Monday, 8 February 2016


From the official government website:-
The Prime Minister is expected to slam the ‘scandalous failure’ of the prisons sector later today as he outlines his vision for a modern, more effective, truly twenty-first century prison system.
Yes isn't it utterly scandalous for a Prime Minister, not only to arrange for the decimation of public services that ex-offenders rely on in order to live crime-free lives, but also appoint a psychopathic moron to set about destroying much of the Criminal Justice System, in the process creating the worst prison crisis in living memory and then have the cheek to make a big speech telling us what a mess it's all in, how the new guy is much better and that they've both got a great idea about how to fix it? 

I do indeed call that a scandal, but that's all water under the bridge in political terms and the prison-reformers are getting all dewey-eyed again. How was today's big speech spun by special advisers? "The first major speech on prison reform by a Prime Minister in 20 years". As Rob Allen was quick to point out, what about this one by David Cameron from October 2012:-
David Cameron: We must make prisons work for offenders
There is no alternative to making "prisons work", David Cameron has said, insisting criminals can be punished and rehabilitated at the same time. In a speech in London, he said the debate on crime and punishment had become too "black or white". Serious offenders must be imprisoned, but jails must have a "positive impact" on inmates, he argued.
But that's politicians for you isn't it? The priority at the moment is to keep the current Justice Secretary Michael Gove on board because he's quite likely to be rather vocal on certain European matters. As always, Ian Dunt writing on the website, puts it all nicely into context:-  

Prison crisis: Cameron brands his own record 'shameful' 
It’s hard to get your head around David Cameron's speech on prisons today. After ignoring prisons for years, he will admit that they are "scandalous" and should "shame us all". It's as if someone else had been in charge of them. It must have escaped Cameron's notice, but he has been prime minister since 2010, during which the prison system has undergone an almost unparallelled period of deterioration. So if we must all be ashamed, perhaps he should be most ashamed of all.

Last year's outcomes in prisons were the worst for a decade. "You were more likely to die in prison than five years ago," the prison inspector wrote in his 2015 report. "More prisoners were murdered, killed themselves, self-harmed and were victims of assaults than five years ago." Suicides fell slightly, from 88 to 76, but they were still 40% higher than in 2010. Self-harm among male prisoners was a third higher than 2010.

Back in those early sunny days of the Coalition, Cameron put Ken Clarke in charge of the Ministry of Justice. He proceeded to do some very sensible things. He warned that the prison population could not keep on growing indefinitely as it had under Labour and that it made no sense to continue locking up illiterate non-violent offenders.

The traditional attack came, from the right-wing tabloids and Tory backbenchers. Cameron did not protect him. Instead, he backed down in the face of backbench demands and installed Chris Grayling, who ran a mind-bogglingly wrong-headed penal policy. Grayling paid no attention to experts and overruled prison governors themselves by putting in place a tough new disciplinary system from Whitehall while overseeing deep departmental cuts. It was exactly the disaster the experts predicted it would be.

Throughout this period I was repeatedly told by those close to No10 that Cameron just wasn't interested in prisons. To be fair, prime ministers rarely are. This is the first speech by one of them in 20 years. He seemed completely unmoved by the appalling deterioration in standards under Grayling's watch. Now, apparently, he has had a change of heart. Who knows how this came about? Is he worried about fulfilling the message of his progressive conference speech? Has Michael Gove successfully lobbied for change? In all likelihood, it's both. The reasons why don't really matter, but the proposals do.

Cameron's chief solution is to devolve decision-making powers to prison governors, with six 'reform prisons' to get the power to run themselves and set their budgets by the end of the year and a roll-out to half of all the institutions by 2020. They'll also publish league tables with performance data on measures like reoffending. Lib Dem David Laws will chair a new social enterprise on getting top graduates into prison education. The prison education budget of £130 million will be protected, although it's not clear if that means the Treasury is reducing the level of Ministry of Justice cuts or whether the department will simply be told to find the savings elsewhere.

This is all good, but insufficient. The devolution idea is a fine one. Governors know more about what works in prison than secretaries of state. The punishment regime installed by Grayling was irritating at best to governors, who had to enforce a meaningless and demoralising disciplinary system so the secretary of state could win a favourable review in the Daily Mail. Devolution will allow them to scrap all that and make other small but significant changes, like on the phone system.

