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Our Prison System - It Beggars Belief

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Frank Report 28 Feb 2013 20:13

I almost became a prison office back in 1965. Glad I didn't, I passed all entrance exams., and was sent to Brixton Prison. No THANKS.

~~ Jules in Wiltshire~~

~~ Jules in Wiltshire~~ Report 27 Feb 2013 18:01

I have spoken to a few ex prisoners who have told me it's like a hotel!! And yes I have visited a few prisons myself...


Dermot Report 27 Feb 2013 17:29

A real snafus compensation.


RolloTheRed Report 27 Feb 2013 16:02


♥†۩ Carol   Paine ۩†♥

♥†۩ Carol Paine ۩†♥ Report 27 Feb 2013 15:32

Rollo may I suggest you qualify your statement:

Another massive and overdue reform is sorting out the staff of HMP. Far too many of them are nothing like the dopes portrayed in "Porridge" or even just nasty. They work with prison barons to make a lot of illegal and untaxed money from rackets such as mobile phones, "protection", sex slavery and most serious of all the endemic HMP drug problem.

I have an inside knowledge of life as part of a Prison Officers Family, yes it happens & is abhorred by the many. Any found doing so punished severely, they do not get an easy time on the other side of the bars.

The dedicated officers are obstructed by the constant shouting about prisoners rights.


RolloTheRed Report 27 Feb 2013 15:12

PigletsPal is right.

Those who believe all the piffle in the press that HMP provide some sort of holiday camp should pay a visit.

The primary punishment is loss of liberty.
The primary objective is rehabilitation not punishment - prison is expensive.

I wonder how much extra tax those who want a Victorian regime would be prepared to pay? The money is not spent on the prisoners but primarily on the prison staff and their pensions. That is why UKGov is trying to privatise the service.

In the ( not so distant past ) prisoners were indeed denied such things as television and contact with their families reduced to near zero. The lack of contact with family was a major reason for family break up and yet another big bill for social security. Maybe people think prisoner's families should live on the street.

HMP delighted ( and still does ) in such things as moving low security prisoners to places far beyond their family's reach and "lock down" where prisoners are in their cell 23 hours a day. Deliberately mixing incompatible ( by religion, race or sexual orientation ) people is another favorite.

The worst places of all are those for young offenders.

It is only by allowing prisoners something to do eg television, snooker, gym, newspaper, libraries that order can be maintained without prison riots or an expensive system of security which would in any case by illegal under both UK and European law.

IMHO ( and that of the Trade Unions ) is that the majority of prisoners should work in a normal 40 hours a week job according to their skills, learn skills if they do not have any. According to security risk they could work in the goal or outside returning in the evening / weekend. The TUC insist that such work should be at usual rates. In return the prisoners would pay tax, NI, rent and for their food. The Home Office and HMP have fought against such a reform tooth and nail.

A big bonus in such a reform is that the prisoner would then have both a NI contribution record and a work history. The former would make it much easier for a released prisoner to find accommodation and the means to survive and the latter would make getting a job much easier. Indeed he/she may just go on with a job that started as a prisoner. As a tax payer there would then be some logic in allowing the prisoner to vote.

Another massive and overdue reform is sorting out the staff of HMP. Far too many of them are nothing like the dopes portrayed in "Porridge" or even just nasty. They work with prison barons to make a lot of illegal and untaxed money from rackets such as mobile phones, "protection", sex slavery and most serious of all the endemic HMP drug problem. All of this is swept under the carpet regardless of the party in power. By and large any Home Secretary goes native within weeks of taking up the position.

However so long as the Daily Snail and such regard prisoners as objects for vengeance then any kind of reform which will actually benefit society as a whole will remain politically unattractive.

May I suggest that people think more than twice about posting rants on a subject of which they nothing except what they read in the tabloid press. Any one of these rants taken alone is nothing but the groundswell ensures that one of the worst aspects of modern Britain remains a hell hole whatever the Daily Mail may think.

Perhaps as more and more senior journalists, MPs, policemen and judges start to become HMP "customers" reforms may be tabled. More likely they will join the UK's own gulag of forgotten people.

