I suppose it is inevitable that Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce will be sent to prison for their chicanery: the going rate for their crimes is between four months and three years.
The cost of keeping someone in prison for a year averages around £37 000 per person. I suppose it's necessary for us to pay this in this case just to show that, in our justice system at least, there is not one law
for the rich and powerful and another for the rest of us. However, it is a foolish waste of money, and a cruel way to treat the couple, just to make a point.
In my view prison sentences should be reserved for those who, if at liberty, are a danger to the public, or as a last resort for those who fail to co-operate with more constructive measures. The proper sentence for Huhne and Price should be community service: there's plenty of litter to pick up, plenty of graffiti to erase. Community service, couple with probation, is not cost free: it requires organisation, professional supervision, and, in most cases, though probably not in this one, counselling and therapy to steer the malefactor along more virtuous paths. This would be money well spent.
I doubt if Huhne and Price will come out of prison more criminal than when they went it, but apparently most do. As a Tory once said: "Prison is an expensive way of making bad people worse."
I note that one of the policies of UKIP is to build more prisons.