We know from studies going back four decades that maintaining relationships is key to reducing reoffending, but phone calls from prison are made prohibitively expensive. "It's heart wrenching," a former prisoner told me recently. "You need to talk. You've got a cold-hearted environment inside. You need communication with the outside and you're denied that. And for what? For the sake of reducing costs."

But even with these sensible ideas, Cameron will not be able to enact his reform of prisons unless he is prepared to undertake at least one of two unpalatable ideas. Firstly, fewer people need to go to jail and, secondly, the budget cuts need to stop. The MoJ has been told to reduce its administrative budget by 50% within five years, with 15% cuts in the prison and court budgets specifically. It's the deepest cut of any Whitehall department with over £5 billion annual budgets. And that comes on top of existing harsh savings. The number of full-time public sector prison staff fell by 29% between March 2010 and December 2014.

At the same time, the prison population continues to skyrocket. When the chief inspector of prisons analyses the ever-increasing levels of violence, it is this disconnect between rising inmate numbers and falling budgets which he singles out for blame.


Judging by their press release, the Prison Governor's Association wern't too impressed:-

The PGA was surprised with the statement made by the Prime Minister, David Cameron MP, in regards to the so-called “scandalous failure of prisons”. It is not often that the government confesses on such a public stage to its own failures and even less common to hear it from a Prime Minister. The assertion that there is a lack of talented leadership in our prisons is untrue. The stripping out of resources, including severe staffing reductions, has been the policy of the Government and of the senior management within the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) for many years now. 

Almost every function within our prisons has been centralised, from choosing who provides education and health to who changes the lights. The number of staff, including governors, has been drastically reduced yet at the same time the prisoner population has increased. This has led to an increase in the workloads of all staff, increasing stress levels and sickness rates, which has further exacerbated the problem. There has also been an increase, beyond acceptable levels, in violence, self-harm, self-inflicted deaths and the loss of good order. However, these failures cannot be laid at the doorstep of hardworking and overstretched staff who are doing their best to maintain an effective service.

Prison Governors will, of course, welcome an increase in autonomy subject to knowing what that actually entails. The PGA will continue to work constructively with the Ministry of Justice and NOMS’s senior management but will robustly defend the hard work, commitment and dedication of those governors who have made astonishing progress with chronically diminishing resources.


It's quite clear that David Cameron has pleased his right-wing Tory hosts Policy Exchange though and put a smile on the CBI's face at the prospect of more contracts for privateers:-
The Confederation of British Industry is encouraged by prime minister David Cameron's acknowledgement of the role business and charities can play in prison reforms. CBI public services director Neil Carberry said: "Transformation is necessary to run high quality, affordable public services, so we are encouraged by the Prime Minister’s acknowledgement of the role business and charities can play in prison reforms. 
"External investment and innovation will be vital in helping the Government achieve its ambitious target of building five new prisons, and tackling reoffending rates, which costs the taxpayer around GBP13bn each year. "Giving greater autonomy to governors will help them to expand their supplier base, increasing competition and driving up quality – and in-depth conversations with businesses before tendering will ensure future contracts demonstrate the very best value for money."
but there's always the likes of the Daily Mail and Daily Express for a Tory prime minister to deal with. This from the latter:-
Weekend prison: Soft justice fears as David Cameron plans to free thousands of lags

The Prime Minister's sweeping changes would see lags near the end of their prison sentence only behind bars at the weekend. This is just one of the prime minister's raft plans to reform the penal system, which he has described as a "scandalous failure".

His speech - considered as the first such initiative solely focusing on prison reforms in nearly two decades - will push for inmates to be treated as potential assets rather than liabilities. However the speech is likely to concern Conservative MPs who worry the Tory prime minister is creating a soft justice system.


As Harry Fletcher has tirelessly sought to remind us, it's always been part of the Tory plan (and that of the CBI) to tag thousands more offenders, not just as a way of lowering the prison population, but also as being extremely good for business. Unfortunately though the MoJ completely ballsed-up the contract procurement process by splitting it three ways between hardware, software and telecoms provider, thus adding further delays to an already flawed system. This from the Guardian last year:- 

GPS tracking of offenders delayed by further 12 months
The introduction of the next generation of GPS tracking of offenders, including convicted paedophiles, has been delayed for at least another 12 months, the Ministry of Justice has announced. The prisons minister, Andrew Selous, said there had been significant problems with the project which meant it was impossible to meet the deadline for the £265m six-year contract to begin. The previous justice secretary, Chris Grayling, promised parliament that the first satellite tracking tags, which allow for dangerous and repeat offenders to be monitored around the clock, would come into use by the end of last year.
Napo's resident expert on tracking, David Raho, had this to say on Facebook yesterday:- 

Quite puzzled by an article in The Sunday Times today with the headline

'Prisoners on parole to be fitted with alcohol detector tags'

This is certainly news to me and quite possibly to the rest of the electronic monitoring community.

