Dear Mr. Grayling,
This week you have said that you want to make it harder for prisoners to earn privileges and that they should wear uniforms for the first two weeks of their sentence. This is our response.
The focus of prisons should be preventing reoffending. Are you personally confident in the rehabilitation systems that are implemented in prisons today?
In their first two weeks prisoners are at their most vulnerable and most likely to self-harm and commit suicide. Having them wear a uniform sounds to us like you’re trying to de-humanise these people and make them stand out more which is making them targets; it’s like painting a bull’s eye on them.
What about the families? Having no contact in the early stages of prison life could be devastating to the families as much as the prisoners. Contact with family and friends could be crucial at a time when suicide and self-harm are such a risk.
What about the families. Isn’t this punishing their children as well?
It is common knowledge that bullying takes place in prisons for reasons such as gang affiliation, the drug trade and so on. These new inmates would be like lambs to the slaughter and easy to identify.
We feel TV is a luxury. But aren’t they really used to keep prisoners busy? Let’s be honest. We think there are other ways to productively stimulate inmates. What about time spent in cells for reflection.
We think the procedures ought to be made clearer to avoid sensationalising the issue and to make sure the general public have the facts.
What we feel should take place in prisons is such things as educational and vocational training, work readiness, training for jobs, CV work, personal skills development, trades training and also finding inmates work placements for when they’re leaving.
To us, your changes seem a little half-baked but slightly barbaric. What trials have there been to see that this would work? Where are the facts to back up this proposal?
We’d love to hear from you,
Courtesy of Urban Wisdom