13 Jun 2009

The Prison Policies need Overhauling NOW

The reclassification of prisoners, a diabolical move by Labour to adjust their targets on rehabilitation, has resulted in a number of disasters from riots to those convicted of serious offences casually walking out.

Following the riots in May the management of prisons has reduced to such a degree that even the treatment of that was "political" (as in answered no questions and made no sense).

In spite of Colin Moses, of the Prison Officers' Association, stating in May;

"We have seen a rise in violence, bullying and intimidation, all because people who do not appear suitable for category C prisons are being put through too early."

the Prison Service insisted that prisoners were not "wrongly downgraded" and this is true. By new prison classifications, they are not wrongly downgraded. This stinks of 'but it was within the rules' ideals of politicians and identifies how some people cannot see the wood for the trees. Of course, Prisons Minister David Hanlon rejects claims that the downgrading is incorrect in true political style.

I can not be the only person to spot the illogical and irrational nature of this matter. Of course it is dangerous to put murderers in open prisons less than a third into their sentence. Quite simply; the reclassification of prisoners has allowed a concatenation of events that has resulted in the most recent escape of murderers on life sentences walking out of an open prison.

The latest in this series of aberrations seems to underline the need for policy review. It is situations like this that allow right wing fascist parties to steal middle class votes when people are fearful of crime and fearful that criminals are not being punished.

There is a reason crimes are broken into summary, triable-either-way and serious. The government needs to act accordingly before we descend into the anarchy that is seen in American prisons where gang violence and drug smuggling are common place. There must be a better way to categorise prisoners and rehabilitate them. Making the security more lax on serious offenders is not only irresponsible but downright dangerous.

As a final point, why did they walk out on Sunday 7 June and it was only reported today? Hazel Blear's whinging yesterday was a waste of news space in itself yesterday, but apparently far more news worthy?

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