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10 How. J. 1 (1958-1961)

handle is hein.journals/hjcj10 and id is 1 raw text is: 











                     NOTES OF THE YEAR
The  Wolfenden Report         It is eight months  now  that  the Wolfenden
                          Report was  published, and still there has been no
debate on  it in the Commons.   When  it does come, it is unlikely that the
Government   would   be prepared  to implement   the main  iecommendation
about  homosexual  behaviour between  adults in private. It must be hoped,
however, that they would at least give facilities for a Private Members' Bill.
    In the meaintime, the task of educating public opinion must go on. The
degree of misunderstanding and misconception which still exists on this subject
is disconcerting. Fortunately, there have recently been a number  of useful
books which may  help to put the matter into proper perspective. Amongst them,
Dr. Eustace Chesser's  Live and Let Live  is particularly helpful.
    There  is every reason for changing the law, and none against it that will
stand up to careful, honest and dispassionate examination. It is inconceivable
that, with all the evidence before it, Parliament should hesitate to act, for fear of
the possible reaction of those whose opinions appear to be based  either on
ignorance or on plain prejudice. Ultimately, this is a question of whether the
seat of Government  is at Westminster or at Bournemouth East.
    As  regards the recommendations about prostitution, it may well be that the
raising of the maximum  fines for solicitation ought to be looked at within the
wider context of adjusting the money-value of fines in general. In any case,
too steep an increase in fines for this offence could have some very undesirable
results, the danger of which the Wolfenden Committee may have under-estimated.
A  system of call-girls does not simply mean making prostitution less obtrusive.
It does mean close and more careful organisation of the girls, and this in turn
could lead to the emergence of large-scale professional vice racketeers on the
American  model-a   prospect which is peculiarly unpleasing.
  Though  there are valid reasons for some increase in fines for solicitation, the
proposal to send prostitutes to prison is much more doubtful, partly for the
reason already mentioned,  and partly because a large number  of prostitutes
would certainly make rehabilitative efforts with the other prisoners more difficult
without necessarily altering the set intention of prostitutes to continue their
way of life. It may merely make them more  ready to accept  protection  and
to be organised  by professional gangsters. It is the young girl who is just
drifting into prostitution on whom much rehabilitative effort should be expended,
and on this point, the Wolfenden Report may have been much too pessimistic.

Institute of Criminology    .   The Home   Secretary has now  expressed his
                          interest in the creation of an Institute of Criminology.
The  next step would seem to be to consider what sort of a body it should be,
and what  practical steps might be taken to set it up.
    So  far, there has been a good deal of emphasis, in criminological research
in this country, into the selection of penal methods, and into the results which
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