I of course have "form". Here is one of my naughty ancestors who also thought that a prisoner remained a human being.


DazedConfused Report 27 Feb 2013 14:41

And if I went to stay in a hotel and the toilet was either a bucket to be slopped out in the morning or a toilet in the corner of the room with no privacy I would be complaining.

Snooker tables are often in the communal areas, however, the gym is not and most inmates will have to earn the privelege of using this.

I had a friend who was sent to Holloway and when I visited her the day after her commital it was horrible. The place smelled awful, she was shaking like a leaf, she was terrified that the other women would find out she was gay.. Yes, she had been a naughty girl and deserved punishment but a holiday camp.. I think not.

Prisons are not for punishment but for rehabilitation, sadly in most cases this just does not work. And not matter how harsh any prison is it will not deter a hardened criminal, just look at the prisons in the US which are full and in the states where they have the death penalty which proves that this also does not deter people.

~~ Jules in Wiltshire~~

~~ Jules in Wiltshire~~ Report 27 Feb 2013 12:28

You get good meals, tv's in your room, snooker tables, gym etc


SueMaid Report 27 Feb 2013 12:11

In what way are they like hotels? Just asking......

~~ Jules in Wiltshire~~

~~ Jules in Wiltshire~~ Report 27 Feb 2013 12:08

I think that is disgusting...I thought prisoners were in prison for punishment!! Prisons are more like hotels these days, no wonder some prisoners want to go back inside... :-S


SueMaid Report 27 Feb 2013 12:06

My point exactly SWW.


SheilaWestWilts Report 27 Feb 2013 12:04

Being in prison IS the punishment, what shall we do, maybe thumbscrews, water torture or the rack????

Even if the prison was the last word in luxury (and I'm damned sure they're not), nothing would make me consider it as anything but a prison.


RolloTheRed Report 27 Feb 2013 12:03


The US constitution forbids "cruel and unusual punishments".
Quite how this is squared up with locking people up for lifelong solitary confinement in a small metal cell (Colorado) or the kidnap ("renditions") and torture associated with Guantanamo I have no idea.

It is a bit much even for Teresa May.


RolloTheRed Report 27 Feb 2013 11:58


That is exactly what was tried in the C18 and C19. That is what is being tried in the USA. Only problem it is that it is expensive, did not and does not work.

Besides, even prisoners have relatives outside. With votes.

One of my ancestors owned a factory in the Midlands. During a C19 recession he decided to invest in a "gaming house" or what today would be called bingo. These were illegal at the time but tolerated with "bungs" to the local JPs. Something went wrong and the guy ended up with 6 months hard labour in his 50s. He died a few months later from the treatment handed out. Most of his relatives emigrated to New Zealand where today they run a successful large business. Another emigrated to the USA where they prospered too.

Only one stayed in the UK where he became a leading light in the Baptist movement. AFAIK the Baptists belong to the "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" persuasion.

I don't.


Guinevere Report 27 Feb 2013 11:45

Obviously not, the prisons in Arizona are full.


Dopeydoc Report 27 Feb 2013 11:38




SueMaid Report 27 Feb 2013 11:33

I think I value my freedom above a colour tv and any other 'luxury' everyone seems to think prisoners get. A prison is still a prison.


Frank Report 27 Feb 2013 11:20

Late last night I watch "America's toughest Prison" My have we a lot to leard.

The Sheriff of this Arazona state. Has 4,000 prisoners, both men and women. NO EXTRA'S what so ever. They are put in leg irons, and handcuffs, locked up 23 hours a day. They have part of the prison accomodation, outside under CANVAS. with only the BED. Inside Prisoners have an 8' by 6' cell. With concrets bed base, matress, toilet and wash basin. THAT'S YOUR LOT.

Are you watching Mr. Cameron.


Mayfield Report 26 Feb 2013 15:33

I'm tempted to write to my MP when these stories come up but I find banging my head against the wall is far more productive.

Seems to me the country as not just gone to the dogs but passed through and emerged the other end!



JoyBoroAngel Report 26 Feb 2013 15:30

i sometimes think the sick and old would be better looked after if they were in jail
its about time those mamby pamby prisoners got punished for been inside

not baby sat :-( :-(