Thursday, 19 May 2011

Question time from HMP Wormwood Scrubs..

Possible question David..

'ere - when you gonna let me outa dis place?

Other more likely questions could be.. If the aim of prison is to punish and rehabilitate - If I'm rehabilitated - why am I still in prison?.. e.g 'I knew from night one i'd never wanna return - job done.. can I go now?'

Can a sentence be so long that it cancels out the actual rehabilitation part and languishes solely in the punishment zone - causing anger and anguish - and breaks family ties?
Do we need to invest more in prison education?
Should all prison education and access to education be standardised?
Is prison necessary for non violent offenders?
Should we jail mothers who have been coerced to become drug mules?


  1. This topic of debate regarding prison sentences really cause an up roar for sure saw how the Question Time session was tense to say the least.

    You know the problem here is does the UK even have a good rolling prgramme for rehabilitation to ensure that prisoners get a fairly decent start when released....Dawna I don't think their strategy is working because a high proportion of those released seem to go on and re-offend only to find themselves back inside.

    Education of any kind is beneficial and particularly for an establishment such as a prison even more imperative.....should it be standardised not sure because most crimes are of varying degress and diffenrent impact so criminals need to be educated differently in my opinion...

    Prison as a one of for a non violent offender may open their eyes and teach them a lesson but could backfire depending on how long they stay in prison as they may develop newer and more distructive habits from other in mates....hmmmm

    Your last question re mothers coerced to becoming drug mules is a though one I think....people do things in life out of circumstances so on this one I would have to agree to disagree not sure jail is the solution though!!!

  2. I would agree ChilledLeo and say the current strategy isn’t working – but I’m not really sure if there is a clear strategy or merely a system for locking up then letting out.

    Rehabilitation in my opinion appears to be an afterthought – with emphasis being (depending on which government is in at the time) on taking a zero tolerance approach to law breaking/crime and the reduction of crime.

    I agree that you can’t necessarily adopt a one size fits all approach to prison education but at present – whilst certain prisons have a range of accredited courses and an opportunity for real development and to gain qualifications that could aid prisoners once on the outside – in others - there’s very little – and in some case almost 24hr lockup.
    It’s the equivalent of one (state) school offering GCSE’s and another not!

    Some may say well there prisoners and why should they have access to anything. My question would be... well... why not. Even more so for prisoners as many of them may have come from very difficult backgrounds and this may be the 1st chance they have at self improvement.

    Should they have the right to vote... hmm – should anybody vote? Considering our farcical politics at the moment it’s a wonder anyone still plays that game (I still vote but I may be in favor of a total boycott – if only to prove a point/ rather that than a march anyway!!)

    Yes - there are those who come out with new and improved ways to commit crimes and that’s a risk – but again… education.
    Then there’s investment needed in local communities. If you rehabilitate an offender one hopes rehabilitation has taken place in the area from whence they came otherwise – it may be a case of back to what you know.

    Using mothers as drug mules is a despicable act –and whist I know that we all have choices – for some - it’s the only choice they can see to help their family. I can’t see the fairness in locking up a mother for carrying something from one country to another when the person whose property it is still at large and will continue along there merry way more than likely to convince another financially strapped and again often uneducated mother to take a risk

  3. Great points there Dawna....but when we consider the negative impact about the issues raised in your posts it begs to differ when I ask this question of do we really live in a westernised soceity??.....and what proportion of the male population are imprisoned and how many are of ethinic minority is a scary thought!!!!