The charts below show the proportion of people’s spending on different commodities and services in a particular European country in 1958 and in 2008 .
- Paraphrase paragraph: show>compare; proportion>percentage; different>various; commodities>goods
- Overview/summary paragraph: (1) % spent on housing, food and luxury goods rose (2) % spent on clothing and travel/transport declined
- Paragraph 3: report figures and compare trends for housing, food and luxury goods
- Paragraph 4: report figures and compare trends for spending on clothing and travel/transport. Expenditure on entertainment was stable.
The pie charts compare the percentage of people’s expenditure on various goods and services in one European country in 1958 and 2008.
Overall, it is clear that while spending on housing, food and luxury goods increased in 2008 as a proportion of total expenditure, the percentage spent on clothing and travel/transport fell.
In 1958, people spent 22% of their income on housing costs and this rose to 32% in 2008. The proportion spent on food more than doubled from 8% in 1958 to 17% in 2008. A similar increase was seen in spending on luxury goods from 7% to 17% in the same years.
In contrast, the percentage of total expenditure on clothing declined dramatically, from 32% to just 12% in 1958 and 2008, respectively. Similarly, the proportion spent of travel/transport fell by more than half to only 6% in 2008. Spending on entertainment, however, remained relatively stable, with a slight decrease from 18% in 1958 to 16% in 2008.
Research suggests that the majority of criminals who are sent to prison commit crimes when set free. What are the reasons? What can be done to solve the problem?
- Introduction: refer to the task question; state that there are important reasons, but also possible solutions
- Paragraph 2: reason 1 – prison as punishment, not rehabilitation; reason 2 – influence of dangerous criminals on other offenders
- Paragraph 3: solution 1 – provide education/training in prison to help ex-offenders find jobs; solution 2 – isolate dangerous criminals who will encourage others to re-offend
- Conclusion: there are important reasons, but solutions are possible.
It is true that a large proportion of criminals are known to re-offend after they have been released from prison. There are some important reasons for this return to a life of crime, but there are solutions which could mitigate the problem.
I believe that there are two principal reasons why many criminals who have served their sentences, commit further crimes when they are released back into society. Firstly, prison is popularly regarded as an institution whose purpose is to punish wrongdoers. There is a public outcry against being soft on crime, and many argue that only the full weight of the law will act as a deterrent, even though this is obviously not working. As a result, few resources are allocated to prison programmes which will help ex- offenders to make a fresh start in society. Secondly, prisons are overcrowded and often violent places, in which the most hardened criminals influence and intimidate other inmates, and form networks to plan future crimes, such as a criminal prison gang called the PCC do in Brazil.
Steps should be taken to solve these problems. One solution is reintegrating offenders back into the community. Programmes which provide vocational training or academic study opportunities must be implemented in order to give prisoners a chance of rehabilitation and to find work. Some universities in the UK and the USA, for example, offer degree programmes to enable offenders to gain qualifications. Another solution is to segregate the most dangerous convicts, in order to prevent intimidation and bullying in prisons, from which offenders are released as even more expert criminals.
In conclusion, while important reasons for the rate of re-offending can be identified, some steps must be taken to implement workable solutions.
Vocabulary from crime and punishment:
- to serve a prison sentence
Meaning: to remain in prison as a punishment
Example: They are serving long prison sentences for their part in the assassination.
- to release back into society
Meaning: to give freedom to prisoners who have finished their sentences.
Example: He was released back into society after serving two years of a five-year sentence.
- to punish wrongdoers
Meaning: to punish people who do something illegal
Example: Stricter measures must be introduced by governments to punish wrongdoers.
- to be soft on crime
Meaning: not to impose strict punishments on offenders
- Example: In order to deter criminals effectively, governments must not follow policies which are soft on crime.
- the full weight of the law
Meaning: all the strictest punishments available according to the laws of a country.
Example: In order to deter crime, the full weight of the law must be imposed for all serious offences.
- to act as a deterrent
Meaning: a measure which makes somebody less likely to do something
Example: Longer prison sentences would act as a deterrent and would be one useful measure to tackle rising crime.
- to make a fresh start
Meaning: to try something new after making mistakes in one’s life
Example: I believe that people should have the opportunity to make a fresh start after they are released from prison.
- to reintegrate back into the community
Meaning: to restore someone into society through education or therapy
Example: There is an increasing focus among policy-makers and practitioners on identifying programs and strategies that will help prisoners successfully reintegrate back into their communities without re-offending.
- a chance of rehabilitation
Meaning: a chance of helping someone to have a normal life after serving a prison sentence
Example: We should give ex-offenders a chance of rehabilitation and teach them how to become useful members of society.
Vocabulary from society:
- an outcry against
Meaning: a reaction of anger or strong protest shown by people in public
Example: The new tax provoked a public outcry.
- to segregate somebody
Meaning: to separate people for some reason and treat them in a different way
Example: Although society no longer tolerates the policy of segregating whites from blacks, many people of different origins live in their own separate communities.
Vocabulary from government:
- to allocate resources to
Meaning: to make money and materials available to do something
Example: If governments allocate more resources to improving public transport, this will reduce the problem of traffic congestion in cities.
- to re-offend [verb]:
Meaning: to commit a crime or crimes for a second time, or for more times
Example: What is the best way to stop a criminal from re-offending?
- to mitigate [verb]:
Meaning: to make something less harmful or less serious
Example: The government is giving food and homes to the poor in order to mitigate the terrible poverty in the country.
- hardened [adjective]:
Meaning: having developed a way of dealing with bad experiences, so that they no longer upset you
Example: The man had been in prison many times for different crimes, and everybody knew that he was a hardened criminal.
- to intimidate [verb]:
Meaning: to frighten or threaten somebody, so that they will do what you want
Example: In an attempt to intimidate the demonstrators, the police used dogs to attack them.
- inmate [noun]:
Meaning: one of the people living in a prison
Example: The prison has 500 inmates, and is very overcrowded.
- convict [noun]:
Meaning: a person who is guilty of a crime and who has been sent to prison
Example: The police are looking for an escaped convict. He has a long beard and he is aged 35.