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We'll talk about prisons tonight

Eddie Mair | 13:59 UK time, Wednesday, 5 December 2007

in the light of this report.

Comments

  1. At 02:38 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    64 pages. That should keep you busy, if you can remember anything by the time you come to discuss it...

  2. At 04:35 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Fifi wrote:

    In any organisation where serious change is needed, the very best people to go to for ideas are the 'whingers'. They whinge because they know things could be better and they care; it comes across as whingeing because nobody listens to them.

    I didn't see anything in this report that suggests prison staff or managers had significant input into the analysis or recommendations. Governors maybe were - but front line staff are effectively being blamed for being 'costly and inflexible'.

    Expect industrial action as soon as anyone tries to implement this otherwise excellent looking report.

    (Vyle [1] I confess I didn't read all the Appendices!)

    Fifi

  3. At 04:36 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Fifi wrote:

    In any organisation where serious change is needed, the very best people to go to for ideas are the 'whingers'. They whinge because they know things could be better and they care; it comes across as whingeing because nobody listens to them.

    I didn't see anything in this report that suggests prison staff or managers had significant input into the analysis or recommendations. Governors maybe were - but front line staff are effectively being blamed for being 'costly and inflexible'.

    Expect industrial action as soon as anyone tries to implement this otherwise excellent looking report.

    (Vyle [1] I confess I didn't read all the Appendices!)

    Fifi

    ....PS I didn't see anything about rehabilitation either. The single best way to prevent re-offending? You MUST have heard of it!

  4. At 05:30 PM on 05 Dec 2007, GrumbleRog wrote:

    There may be more to Jack Straw's announcement about 3 new Super Prisons than you think.
    I got a letter from my local Labour Party today saying that as a prominent donor I could by making an additional donation of just £100k secure my own cell with a view, shower alone and ensure regular access rights from my family.
    I wonder if the Super Prisons will go the way of the Super Casino?

  5. At 08:51 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Gillian wrote:

    Some of you will know that my daughter has been to court recently, as a witness/victim of theft.
    Fifi's comment (3) has prompted me to let you know that the 16-year-old thief/handler of stolen goods was ''dealt with'' on Friday. He has been given a £60 fine, put on a curfew, and has to do 2 years of Community Rehabilitation. I had to ask what this was and was told that he would have to report to a Probation Officer at set times and have what sounds to me like counselling - he will have to analyse his behaviour and its effects on other people, and try to change his ways.
    If he doesn't meet the requirements of the Probation Officer he will be sent to Court again and have his case re-examined.
    In theory, it sounds like a better option than sending him away for punishment, but only time will tell if it has the right effect on him.
    On the same day as all this was being determined, my son was giving a witness statement to the police after one of his 17-year-old friends was accused of raping a 15-year-old girl.
    I am feeling rather over-whelmed at the moment!

  6. At 08:59 PM on 05 Dec 2007, madmary wrote:

    I got a 502. So I'll try again.

    Can somebody enquire as to Lord Carter's qualifications for all these reviews he is doing of the Criiminal Justice System and how much money he gets paid for them.

    He has all but ruined Criminal Legal Aid.

    Can PM see if there is a story here. I'm not a conspiracy theorist (apart from the entertainment value) but he must be getting a packet for all these reports.

    He spoke at a conference I was at last year and frankly he was clueless.

    Mary

  7. At 10:08 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Mary (6) : Please re-post this on the iPM blog. This is the perfect story for them, and as it came from the PM blog......

    Go for it! Drivetime Saturday coverage on R4 for a really worthwhile story.....!

    Fifi

  8. At 11:56 PM on 05 Dec 2007, madmary wrote:

    "The increased prison population of the past decade is a result of a concerted and successful effort to catch, convict and detain for longer periods the most dangerous and serious offenders."

    This is as ffar as I read, but already I am suspicious. The word successful prejudges the issues immediately.

    Further on The World at One, former Home Sec. Blunkett stated that the overcrowding was not due to incacerating the most dangerous and serious offenders, due in part to the fact that the law on IPPs was too recent to have that statistical effect.

    So Lord Carter once again proves that he is buttering up to the Lsbour Government without actually having any abilities in research or statistics or the law or criminal justice system.

    Fifi I note your point, but this isn't about the internet, this is about a scandal about commissioning reports and having those report back doing so from a position of partiality. This should be on the mainstream news.

    Mary

  9. At 10:57 AM on 06 Dec 2007, Sid Cumberland wrote:

    The Carter report says: "The public and government are thus faced with the choice as to whether to increase continually the sums of public expenditure devoted to imprisonment or better to plan for, manage and use custody in a way that not only ensures the protection of the public and the punishment of offenders but also the reduction of re-offending."

    Looks like Jack Straw has opted for spending billions of tax-payers' money on bricks and mortar in preference to education and care. How depressing. Unfortunately, this is likely to be an area of macho posturing between Labour and the Tories, so there's little prospect of common sense getting a look in.

    I know I'm only one tax-payer, but may I just register my vote for better education? Spend those billions in our schools and colleges, and we won't need the giant prisons.

    Sid

  10. At 12:50 PM on 06 Dec 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    I would like to know how many of the people in prisons are there for what I would call inappropriate reasons, that is, non-payment of TV licences (a standard cliche but still a good one) or other crimes of a sort that don't pose a risk to other people, only to organisations, before I decided to build more prisons and put yet more people into them. We already have a very high prison population, higher per head of population than it has ever been and higher than the rest of Europe, I think we were told, (and I don't think the figures include the unsuccessful asylum seekers, who would add another few thousand to the total), and the people who are chosen for early release under the recent panic-measures seem to have been somewhat recidivist; why not start at the other end and not put the lesser offenders into the establishments in the first place? Then the cell they would have been in would be free for someone who *was* a danger to other people.

    If we aren't even going to try to rehabilitate the inmates, which is what it looks like, then that makes putting people into them even more like something that oiught to be an absolutely last resort rather than a convenient but perhaps inappropriate way of sentencing minor offenders.

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