Thursday, February 01, 2007

DOING TIME

The most depressing place in the world is a prison, I visit Barlinnie as part of my duties as a councillor and, every time I go there I come away depressed, I think of why some of these guys are inside and, believe me some of the reasons are pretty awful. I am then forced to look at their lives and the utter degradation and despair which surrounds them and I can't help being sympathetic, it's a wretched business for all concerned firstly the victims and their loved ones and also the prisoner and his loved ones. Our system is far too concerned with punishment and not enough with rehabilitation that's why the prison door is a revolving one for too many re-offenders, this has too change. It's too soft I hear the reactionaries yell, well, they should check the suicide and attempted suicide rates. here's a question for the hangers and floggers how much does our civilized society spend to feed a prisoner each day ? £10 - £5 - £2 ? well would you believe it's £1. 57p ( this is since 19 97 ) yes, breakfast, lunch, dinner & tea for £1. 57p, luxury eh? There is by far an even bigger scandal in our prisons, a recent Guardian Newspaper investigation revealed that 80% of prisoners in the UK have two or more mental health problems, the vast majority are not being dealt with, in Scotland that's approx. 5,600 out of 7,000 being locked up, many for 23 out of 24 hrs. how must someone who is vulnerable through mental health issues feel after 24 hrs. staring at the wall? this is cruel and indecent. This folks is your modern capitalist society, over the pond the USA is incarcerating a record 2 million plus, with 30 % of the US population black and 80% of prisoners on death row also black, yes, read it again, the figures are right, what's that song again ' home of the brave and land of the free' Who said the free market doesn't work ? you want a sound investment? buy shares in any company which is building prisons, a real growth industry. Visit the prisoner said the lord !

40 comments:

RightForScotland said...

£1.57? Economies of scale. If you spent more per prisoner would their quality of life improve? The doubling of NHS spending has not doubled the quality of care or the halving of HAI so why would spending more result in better meals?

Also, half that figure and you have what the Royal Navy spends on Rating mess costs while embarked. Half it again and you have what a school spends on a child's lunch. You are a champion of the elimination of comparative poverty so would you care to comment?

You are right about re-offending rates but let me throw that one back over to you. If the prisoner is inside then he is not victimising society. Therefor a vital part of "social justice" is to keep prisoners locked up for longer to allow communities to thrive in their absence. Discuss.

What your post indicates is the central fallacy in the socialist mindset when it comes to crime. To you, as clearly set out in your post when you ranted off about capitalism, the criminal is the victim of society. To me and the more sensible people in the country society is the victim of the criminal.

As a last point, seen as you brought money into it. Did you know that crime costs every household in the country £3000 every year in extra insurance costs? Yet studies have shown that to double the prison population and build proper accomodation will cost the same household only £500 in increased taxation.

As that is clearly a net gain to the household of £2500 then is something worth striving for. Particularly for your "working poor" that you want to help so much and who are statistically more likely to be the victim of crime (and then not afford the insurance premiums).

Just a thought.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

RFS - I thought you had given up.
Q1/ Yes, education, training, health, preparing for release etc
Q2/ Silly to think Doubling NHS spending would double quality of care or halve Health Care Associated Infection but buying fresh food rather than tins and packets? well possibly.
Q3/ Your superior knowledge of the navy does'nt surprise me sailor. Here in Renfrewshire we spend over £2 on a secondary school dinner, the prison spends £1.57p for all of an adult 's food needs for the whole day. I warned you before about damned lies and statistics - don't go there, please,I can feel the boredom already.
Q4/ A more enlightened attitude to sentencing and rehabilitation would benefit all of society. You discuss.
Q5/ Capitalism creates criminals, mainly among those who lose out in the rat race, we have no alternative under this corupt system than to jail more and more. I see you are back in super boy mode 'you and the more sensible people'
Q6/ back on the stats eh, we can all do these kind of tricks but they don't really help a proper debate it sounds like hiding, you don't seem able to argue about the rights and wrongs of the system without a calculator.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

you seem to have missed out the bit about the treatment of prisoners with mental health problems.
Oh, and you also seem to have missed the bit about the profile of those in the system run by the great American Capitalist society.

