Another Shocking Prison Report

Who is in charge of our prisons? It was revealed recently that bullying  and drugs are still rife in British prisons, which to be honest doesn’t say much for HM Prison Service. The report by the Prison Inspectorate named in particular HMP Erlestoke, near Devizes in which it said illegal drugs and bullying were ‘rife’ in the prison, a fact that shouldn’t surprise too many people.

Home From Home

It did concede that improvements had been made since the last inspection however, but it still makes me wonder why the prisoners run our prisons and not the wardens. I have many times said that in my opinion, the British penal system is far too soft, and rather than acting as a deterrent to crime it encourages it. Soft sentencing and prisons like five-star hotels is no way to turn criminals away from a life of crime.

We desperately need to get back to a system of justice that is to be feared by all who end up in its clutches, with no luxury accommodation, no sports and games gear, no TV and no perks like day release.

Life of Riley!!!

Insofar as prison drugs are concerned, any prisoner found to have taken drugs gets an automatic six-months added to their sentence, and anyone found to be carrying drugs into a prison gets to join the inmates for a minimum of six-months. It matters not if these are family members or prison staff, the rule is the same. Anyone guilty of bullying , or any other rule infraction gets an automatic three months jail time.

It is way past time the prison system was run in a proper way and the Prison Service stopped allowing the prisoners so much freedom and trying to be friends with prisoners just to keep them happy, and peaceful.

Prison Used to be a Deterrent

Each successive government has promised to be “Tough on Crime”. famous words uttered by Tony Blair when he aspired to be Prime Minster, but what did Labour do, they turned our prisons into a holiday camp, reduced sentences to a farce and started allowing prisoners out on ‘day release’ to help them “adjust to life outside”.

The Re-Offending Roundabout

Under the Conservative Ken Clark we have not seen any major improvements so far, in fact several times over the past year he has been completely on the wrong track. Shorter sentences, early release and ‘homely’ jails are not the way to cut re-offending rates.

Its one thing to accept European Directives on sentencing and prisons, which seem to work in most other European countries, but Britain has a unique situation where crime has long since spiralled out of control, and that requires harsher measures.

Fully Equipped Gym?

Ken Clark has been worried about the increasing cost of keeping criminals in prison, which with an 85,000 plus population is enormous, but there are better ways to save money, like getting rid of all the fancy frills enjoyed by prisoners, and make them work hard during their sentence. In the long term this is the best way of saving money, because if a prison sentence was feared by criminals they would have more incentive to ‘go straight’, and thereby the prison numbers would be significantly reduced within a few short years.

Current Prison Phones

News from a couple of weeks ago indicated there are plans to put phones in every prison cell in an effort to stop the smuggling of mobiles into prison. Now what sort of cock-eyed idea is that! At a time when money is tight some bright spark decided to lash out on phones in prisoners cells! To give all prisoners a phone just to stop the illegal use of mobiles is about as sane as giving thieves unlimited access to your property to prevent them stealing!!! Prisoners naturally prefer smuggled mobiles to the prison phone system because they cannot be monitored. Personally, I think a much cheaper and effective way of solving the mobile problem is for each prison to have its own jammer, and in that way no-one will be using a mobile while inside its walls.

While the Prison Service and the Ministry of Justice say that tight controls are necessary when allowing prisoners access to telephones, we all know that although intentions may be good, the system never works as it is supposed to and abuse and lax controls will eventually be the ‘norm’.

Prison Epidemic

Allowing criminals to have phones in prison is a dangerous game, because it means not only business as usual while ‘inside’, but also gives them the opportunity for stalking victims and threatening witnesses against them.

In my opinion, none of the measures I suggest are likely to be imposed because we have to deal with the Human Rights Lobby which is powerful in Britain, and these ‘holier than thou’ idiots will be up in arms at any such move. Well, that is until they themselves become a victim of crime and then they will change their tune. Perhaps a pompous HR follower would provide a burglar with tea and biscuits while he ransacked his/her home because the poor man is really deprived and misunderstood!!! Well, isn’t that the right approach for an HR dipstick???

Roy.

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