I AM sure most of us have seen the perceptual illusion in which the brain switches between seeing an old witch and a stylish young woman.
In recent debates about sending offenders to prison and imposing longer sentences, a lot of people only appear to see the old witch.
How about we turn our view and our attitude just slightly.
Is it really the solution to send people to jail for longer? Will they be released as the complying citizens we wish them to be? Very unlikely.
Of those who have been sent to prison, half are sentenced to either prison or committed to community service within two years of their last imprisonment. This does not sound like a solution that works: we are trying it and it is failing.
As a society it is time we approach social justice a different way. Let’s start investing in the front end of community development – would it not be better to prevent offending rather than to just build more prisons?