Monday, October 09, 2006

No room at the inn

As at last Friday, the prison population was only 110 away from full capacity. The Home Secretary, John Reid, is planning to beg police chiefs to allow convicted prisoners to stay in their cells until ... until when, exactly? Until he builds new prisons, or what? Or until they create more prison space by releasing the next batch of violent murderers well before the half-way point in their sentences?

At first, I was surprised, given the crime rate, that it had taken this long for the prisons to hit full capacity. Then I remembered that this Government has managed, by a strange mix of policy and incompetence, to keep criminals out of prison. If, inspite of all their efforts, the jails are now finally full, it can only mean that crime is way out of control. The battle to maintain even a semblance of law and order has been well and truly lost.

So what do they intend to do in the long term? There is talk of 'creating more prison places', but don't hold your breath.

(For more on prisons, please check out the excellent Prison Works initiative.)
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Anonymous Ellee said...

Yes, Prison Works is going to be working overtime on this for the forseeable future. I wonder what Charles Clarke has to say about this, he should be hanging his head in shame that he allowed this situation to happen.

The problem is worsened by the fact that there is no reliable alternative, they are all regarded as soft options, and electronic is a waste of time as they can cut them off, and the Government doesn't even know how often that happens because it has not requested this data.

Who know where they will all end up, is it a good turn to start a life of crime, I wonder, for those who are that way inclined?

1:17 PM  

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