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Comments

Esbonio

This story is literally incredible and is proof positive of the evil effect of cutural Marxism run rampant in public services.

TomTom

Maybe The Prison Service should issue ID Cards and ask them to check out when vacating their rooms

Mark Wadsworth

Why is it incredible? Nothing surprises me any more.

They don't know how many illegal immigrants there are, they don't know how many people are working at the Home Office and they certainly don't know how many illegal immigrants are working at the Home Office.

At the end of last year, there were stories in the news saying "Oops! Our prisons are full!". Given that the prison population has been steadily rising for a decade (heaven knows whom they lock up, it certainly isn't murderers or rapists) this is like ... well, words fail me.

But so what? What is the moral difference between releasing murderers and rapists after a "life sentence" of ten years (to kill and rape again) and just letting them abscond anyway?

I thought we had 100 Policies saying a) double the number of prison places and b) make convicts serve a full sentence. Seems like a good place to start.

Annabel Herriott

Yes Mark, like I have posted a few times. We need to build 2 sorts of prison when we get back in.
1. For the bad people.
2. For the sad people. mentally ill, drug addicted etc.

jailhouselawyer

I must say that I am somewhat surprised that my old friend Phil Wheatley, Director General of the Prison Service, made the following comment:"We don't need to have a central record of people who abscond from category D prisons". Especially, as I know for a fact that every prisoner is accounted for in every prison, and that this information is supplied to Offender Management within Prison Service HQ. When a prisoner is discharged, escapes or absconds, as the case may be, this is recorded as "one off" the roll. The subtractions are added up, then this figure shows the total amount separate from the remaining in custody total. I am almost totally innumerate, however, I do guard the guards and am aware how they operate and how the system operates. This is not the "numbers game", the figures add up, what we are seeing here is prison politics.

Usually, it is the Prison Officer's Association (POA) playing silly buggers. This time it is the National Association of Probation Officers (NAPO) who are playing silly buggers. The story is a non story. The real story is the story behind it all. The Home Office has decided to cut the numbers of probation officers from the public sector, and replace these with some from the private sector.

This is one of those headlines that say one thing and when you read the story something else emerges instead. In this case, it is not the text which provides the meat but reading between the lines provides a feast.

ebonio @ 4.48: Actually, prisoners have already been issued with ID cards, they use them when they visit the prison shop to prevent fraud.

Patsy Sergeant

Mark @ 4.22pm - You've got it on the nose with the whole of your post, and actually one can tie this thread up with recruitment to the armed forces falling so much more than in the past! This appalling government appears to care more for the 'Uman Rights of murderers and serial rapists, than in providing the armed forces with the weapons that they need (or at least ones that work) and the necessary kit, curtesy of moneybags Brown releasing some.

I wonder if this government - Reid I suppose, would have the same laissez faire attitude to escaped murderers if it happened in Scotland?

michael mcgough

Why worry about leaving the gates of the prisons open when the stable door that is our border has been ripped down by the EU.Now,remind me,what was the leaked government estimate of criminals to ARRIVE from the latest two EU accession countries--------45k!

HF

The thing to dig into is the fact that the category of prisoners being sent to Open Prisons has actually increased due to over crowding. Of course they are probably down graded to D just to get them in.

Yet Another Anon

Abolish Open Prisons and Abolish Parole, reduce the size of cells - I'm sure far more people could be fitted in the jails, charge prisoners for any power used as well and for meals and board - they don't pay their bills they get their power turned off and their food stopped, arm prison guards with orders to shoot to kill anyone trying to escape. Capital Punishment needs to be brought back too and all prisoners should be held in solitary confinement - sentences should all be mandatory and there should be a board to decide when if ever prisoners should be released having completed their sentences - there should be no right to release at the end of a sentence (ie all custodial sentences would be the least that someone would serve - someone serving 30 days could spend years in jail if it was not felt appropriate to release them), in addition I would like to see the building of island prisons and the ending of prison visits, if the inmates riot then it is simple - kill them.

jailhouselawyer

Yet Another Anon: Have you forgotten they should wear yeollow stars on their clothes, and be made to take showers, etc, etc. No wonder the Tories are in opposition!

