeling them as "terrorist" is purely done based on the background of the individual involved. The murderer clearly targeted a group he was associated with in the past, this was not an act of random violence. As always the media rushed to label this as terrorism committed by a muslim man without any understanding of what motivated this barbarian!

  4. @SPNJ Let's give the media a break here. As more of the story comes out, we are learning more about the context of this gathering of people interested in the rehabilitation of criminals. At first all that was known was that there was was a knife attack on the bridge, but the media is telling us all they know about this complicated story, as fast as they can learn it.

  5. A very important point. Thanks for making it. Sadly few seem to bother familiarizing themselves with the facts, and instead express their own prejudices.

  6. "......or for detaining people in prison for longer than necessary......" Whether you think that terrorists are misguided, mentally disturbed or just plain evil, it is society's duty to protect its members against terrorists. To err on the safe side the necessary detention of terrorists should be forever.

  7. how do you rehabilitate someone who acts based on his/her ideological or religious belief?

  8. @susan mc Apparently Khan had actually asked for some kind of counseling. He had shown some recognition that there was something seriously wrong with the violent ideology he had been following, or at least expressed the desire for help in getting away from it, but he didn't get any counseling, and maybe it wouldn't have done any good. People do change their religions and ideologies, both moving away from the normal toward extremes, and away from extremes back toward the normal. Clearly in this case things went terribly wrong. I wonder if he wasn't coerced by some of the worst of his old violent contacts after he got out of prison, if he expressed any doubts about their extremism?

  9. @susan mc The Chinese are engaged in just such an experiment with its Uighur population.

  10. The early release of Mr. Khan was clearly a mistake. A deadly mistake.

  11. I find it remarkable that Prime Minister Johnson is using this issue as a political issue for the Tory party. Who has been in charge of the early release program for over a decade? The Tory party. Please ponder this. For over a decade they have been in charge. If they thought, with 20-20 hindsight that this program was so terrible why on earth did they never get rid of it. Who had the power to reform or get rid of the program? The Tory party. Who did nothing to change it? The Tory party. Who does the Tory party blame? Labour. Boris acts as if the Conservative party has not been at the helm over the last decade. They have been in charge, they are responsible.

  12. Seeing this makes me wonder about the future of New York with its social justice reforms, no bail , lighter or no prison sentences.

  13. @EAH you are right to be concerned. There is no question that the criminal justice system needs reform but the idea that the best way to do that is to pretend that crime doesn’t exist or that victims don’t need protection is insane.

  14. The attacker could have chosen anyplace anywhere to commit this awful act. His timing and choice of place and victims suggest he wanted to amplify his message. This foul act is drowning out any messages about successful deradicalisation efforts taking around the world.

  15. The two deaths are a complete horror. And yes, the UK and Europe do have a domestic and foreign terrorism problem. But the last country that should be lecturing anyone about how they deal with the issue is the United States. We have school shooting on a monthly basis, we have mosque, temple and church shootings by domestic white nationalists on a regular basis. Those groups are growing in numbers daily. Compare the number of deaths from these terrorists and they dwarf the number of deaths in the UK. And that is not including the fatalities from non-political gun deaths in this country. Compare the raw numbers of the butcher bill between us and Europe. This is one issue where we can say "We are number One". In the negative.

  16. @KJ Peters UK: Terrorist deaths since 1970: 3400 US: Terrorist deaths since 1970: 4500, most of which were in 9-11. Want to try again? With some actual stats?

  17. @Ernest Montague Yes , if your including the deaths from the Irish IRA then you are correct. Look at the totals during the Trump administration. This horror produced produced 2 deaths. They have knives. Our boys have semi automatic weapons. Look at Pittsburgh, El Paso. Of the two countries where are you more likely to get shot to death? I'll take my risks against knife attacks as opposed to the terror of semi autos. Which country has bulletproof back packs on sale and where our grade school's have to practice shelter in place drills because of the logical fear of being the next school shooting? Columbine, Sandy Hook, Charlottesville, Gilroy Orlando, the list goes on and on. We have no right to lecture any other country on violent deaths.

  18. I guess the perpetrator was not ‘Rehabilitated’ .... Sadly, The naive Liberals of the World eventually become the victims of the ‘ Rehabilitated’ ...

  19. If Boris Johnson's proposal for tougher sentencing for terrorists represents "hatred, division, ignorance", then I'm afraid we are living in a complete fantasy land. I feel terrible for the family and the fiancée of Jack Merritt. But please do tell me: where is this utopian world in which terrorists - who would gleefully genocide you and all your people - will beat their suicide vests into plowshares? The reaction to Boris Johnson is so simple minded, as if every conflict has to be squeezed into the paradigm of civil rights in the 1960s. If you come down hard on terrorists, you are sowing "division". You are probably a racist. Have people taken complete leave of their senses? These hard-core jihadis are laughing up their sleeves at us. They think we are ridiculous. This airy, abstract idealism has no place whatsoever in any policy regarding Islamic extremism. This is a fight to the death, and we need to win.

  20. great family, all my respect ! Love the two last lines! Thus is a free man ! Thank you !

  21. just when pbs is airing lynn novick's excellent"college behind bars," a film about the bard prison initiative (bard college professors offering undergraduate-quality courses to highly-motivated prisoners in certain new york state penal institutions, graduating ex-offenders with degrees, ready to join the workforce), this incident reminds us that not all folks in the slammer can be rehabilitated . . .

  22. I morn for the victims but the murderer was not just a prisoner he was a radicalized terrorist. I don’t care why he was a terrorist. I don’t care what his religion was. He was a terroist and a fanatic. In my opinion that kind of person cannot be “rehabilitated” in the short term or ever but they can pretend long enough to be in a position to strike again.

  23. "The judge at his trial had warned about the threat he (= Mr. Khan) might still have posed to the public." And that judge was correct. The beliefs of Mr. Merritt or Ms. Jones and their families are irrelevant. They do not have the right or privilege to potentially sacrifice innocent people for those beliefs.