School of hard knocks

Andrea Petrie at The Age tells us what we already know:

The prison system is failing society by making young offenders more anti-social and increasingly likely to commit violent crimes after their release, the head of the Victorian Court of Appeal has warned.

Calls made four decades ago to reform the system and encourage rehabilitation had not been heeded, three judges said after hearing an appeal against the sentence of a youth with a long history of violence, who had been in and out of the juvenile justice system when he committed an unprovoked knife attack in 2011.

The criminal justice system is a textbook example of an area of social policy where we have known for ages what the problems are and what to do about them, but we are impervious to the knowledge.