Thursday, February 01, 2007
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 !