JorJay said...

I agree one certain terms but feel that a lot of the prisoners do have an easy time of it.
I have had family and friends who have served time under HM pleasure the whole system needs a shake up agreed but a lot of them reoffend even after rehabilitation.
The food issue is a concern but I worked in a care home for the elderly which had many ex service men and they too had a budget of under £2 and the fought for the queen and country do they deserve to be treated like that???
I can say from experience the cooks in the care home managed really well on the budget and they did get a few little bonuses because the buy in bulk and keep the menu to a minimum they manage to work around the budget.
School meals make a profit on the food they are served which helps towards the following years school budget so lets not try to compare schools and prisons they are very different.
I am very strong minded about a lot of the prisoner in out jails
I feel they should not have a lot of the facilties they do have the recreational items they have is a luxury many law abiding citizens cannot afford.
Also the recent project for the druggies if the stay clean they get a KFC I mean come on, if they weren't in jail what would they choose??.
I think it needs a huge overhaul but don't think using the softly softly approach is going to help either.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

jorjay - the system does indeed need a shake up the re- offending rates are horrendous, that's because we as a society are obsessed with punishment and very little is done to prepare for release hence the quick return to jail. Ex servicemen have my complete sympathy, they are told by the state that they are heroes and then dumped when they are no longer of use, it's our wonderful capitalist way, so what's new? School meals here are subsidised, they don't make a profit. I don't agree about prisoners having luxuries, I've been in many jails and they are hellish places, that's why they have so many suicides. My approach, education, training etc can restore dignity to a prisoner and make him a decent member of society, I say that's a better way and it's no easy option for the prisoner, believe me. We agree though the present system is a disgrace, and must change.

RightForScotland said...

It is not unreasonable to think that if I am spending twice as much on something then is should be twice as good. You have just made the point about public spending and why increasing the amount spent will not simply lead to an increase in quality of life. Equally my original point was that under the economies of scale the 1.57 is not as small as it appears.

"Your superior knowledge of the navy does'nt surprise me sailor" (sic)

Quite a fruity remark from someone so against homophobia. Or are the gay jokes only right when directed towards those who serve the Crown? In the UK on average 57p per meal is what we spend on school children. I am glad that secondary pupils in Renfrewshire are getting 4 times that amount I only hope the primary kids are on the same.

OK, so what is this enlightened attitude to sentencing then? I have given you my thoughts, lets hear your proposal. Simply puting that out there is not debate. Lets hear your proposals so your electorate can decide if they like your plans.

Capitalism does not create criminals. I understand that Socialist dogma would like us accept that we all start out sweetness and light but that is not only wrong but disproved by thousands of years of history pre-dating politics as we know it. I mean just look at slavery in Africa, the white man was just another punter to the black tribes selling each other into slavery and they were untouched by any modern theory.

No, the stats I use illustrate why my position is right. It costs the law abiding more to have criminals released early or have them placed on community orders. This clearly victimises society and therefore doubling of the prison populating would not only be the socially just thing to do but the most cost effective for those on low incomes.

Am I never give up. I just cannot type as much when I am laughing so hard.

Devil's Kitchen said...

One would have thought that being in jail was bad enough without having to suffer regular visits from Terry Kelly, eh?

No wonder the suicide rates are so high...

DK

Tenement Tory said...

Kill half the bastards, and let the other half of the scum eat their carcasses. Not Conservative Party policy now, not ever, never will be.... but if you had to live among these cretins Terry Kelly you'd support the same.

James said...

I have a great idea for reducing the prison population. For those who commit small scale antisocial crime, such as yobbery and general hooliganism, let's bring back the stocks.

There's nothing like public humiliation to make a person think twice about their actions in the future, plus it'll be great fun to give certain chav scum a taste of their own medicine.

Guess that's the difference between you and I. I think a person is responsible for his/her actions. You would not appear to concur. Let us remember why people go to jail in the first place..............

James said...

Quick response to this post. Have a look at this link:

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article1219484.ece

In a nutshell, the Labour Government has created over 3000 new criminal offences since it came to power.

