An editing gremlin changed the last paragraph of Harvey Cole's letter in last week's issue. It should have read:

"The real trouble is that public opinion, fanned by tabloid flames, would far prefer to see criminals locked up for years at a cost of over £500 a week than treated in ways which offer a better chance of reform and lower risk of offending at much lower expense."

This article first appeared in the 29 January 2001 issue of the New Statesman, The fall of Mandelson