On being released from 2 years hard labour in Reading Gaol, standing there, a broken man, in the howling wind and rain, Oscar Wilde said " if this is how Her Majesty treats her prisoners, she doesn't deserve to have any " Not much has changed Oscar.
The yellow press in this country like nothing better than stirring up reactionary hysteria about all things to do with prison.
It's too soft, it's like a holiday camp, criminals are pampered etc. When compelling evidence to the contrary surfaces they always get away with their lies.
Just like the recent reports of 5 suicides in 1 year at Whitemoor Prison Camb. In addition between 80 and 90 suicides are taking place each year in the system not including Scotland, attempted suicides run to thousands.
Why do they do this ? is it because they can't get a good picture on their flat screen tele ? is it because their steak is tough ?
Or, is it more likely it's because our prisons are no better than human zoos where prisoners have no hope, a place where they come out worse than when they went in.
We send someone to prison who can't read, write or count and, years later we let them out still unable to read, write or count. If this was a business it would have been bankrupt a long time ago.
My personal experience of prison is that they are hellish places where prisoners are treated no better than animals. they are given no hope of rehabilitation because of a shortage of money to run the system properly.
This is a false economy because the rate of re-offending is costing a fortune, far more than rehabilitation would and, shamefully, our Govt. knows this.
That is why we are building more jails - a philosophy of despair under successive Governments, mine included, who have never had the courage to take on the reactionary elements in society.
Don't take my word, just look at the USA where punishment has become a religion, is it working ? well the USA is now the official world leader for numbers of people locked up and it's still rising, over 2.1 million, when will we ever learn ? This not a decent society and won't be until this obscenity is dealt with.