Anonymous said...

Well Cllr Kelly you have not equated the costs of the legal profession. Do you know about the legal aid scam whereby Lawyers get paid for replying to each letter sent to them by prisoners . Please write me and we'll split the proceeds please do all to prolong my services and we'll split the proceeds. Everyone is entitled to a proper defense but the system needs to be reformed too many fat cats profiting on the misfortune of others. It takes a brave man to take on the legal profession - are u up to the challenge? Witness the how the tables were turned on John Reid by the establishment.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

RFS - are you trying to bore me into submission? if an improved diet helps quality of life well. Hello sailor was a ref. to your self confessed liking for pornography, what are you saying about the forces? on sentencing, you have given me your thoughts " lock up more and for longer" and you accuse me avoiding debate OK then, lock up less and for shorter terms, a great debate eh? Capitalism does create criminals Al Capone and Mark Thatcher were not socialists. your slavery ref. is pathetic. Prison long ago ceased being just the choices are tough but the right wing won't take them, they prefer to play on fear and talk tough for votes.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

RFS - still nothing about the mental health of prisoners.

nothing about the profile of the USA prison population.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

devil's kitchen - thank you for that the more who read it the better - perhaps they (prisoners)should be forced to read your blog, now that would land us in the court of human rights in jig time - yah boo !

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

tenement tory - on doing time - that money spent on your finishing school was wasted.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

james said - having read this I think that you have just eloquently proved that everyone is not always responsible for their own actions.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

james said 'quick response' - are you saying this is good or bad - good because it gives you the chance to inflict more pain on someone? or bad because you don't want to see people criminalised ? you seem a bit confused.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

anon - on costs - It's too late in the day for me to try to decypher this gobbledegook - please try again.

Anonymous said...

Al Capone and Mark Thatcher were not socialists

Robert Maxwell was, and was also a Labour MP...

Does this mean that socialists only do it on a very larg scale?

Tenement Tory said...

Money spent on my finishing school was wasted? And what the f**k are you, aside from being a hot-air machine? A ScotRail Academy dropout?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

Tenement Tory - keep it coming - you're priceless.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

anonymous coward re. al capone etc. Here is a motto for capitalists, stolen from your great hero Arthur Daly "remember Terence hitting old ladies over the head with a half brick is a crime, everything else is just business"

Shotgun said...

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

anonymous coward re. al capone etc. Here is a motto for capitalists, stolen from your great hero Arthur Daly "remember Terence hitting old ladies over the head with a half brick is a crime, everything else is just business"


As usual when found wanting in your debate you revert to spouting drivel.

So you don't want to comment on the fact that probably the most celibrated thief in history who stole peoples pensions was a socialist and Labour MP?

Sad man...eventually you have to face up to your own failings, and that of your failed and discredited ideology.

RightForScotland said...

I knew you would fixate on the porno thing. You old reds are all the same, sponges.

Any time you want a proper debate (I find your word verification so off putting) then you know what to do. Simple email. I will even book the hall and arrange publicity.

On you go, you know it makes sense.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

RFS - back to posturing eh, talking tough, I suppose my unanswered questions have had it then? OK with the porno thing, I'll drop it if it makes you that uncomfortable. I thought mistakenly, that your willingness to brag openly about it would mean you wouldn't mind the joke. I know enough about you now to know that I would no more share a platform with you than I would with Nick Griffen.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

shotgun anon - coward - I know I'll get stick for this but I can't be bothered with you. some stuff just isn't worth bothering about.

Shotgun said...

Socialist to the core....I agree. When you have lost an argument, you just ignore the bits that are oh so inconvenient.

A pity because we could have had some fun debating.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

shotgun - You flatter yourself, I doubt anyone would enjoy debating you. I think what you really need is a big mirror to posture in front of. If you regard my failure to respond to your rhetorical question about the bouncing czeck Bob Maxwell as a big sin, well, should I bother with you if that's your level.