The article starts off stating that 'Criminals will be banned from drinking alcohol when they are released from prison'. However, the article neglects to say how this will be accomplished. Present legislation has allowed Transdermal Alcohol Monitoring tags (TAMs) to be piloted in London by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime. These are not GPS enabled as the article suggests nor are they currently authorised for use as part of parole supervision or indeed as part of supervision for those serving sentences of less than 12 months.

We do know that the government plans to expand the use of electronic monitoring in a bid to reduce the prison population but largely due to incompetence and changing the goal posts/obligations for suppliers etc the roll out of the long awaited GPS tags has been delayed and delayed. We may still have to wait until much later in the year until anyone other than MoJ staff are actually fitted with one.

The article suggests that tomorrow UK PM David Cameron will announce the authorisation of something that does not currently exist ie a GPS enabled alcohol monitoring tag to be used with groups of offenders ie Parolees for which legislation does not currently exist to make wearing these tags a condition of their licence. It therefore beggars belief that this is what Cameron will do and if he does announce this it is highly unlikely he will be able to deliver it anytime soon.

Even if everything was in place to roll out a system that as the article suggests would mean that 'Thousands of prisoners will be fitted with tags and told to stay away from drink as part of the terms of parole' how is that even remotely practical to enforce? Even monitoring 111 people through an 18 month pilot took a large number of dedicated people putting in some very hard work indeed to produce 'proof of concept'. A small scale pilot to produce proof of concept is a long way from a national roll out and expansion to totally different groups of offenders.

Such a measure would not be about treatment or rehabilitation but be about restriction of liberty and punishment. It would impact disproportionately on the poor and persons with particular lifestyles whether or not alcohol had featured in their offending. The alcohol monitoring tags are larger and hence more visible than standard RFID tags and, for instance, you would have difficulty wearing work boots (or for women in particular to wear work boots or calf length boots) and you cannot take a bath with one on. This may well make getting a job and even undertaking work safely such as labouring or indeed getting clean afterwards a lot more challenging.

During the pilot suitability for the tags was carefully assessed and most of those found suitable were people who had committed drink drive offences. They are not suitable for those who are alcohol dependent.

There is also mention in the same article of 'Smart Tags' that are lauded as a means to 'reduce the number of babies born and raised behind bars'. I am at a loss to know how this will be achieved. Are male and female offenders to be tracked like tagged wild animals in a breeding project and somehow kept apart to prevent sexual relations taking place?


Frances Crook of the Howard League, writing in the New Statesman, is cautiously optimistic but put her finger on a number of the problems in the rhetoric:- 
David Cameron's prisons speech could be the start of something good
Chris Grayling closed 18 prisons and wings, reallocating the population into the shrunk estate. He cut prison staff by more than a third in each prison. The result was overcrowded, understaffed, violent prisons full of drugs and very disaffected staff trying to control frustrated prisoners on restricted regimes.

I was expecting some thinking on who we send to prison and what we do with them when they are incarcerated to create the conditions for radical reform. I was disappointed as the proposals were oddly reminiscent of things that Labour tried and contributed to this mess in the first place.
Labour was very proud of building lots of new prisons, hoping that they would build their way out of an overcrowding crisis. What happened of course was that new prisons were filled even before they were completed so the old prisons couldn’t be closed. Today we hear that £1.3 billion will be spent on building ‘reform prisons’ that will pilot new ways of working. My worry is that they will become warehouses unless the sheer number of prisoners is restricted and resources are allocated to allow for just the sort of flexibility being proposed.
Giving governors more autonomy sounds good, and I support it in principle, but they always used to have their own budgets with discretion to choose how to spend it, including commissioning education and other services. It is no good having increased autonomy if they are constantly firefighting an overcrowding crisis and not given the resources, including well trained prison staff, to implement new ideas.
We already have league tables for prisons. Every few months assessments of how prisons are performing are published, along with regular inspections and independent boards monitor conditions. Reoffending rates are published but this information is less robust as prisoners tend to move round the system so how can one establishment be accountable.
Oh, in case you were wondering, the airbrushing of probation out of existence shamefully continues. 


