Towards the end of his life I had supper with Elwyn Jones, the former Attorney General and Lord Chancellor. I asked him if there was anything he regretted in the Justice system.
He said that just after WW2 the judiciary felt that sentencing should be along the lines of a "Short, sharp shock" but they were convinced otherwise by the first wave of sociologists who said that offenders needed long sentences.
Long sentences have never worked but it is my belief that until we reform - root and branch - the justice system, we may have to adjust to more muggings, more riots and more trouble in our cities over the next decade. Let's have a grown up conversation about what happened not a series of knee-jerk reactions.