Monday, 8 February 2016

Prison Reform and why we should all embrace it

I was pleased to see the announcement by my government on prison reform.

I am one of the few people I know (even perhaps the only one!) that thinks prisoners should get the vote - with a caveat that they are being released within the term of that government. I have already published a blog post on this subject.

So this is from central government and concurs with my belief that no-one should be written off and everyone should be given another chance for their mistakes - to benefit them, their families, society as a whole, by reducing future victims, and the taxpayer.

The Prime Minister will today call for wholesale reform of the prison system – to cut reoffending, tackle our deepest social problems and extend life chances.
When prisons are closed off by high walls and barbed wire it can be easy to adopt an out of sight, out of mind attitude. We want this government to be different. When we say we will tackle our deepest social problems and extend life chances, we want there to be no no-go areas. That includes the 121 prisons in our country, where our social problems are most acute and people’s life chances are most absent.
 Our starting point is this: we need prisons. Some people belong in them – punishment is not a dirty word. But we need a prison system that doesn’t see prisoners as simply liabilities to be managed, but instead as potential assets to be harnessed. And the failure of our system today is scandalous. This failure really matters to the public purse, to victims, prison staff and prisoners themselves, who shouldn’t feel that society has totally given up them. So we will create six new ‘reform prisons’ this year, with full autonomy over how they operate and spend their budget. And the prison education system will also be completely transformed with full control being given to reform prison governors, while protecting the £130 million per year budget.
 We need wholesale reform and we can demonstrate that with the right reforms, we can make a lasting difference to people in our society.

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