Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Go to jail

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke launched an attack on the "Victorian bang 'em up" prison culture of the past 20 years.

He warned that simply "banging up more and more people for longer" makes some criminals worse and does not protect the public.

"In our worst prisons, it produces tougher criminals," he said "Many a man has gone into prison without a drug problem and come out drug dependent. And petty prisoners can meet up with some new hardened criminal friends." It now costs more to put someone in prison – £38,000 – than it does to send a boy to Eton.

He has a point even though he has not explained it very well. The prison system we have now does not 'work'. It also expensive.

The prisons must be made drug free, even if that entails some initial extra cost. The benefit will be less addicts on the street

The prison regime must be tougher. The first function of prison is to punish. It should not be like a holiday camp. The prisoners should also be taught basic job skills and basic reading writing and arithmetic. The first part of a sentence should be punishment and the second part rehabilitation.

One good way of cutting the prison population is to make it less of a doddle.


  1. Can't agree with Clarke on this one. (Doesn't surprise me though, as when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was so rude to those of us who put him in power, that I swore I'd never vote Tory again!)
    I agree with Gadget; When a person is in prison, he cannot rape/steal/murder, etc.

  2. I agree with that too. But if the regime was tougher, there might be less 'volunteers'.
    To misquote the TV comedy 'Porridge', a lot of criminals treat prison as an occupational hazard. There is no fear of it.
    ..and no surprise that Moat the Northumbria killer only served half his sentence....

  3. "There is no fear of it."

    Do you know of any prison reform groups who are pushing in the right direction? The ones who always appear in the media have progressive agendas and want to make prisons into day-care facilities, where you go in for GBH and come out with a Sociology degree to explain why you really weren't to blame for your crimes.

    These groups then bleat "prison doesn't work" when (surprise, surprise) inmates reoffend in ever greater numbers. ...But then I believe the unstated aim of the prison reform lobby is to knobble the penal system to ensure that the general public comes to believe that prison will never work, since in their heart of hearts they want the ultimate prison reform --- no more prisons.