  1. It's a pity that TR wasn't subjected to testing beforehand but seems that the new Reform prisons are to be given time and space to iron out all the problems.....but then again probation has always been the Cinderella service

  2. Scandalous! The ONLY single use of the word 'probation' in the whole speech, which presumably refers to the reluctant civil servants that are the 'new' NPS (soon to be sponsored by Tags-R-Us):

    "And there is also a huge opportunity presented by new satellite tracking tags.

    Satellite tracking will be ground-breaking for the criminal justice system – meaning that the police and probation service can know where an offender is at all times."

    No more excuses, boys & girls, the SFOs are on you!

  3. Policy Exchange had Hameron spinning so much guff it was hard to keep track. Here's an example of history being re-written almost before the inks had time to dry:

    "In reforming prisons, we need to look no further than the approach we’ve taken in reforming other public services.

    One: give much greater autonomy to the professionals who work in our public services, and allow new providers and new ideas to flourish. This is how you institute a culture of excellence – empowering staff, as well as charities and businesses, to innovate and try new things. It’s exactly what we did in education – with academies, free schools and new freedoms for heads and teachers.

    Two: hold these providers and professionals to account with real transparency over outcomes. Just as we have done in education and policing, we need better data – to allow meaningful comparisons to be made between different prisons so the best performing institutions and best performing leaders can be recognised and rewarded.

    Three: intervene decisively and dramatically to deal with persistent failure, or to fix the underlying problems people may have. This is the lesson from our Troubled Families programme. We know piecemeal, fragmented solutions don’t work. Instead, you need to see how an individual’s problems link together, and intervene in the right way. So while we’ve got the opportunity that prison presents, we need to be far better at deal with and at addressing prisoners’ illiteracy, addiction and mental health problems.

    Four: use the latest behavioural insights evidence and harness new technology to deliver better outcomes. We’ve done this in welfare, for instance through the introduction of greater conditionality – meaning that those who are out of work must show they are taking meaningful steps to find employment, in return for getting their benefits."

    I wonder what day of the week it will be tomorrow?

    1. Unbelievable stuff.


      One: give much more money to businesses (not charities though) to deliver a stripped-down service and get rid of the expensive professionals who work in our public services, by making them so frustrated at the lack of autonomy that they jump ship and don't wait for the EVR they're entitled to.

      Two: talk guff about outcomes and PbR but fail to extend Freedom of Information legislation to cover private companies that deliver public services so that meaningful comparisons are even more difficult.

      Three: intervene quietly and subtly when privatised companies fail to deliver on what they said they would do, giving them multiple chances to retake the tests (Sodexo and audits) or loudly announcing an enquiry into seemingly criminal activity that then quietly disappears into the ether (Serco and G4S tagging).

      Four: set up a behavioural insights team, but actually just foment tabloid rhetoric about "scroungers" as a way of cutting back the state and driving more families into poverty.

      Someone please tell me it's Saturday again tomorrow...

  4. For those unaware of the importance of references to Policy Exchange, who's logo was unobtrusively placed in-shot during the speech:

    "Policy Exchange was set up in 2002 by a group including Nicholas Boles (director), Michael Gove (chairman) and Francis Maude. Maude went on to become Minister for the Cabinet Office, and names being one of the co-founders as his proudest political achievement. Gove went on to become Secretary of State for Education."

    This is how it works.

  5. Prison Reform jobs were advertised internally (NOMS) at the end of Jan. Expression of interest due last week, jobs to start asap. They are in a rush to get things started...

  6. Great Blogging - thanks for assembling all those different responses. I note that you chose not to re-post the one from Napo. It did not say anything particularly significant, I thought, although it did actually mention probation.

    Probation seems to be well and truly out of the reform agenda for prisons.

    Neither have I seen any recent mention of the 30 Resettlement Prisons which were to be key to the 'Through The Gate' pre release preparation, when I recall Grayling said every prisoner would be visited by an old lag mentor who would then turn up at the gate on the release day to provide an escort to the prisoner's accommodation and Job Centre registration appointment (presumably only when accommodation or a job is needed).

    I am sorry there has been so little comment about the TTG scheme which is 12 months old now.

    Will the 6 pilot reform prisons be different ones to the TTG resettlement prisons, I wonder, and how will the League tables work if a prisoner spends his or her sentence in more than one prison, which seemed to happen to large numbers of prisoners in days gone by?

    There is much still to be revealed - I note there was no mention of Police and Crime Commissioners who are likely to become involved, The Home secretary said last week.

