Re: Barmy (@Psyx)
Let's put it another way: Say your cited violent criminal receives a sentence of 300 lashes, permanent maiming on an eye-for-eye basis and five years hard labour, plus punitive damages of a million quid. He does that. Then he is released. And now he STILL has the sentence of no career. Still fair?
Yes, of course its fair. The crime cannot be undone so there is no pressing reason to undo the record of it. The point of a record is, well, that its a record.
As I said before: I suspect that you would feel differently if it was your own kin - or even yourself - who had made the error.
Yes, and I suspect you'd feel very differently were it you or your daughter that were the victim.
You've yet to let me know how marginalising and making near unemployable a criminal helps them be rehabilitated and steers them clear of a life of crime.
You're mistakenly assuming that I care about the criminals rehabilitation and employment prospects. Rest assured, I don't.
Worst case - they can't find anyone willing to employ them. That will serve as a very strong warning to the next generation of criminals, a deterrant even.
If you take a sense of justice away from the victims of crime, they will have no faith in the criminal justice system, and will simply seek justice elsewhere. That justice may well fall within the bounds of the law, but realistically it will often degenerate into simple revenge.
Lasting consequences for the criminal are part of the punishment for the crime. It has always been such (pre 2012 anyway). I've employed people with criminal records before (non-violent and not involving dishonesty) and they've been great as employees, however, declaring their record was as much a part of their rehab as it was their tariff.
The rehabilitation that I speak of barely exists, because we marginalise and often prevent the career actualisation of ex-criminals.
I view this as a good thing. My whole career goes away upon my first conviction. Guess what? No convictions. Its amazing how effective punishment, and serious consequences are for prevention of crime.
Let's say we change the law and abolish declaration of criminal records upon completion of sentence. I'd now be free to go assault someone, plead guilty, and walk out of court. Sure, I'd lose my job, but would then be free to apply for another elsewhere without declaration of my crime. My only punishment would be a line in a file that says if I get caught doing something else within a year I go to jail, and I'd have lost the job I held upon conviction. That's great for me - fantastic even - but my victim would be very unlikely to consider that justice. It may well take them years to heal and they may well never regain full use of whatever I broke.