Jesus knew a bit about being “banged up” and punished. Today in Britain we have record numbers of people in jail and we are intending to create facilities to jail 7.5 thousand more, if this is not a sign of a society heading in the wrong direction then I don’t know what is.
We continue to mirror America where there are more people locked up per head of the population than anywhere else in the world yet to Bush it’s the “home of the brave and the land of the free” this is what capitalism requires to survive, a large prison population.
That population is overwhelmingly taken from the poorer sections of society, the losers under this system, and those from minority groups are most likely to be in jail.
Look at America, grotesque politicians arguing with each other to prove who is the most devout Christian in a country that is fabulously wealthy but where you can’t walk the streets, these people and many of our own Christian nutters would have locked up Jesus and thrown away the key.
Having been in many prisons I can assure you that this is the worst time for anyone to be locked up, in the West people of all faiths and none enjoy Christmas because of it’s traditions and message. It’s a special time for children and family and for prisoners that makes it more miserable, imagine being in a cell on Christmas Eve if you have a partner and kids on the outside, it must be hellish.
How astonishing is it then that the Govt. now proposes to introduce a new system which will increase the “bang up” time and reduce the time spent on training and association for prisoners, lock up will now start on Friday lunch time and the time spent locked in a cell will be approx. 54 hrs. out of the 68 Hrs. which end on Monday morning, this is designed to save an annual £60 m. I reckon it will cost more than that in the long term with less rehabilitation and more mind numbing senseless punishment.
A recent survey revealed that 80% of prisoners have two or more mental health problems for which they are not being treated, what will this proposal do to them ?
Take a long term criminal with a history of violence and mental health problems, lock him up for 54 out of 68 Hrs. over the weekend and, then unlock his door on Monday and wish him a cheery good morning, how do you fancy that job ?
This is a scandal and successive Govt’s are guilty including my own, an absolute scandal. When the mental health in prison report came out I asked the Governor of Barlinnie to comment on the 80 % figure, he was not keen to talk about it but I pressed on and he eventually plucked a figure out of the air and said “in Barlinnie it would be about 30 % “ he would not speculate as to why Barlinnie was apparently so much better off, he simply wouldn’t dare, another Scandal.
Say what you like about prison, about those who are in prison, say what you like about our society but don’t try to say we are civilised, our prisons show that we are not.