• “There are no votes in prisons.”

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    Above, HM Prison, Dartmoor.

    Following the riots at Strangeways prison, Manchester, in 1990, the Tory government set up an inquiry headed by Lord Justice Woolf. Follwoing the report, Home Secretary Douglas Hurd and his successor Kenneth Baker – bravely, for Conservative politicians – committed themselves to cutting the number of prisoners and improving conditions. However following a reshuffle their successor Ken Clarke in adopting plans to “privatise” the prison service kicked the report into the long grass.

    Since then, privatisation has been introduced, prison staff pay and conditions have deteriorated, staffing numbers have dropped off a cliff and prisoner numbers have increased.

    The Guardian’s prison correspondent Eric Allison’s report below delivers a damming picture.
    GOTO: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/08/prisons-death-rate-high-violence-soaring-rehabilitation-negligible
    Do most of the public care?

    In a word, no.
    When Mr Clarke was asked for his views on the UK’s prison crisis recently, he smiled and said: “There are no votes in prisons.”
    He is of course correct!

    Most members of the public if asked to choose where to spend an extra £1 billion would suggest the NHS or schools. Few if any would suggest prisons!

    On hearing the report of the dreadful inhumane conditions prisoners are kept in the typical reply would be: “Well, they should have thought of that before they did the crime!”

    The British Gazette response?

    Let us start by quoting scripture: Matthew 7:1-3

    1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
    “But I am not a criminal!” Many readers will shout.
    Well we have to tell you Dear Reader, there are many languishing in the discomforts of HM’s Prison estate would would have shouted the same.

    Allow us to ask you the following questions?

    1. Do you have a driving licence?

    2. Do you have a roadworthy car?

    3. Do you use it?

    If you answer “Yes” to all three questions YOU could end up “inside”.

    The experience of Mrs Teresa Sant (http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/i-cannot-forgive-danger-driver-who-killed-my-daughter-says-devastated-mum/story-30295421-detail/story.html) should serve as a warning.

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