Shotgun said...

shotgun - You flatter yourself, I doubt anyone would enjoy debating you. I think what you really need is a big mirror to posture in front of. If you regard my failure to respond to your rhetorical question about the bouncing czeck Bob Maxwell as a big sin, well, should I bother with you if that's your level.

What rhetoric is that?

Robert Maxwell was a socialist and a Labour MP, and is now one of the most celebrated and notorious thieves in British history having stolen £500million from pensioners.

Now if we are talking about thieves, as you were, and giving them ideologies as a part of thier profile...wouldn't Robert Maxwell count? Or do you just ignore the ones who don't fit in with your ideas and ideology?

This isn't posturing; if you must spout off be prepared to be challenged.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

shotgun - read this one again also, try really hard etc, if you want my opinion of captain Bob, you might find my reference to him as the bouncing Czeck - If you are going to continue to comment I'll clearly have to make allowances for you. Bob was a Labour MP and a war hero to boot (a military man like yourself) but not a socialist.

RightForScotland said...

The porno reference is not uncomfortable, I just knew that if I threw it in you would latch onto it seen as how I don't identify a party. And you did because you are Old Labour and very predictable with it. You can beat me with it if you want, it only make you look bad.

And I would not really want to share a platform with leftie troll Nick Griffin either, just you. Simple debate where you don't control the censor button and where you would have to answer the questions instead of throwing about baseless personal attacks.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

RFS - You seem to have a real problem admitting when you have blundered as with the porno thing, you put it there deliberately to trap me eh ? I'm happy to let others decide about that, don't worry, if your that insecure about it consider it dropped.
I'm also happy to let others read your 2nd. para. was your lip quivering when you wrote it ?

Shotgun said...

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

shotgun - read this one again also, try really hard etc, if you want my opinion of captain Bob, you might find my reference to him as the bouncing Czeck


By any standard that is blatant racism and nothing less.

- If you are going to continue to comment I'll clearly have to make allowances for you. Bob was a Labour MP and a war hero to boot (a military man like yourself) but not a socialist.

I think you will find he was a socialist, and his war hero status was in a lot of doubt as it was mired in controversy and he was generally considered to be psycopath who stayed lucky. His big freinds at the time of the 70's/80's were most of the Eastern European despots and commies....so he would fit in well with the traditional and real Labour socialists of the period.

So doesn't he count then?

RightForScotland said...

Lookup what a "419 scam bait" is and think about "off script"

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

If calling Big Bob 'the bouncing czeck' is racism then there are an awful lot of racists around. The old crook loved the sobriquet, he revelled in it, you fool.
'His war hero status was in doubt' well he's in a big club then, many of them on our side. Have you for instance, any idea what Douglas Baader was really like ? Earl Haig ? etc.
'Maxwell's friends were despots' whit? Adolph's friends were from the British upper classes, including royalty.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

RFS - ?

Shotgun said...

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

If calling Big Bob 'the bouncing czeck' is racism then there are an awful lot of racists around.


Hmmmm, you do kinda look like Jade Goody, and at least you admit it, which is strange for a Bliar lover.

The old crook loved the sobriquet, he revelled in it, you fool.

Sorry, I wasn't aware you knew him personally and could speak so eloquently in direct contrast to someone who actually did know him.

'His war hero status was in doubt' well he's in a big club then, many of them on our side. Have you for instance, any idea what Douglas Baader was really like ? Earl Haig ? etc.

Again, you seem to know inside information not privvy to his real freinds who have given extensive interviews about him.

'Maxwell's friends were despots' whit? Adolph's friends were from the British upper classes, including royalty.

His best freinds were the post war commies and lefties of Eastern Europe...what? Something you didn't know?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

shotgun - forgive me if I'm repeating myself but you really are a classic example of a gullible patriot - It might be rubbish but at least it's British rubbish.

Shotgun said...

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

shotgun - forgive me if I'm repeating myself but you really are a classic example of a gullible patriot - It might be rubbish but at least it's British rubbish.


Now you've lost me.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

shotgun _ I mean that you sound like someone who has swallowed the whole bunch of patriotic lies. IE you don't care if something's rubbish as long as it's British, my country right or wrong kind of thing, it's sad really, you've been conned.