    There will be lots of work for those who design systems, methinks.

    1. Through The Gate Scheme: I would like to know what they get paid for. Genuinely, what targets they have to meet to get paid. I've heard that it used to be payment for finding accommodation (even if for 1 night) but this was too difficult so they now get paid for the referrals only regardless of whether they obtain accommodation or not. Is this true?? I'd love to know facts instead of hearsay.

    2. I can't speak about the quality of the interventions the TTG providers are delivering (if in fact there are any), but I can tell you their assessment skills are a load of sh*te. I have spent most of today trying to unravel the problems caused by a Basic Custody Screening assessment which said a serial DV perpetrator had no issues with relationships and there were no safeguarding concerns about him returning home to his wife and children.

    3. I just feel that TTG gets in the way. So far no help, no accommodation, just problems for us to fix. And being paid for it along the way!

    4. Its all just one giant game to these well-heeled fruitbats. Just another version of Brewster's Millions all over again - perhaps "Meet The Fuckers".

      Nothing is ever expected to work, or intended to work; its just a game of distraction, a means of humouring themselves, of pleasing themselves - when they grow tired of fucking their teddy bear they fuck their friends, then the occasional pig's head, maybe a journalist, someone's daughter, a constituency and eventually they get to fuck the entire country. Some even aspire to fucking on a continental or global scale and, recently, The Dear Leader Kim Jong Un has revealed his penchant for attempting to fuck up upper limits of the atmosphere. (Sadly The Dear Leader doesn't own the right tie to be in the Fuckers Club which makes him a petulant loose cannon & very dangerous).

    5. 22.55 there are other ways of channeling sexual frustration. This blog is not one of them.

  7. Palace of Westminster 2016, two Gentlemen, let’s call them David and Michael, are having a conversation.

    David: Those fellows running our Community Rehabilitation Companies have come to me complaining that they aren’t making enough money.

    Michael: Can’t they get rid of more staff?

    David: They say they have done that already, what they really want are more offenders to look after.

    Michael: They can’t cope with the ones they currently have.

    David: That’s not the point, we can’t have our friends not making enough money can we?

    Michael: So they want more offenders then, where do you imagine they come from?

    David: How about making being poor a criminal offence, there’s lots of them about now we have cut their benefits and taxed their bedrooms.

    Michael: Good idea, but remember the austerity agenda, creating more offenders will cost money especially now I have rolled back Chris’s plans on Legal Aid, George will not be impressed.

    David: So where do we get more offenders from?

    Michael: We have about 80,000 in prison right now.

    David: I know that but the CRCs can’t make money off them whilst they are in there.

    Michael: If we released more early or avoided sending them to prison in the first place then the CRC’s can pick them up.

    David: Ah but what about our friends in the press, they get awfully wound up about being ‘soft’ on crime.

    Michael: The left wing press will lap this up and the right wing press are too distracted with the EU referendum to be bothered with this. An outrageous statement about the consequences of leaving the EU should keep them distracted.

    David: You means like the comment I made about a ‘bunch of migrants’ to distract everyone from how little Google paid in tax.

    Michael: Exactly.

    David: Okay, so we have a plan, how about the details, how do we justify the reforms?

    Michael: How about the high re-offending rate for short sentenced prisoners.

    David: Didn’t we use that one when we reformed probation?

    Michael: Yes, but I doubt anyone will notice, and if anyone does they will be too dumbfounded by how liberal we are being to argue. I think we need something stronger though.

    David: What about saying how our prisons are full of drugs and violence and we want to fix them.

    Michael: Good but using that as an argument could be tricky as it is our fault the prisons are in such a mess.

    David: What do you mean?

    Michael: I mean, we drastically cut staffing to match the private sector prisons so now we have thousands of offenders with few skills or mental health issues, sat in their cells for 23 hours a day with nothing to do but smoke ‘spice’ and wait for their release date.

    David: Didn’t you say earlier that people will be too amazed to notice details like that.

    Michael: I did.

    David: Great we can dress this up using that idea you had for greater autonomy for Prison Governors; we can also demonstrate how sensible we are by announcing that we are going to pilot the changes too.

    Michael: Err… the last time we used the re-offending stat as justification for breaking up probation. Didn’t we also say we couldn’t wait and didn’t need to pilot the reforms as gut instinct was all we needed?

    David: Look, that was Chris’s gut and that worked out really well didn’t it. Besides we aren’t 18 months from a General Election we didn’t expect to win are we?