Yet Another Anon

I don't think you can contrast a tough penal policy with the ethnic cleansing that the Nazi's undertook - the General Public are far more bothered about the fact that dangerous criminals might be running around and that in prison they get far too generous conditions.

If anything the Conservative Party have lost support from not at least living up to their own rhetoric, both main parties promise getting tough on crime and in the end both in recent decades have been Ultra-Liberal in practice. If a Conservative leader was to stand up and said that they were going to lead a crusade on crime and were to lay down a number of legislative changes to introduce far tougher police and prison regimes and restore Capital Punishment and Corporal Punishment and take action neccessary to introduce this including withdrawing from various international bodies then they would gain the votes of a lot of people who have become dissillusioned with the system.

jailhouselawyer

Yet Another Anon: Which century are you living in? Its not a fact that dangerous criminals might be running around. Who has judged them as dangerous? The Red Tops. What do they know? Who has judged that prisoners get far too generous conditions? Again, The Red Tops. The idea is to go forward not backward.

Yet Another Anon

Pool rooms, televisions in cells, prisoners allowed to watch porn in some cases on DVD, they have sufficent liberty it appears to be able to pass drugs around in prison, there have been a number of cases of serious offenders being sent to Open Prisons in recent years:
The following news item is only one of many - BBC News certainly is not a red top:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/south_east/5331906.stm

Murderers and paedophiles in Open Prisons, the whole point about prison is that they are there to be punished, so even minor criminals should not be being allowed to run around freely.

Doesn't really make any difference which century it is, there have been advances in things such as forensic science over a number of years and obviously that is a difference, as to how strict prison conditions are and what punishments are applied this is a matter of what is considered the right thing to do. I don't actually read the red tops, I am of course aware of many of the campaigns they have

Yet Another Anon

And more recently - murderers absconding from Open Prison, normally people who have murdered people are considered dangerously:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6167802.stm

jailhouselawyer

To my knowledge prisoners have been playing pool and snooker since the 1960s. Its part of association. Television in cells since the 1990s, which prisoners pay for from their weekly pocket money. The Prison Service does not see this as a luxury but as a control mechanism. Those in prison must be 18 or over, in which case they are entitled to watch films which have an 18 or restricted 18 certificate, however hardcore is banned. Contraband does get smuggled into prison, the drug problem is no worse than it is on the streets. Serious offenders will go to open prison as part of a staged release programme, there is, generally speaking, no lock em up and throw away the key policy. Nor do I think that it is humane to have one, except in the rare cases of those serving natural life sentences.

You are wrong about the whole point about prison is that prisoners are there to be punished. The punishment is the sentence of the court to deprivation of liberty. No more, no less. In other words, they are there as punishment and not for punishment.

It does make a difference which century it is, your thinking is how it used to be in the 19th century. We are now in the 21st century. The right thing is to treat prisoners with humanity.

Yet Another Anon

The punishment is the sentence of the court to deprivation of liberty.
Some people enjoy not having the responsibility of having to procure their own food, furniture etc...., not having the responsibility of paying bills. It won't be a punishment for all, this notion that the sole punishment should be loss of liberty that is chanted as a sort of mantra is a very recent one - there is no logical reason why it should be so, I think that the more serious the offence the more severe the punishment should be - this is only fair. I believe that some people are genuinely evil, I also have no faith in human beings in being able to decide sentencing in individual cases somehow sorting the merely weak willed or insane from the outright wicked, I think having a system which specifies in detail the sentence based on the particular crime with no discretion in sentencing is far and away the best way of dealing with things, any mercy or insanity pleas and people take advantage of them - a bit of play acting and they get lighter sentences, get told it wasn't really their fault and that they just need rehabilitating and that really it is society's fault. In many cases problems with society will have contributed to the problems, but these have to be dealt with seperately at the point at which there is the problem.