    Michael: Agreed, so we have a plan, how’s about a catchy strap line for this announcement.

    David: How about “Offenders are assets”

    Michael: They most certainly are.

  8. Ian Lawrence can be heard on 'listen again' BBC radio 4 PM about 6 minutes in just before Kenneth Clarke

  9. "Prison works" helped the Tories get rid of probation and sell it to private companies.

    "Prison doesn't work" will help the Tories profit from tagging and secure its place as a replacement for probation.

    1. What are they going to do when they realise that tagging doesn't work?

    2. Ahh, that's when the aforementioned exchange scheme with Syria kicks in. The tagging scheme will give their global enterprise chums enough time to have bought up some of those poorly built navy ships on the cheap. Once shipped over there there'll be stacks of work for them re-building Aleppo - and seeing as the tags operate on GPS they could still wear them over there & its win, win, win!!!

      Hats off to the eavesdropper's account above. Excellent job.

  10. Bad news for probation? Analysing the newspaper coverage of Transforming Rehabilitation

    1. Abstract

      Opinion surveys routinely show that probation is neither well understood nor highly regarded by the general public. Media reporting may play a role in shaping public opinion, but studies which focus directly on the way the media report probation are very rare. The current study helps to address this gap by focusing on the way national newspapers covered probation during 2013, with a particular focus on how the Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) consultation and the subsequent strategy were reported. The level of privatization and scaling back of the National Probation Service, which the strategy embodies, is arguably the greatest change to the delivery of probation services since the Probation Act of 1907. However, the current study shows that most of the potential risks identified by probation professionals and academics received little attention. Moreover, such reporting as there was came from a few specialist criminal justice reporters and was largely concentrated in the broadsheets. The general lack of media interest cannot be said to have caused the country to unquestioningly accept the dismantling of the national public probation service, but it has contributed to it and suggests that there will be little public appetite for the upheaval and expense involved in reversing the process.

    2. Does anyone know what has happened with the Serious Fraud Office investigations into G4s and Serco?

  11. While Cameron waffles on smugly about prisons & makes jokes about sheet music, here's a flavour of true Tory compassion (in The House today) as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee terrifying targeted bomb attacks by or on behalf of Assad, drown in the Aegean, and the UN publishes its report on widespread calculated extermination & war crimes within Syria by both Assad & Daesh regimes:

    "Pauline Latham (Mid Derbyshire) (Con):
    May I commend my right hon. Friend for her calm and factual statement on the situation of the Syrian refugees, which contrasted with the rather emotive statement by the shadow Secretary of State, who is trying to whip up emotion about these things? Does my right hon. Friend agree that, actually, we do need peace in the region, we do need to talk to Russia about what it is doing, and somebody needs to tackle Assad? We should also be looking at keeping as many people as possible in the area where they have been brought up, where their culture is correct and where they understand the lifestyle, rather than encouraging them, as the Labour party might choose to do, to come to this country, when we are putting so much money—taxpayers’ money—into helping these people to settle there."


    "We should also be looking at keeping as many people as possible in the area where they have been brought up, where their culture is correct and where they understand the lifestyle...". Presumably the elegant Ms Latham was born & brought up in Mid Derbyshire, survived persistent barrel bombing, is correct in her culture (whatever that means?!?) & understands the Mid Derbyshire MP lifestyle she is fortunate to enjoy. Why should we use taxpayer money to fund her journeys to & temporary settlement in London?

    Selfish, self-absorbed, arrogant, ignorant Morons, the whole shitty pack of them.

  12. My nine months "inside" was a real eye opener. Shortage of staff on the wings, Fights, slashing's, Bullying, It all goes on. Conditions will never be perfect but if I could change anything it would be for one particular demographic. The media can show an image of a woman dumping a cat in a wheelie bin and the public are up in arms. Stick an old age pensioner (regardless of the offence) in a single cell with a bunk bed and no partition for the toilet and no one bats an eye. That's half the problem, Unless you or a family member are in the prison system nobody really cares. With the NHS, Everybody uses it at some stage in their life and any political party considering privatising it en masse would have difficulty getting anyone to support the idea. So, Break it down into trusts, Publish league tables and allow private companies to then run the ones that are "failing" and you have privatisation by the back door. I know Prison and Probation services have had their first tastes of privatisation but after Michael Gove's visit to the states where almost two thirds of states have private prisons i think he has many more ideas and friends to help him. I just hope after the Texas visit he isn't looking for energy companies to install new chairs.