Denis Cooper

"... the drug problem is no worse than it is on the streets." That's OK then!

TomTom

Abolish Open Prisons and Abolish Parole

Don't be daft. You need open prisons to acclimatise those approaching release to the world outside, and professionals would hope to go there if ever convicted of insider-dealing (fat chance in UK) or white-collar crime.

jailhouselawyer

Yet Another Anon: That punishment is the sentence of the court to deprivation of liberty, is a principle that the ECtHR has stipulated in several cases. I believe it emerged in 1953 from a former Prison Commissioner Alexander Patterson. In many ways life outside prison is tougher than life in prison, responsibility is one of those areas. It is a shame that the Prison Service operates a regime where we take away all responsibility from prisoners, when we want them to be responsible. This requires regime change. Unfortunately, some escape to prison to avoid a life with responsibilities. It should not be a shelter for such unfortunates, this is not what the system was designed for. These people are a burden on this system, they would be better catered for with the Social Services.

The courts do by and large give more severe sentences the more serious the crime. Gladstone in 1893 suggested that individual treatment programmes should be employed. I think this is right because one size does not fit all.

Denis Cooper: No its not ok, I did not say that it was, only that prison is a microcosm of society at large. They both have their drug problem. In prison it used to be that drugs were used by the authorities to control certain prisoners, but because of financial restraints, in effect, the authorities have privatised it and allow the drug barons to operate this element of control.

Tom Tom: You have hit the nail on the head.

Yet Another Anon

>>>is a principle that the ECtHR has stipulated in several cases>>The courts do by and large give more severe sentences the more serious the crime.<<<
They can vary the length of the sentence, there is very little they can do with regard to actual conditions that prisoners are held under and punishments administered - I rather envisage a system of varying punishments administered with certain numbers of points for different types of crimes and punishments given out by courts based on a mandatory dictat based on numbers of points and types of offences, the more severe the offences and the more chronic or prolific the offender the more the offender should suffer, Capital Punishment also would reduce the number of prisoners and so would free more spaces for less serious offenders to be detained.

Yet Another Anon

Oops, something went wrong there, I seemed to have lost most of the first part of the message I posted - I actually went on to say after the first bit I put in brackets that I and many others do not think that the UK should be a member of the ECtHR and that indeed leaving it and some other bodies is a neccessary pre-requisite for reintroducing Capital Punishment.

Denis Cooper

Yep, I don't accept an appeal to decisions of the ECHR as a valid argument. What do they know? They don't even live in this country, and they don't have to suffer the consequences when their (often crackpot) decisions are applied here. We do. But unlike YAA I wouldn't hang so many criminals that their absence would by itself have a noticeable effect on the prison population. Maybe a dozen of the worst murderers each year, and many of the others given whole life sentences, and all other penalties scaled up in line with that. By acting as a deterrent that would have an indirect effect on the numbers of criminals, but more importantly on the numbers of crimes and therefore victims of crime.

ToMtom

I and many others do not think that the UK should be a member of the ECtHR and

How funny - it was British Lawyers who drew up the European Convention which goes alongside the European Council.

All British Cases go into Section IV which is headed by a British Judge.

On the other hand Britain has no rights enshrined in a Constitution which is why Christians are persecuted at Universities where once only Anglicans were allowed to attend.

It is a strange feature that allowing non-Anglicans to enter British Universities has led them to persecute those who limit membership of Christian organisations to Christians - and yet the House of Commons provides no protections in law

Denis Cooper

Yes, TomTom, it was British lawyers who drew up the European Convention, and very fine it is too as a general statement of principles. It's the case law built up by half a century of judicial activism at the ECHR that's the problem.

Which is why I was arguing the other day that the UK should send a letter to the Council of Europe saying that we will seek to abide by the general principles in the new Convention on people trafficking, but we cannot allow the ECHR or any other foreign court to pronounce upon our actions in that regard, and so we will not be formally ratifying the Convention.

Denis Cooper

I should have said "was", in its original form, without the Protocols which have since been added without the slightest public debate in this country.

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