Choosing Porridge As The Soft Option
Tens of thousands of prisoners are opting not to apply for early release amid allegations that Britain's prisons are now so comfortable that they are effectively "expensive bed and breakfasts".
The figures were released on Tuesday by Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, who also disclosed that dozens of people have been caught trying to break into prisons over the past few years....
Between 2003 and 2008, 42 individuals were detected attempting to break into prisons. The number of prison break-ins has increased from five in 2003-04 to 19 over the past year. Most were people breaking into open prisons...
Glyn Travis, the assistant general secretary of the Prison Officers' Association, said: "It tells me there's something wrong in society when people are breaking into prisons to bring in drugs, but the prisoners are quite happy to stay inside."
Inmates at a top security prison recently told Mr Straw that conditions there were like a "holiday camp".
"Prisoners receive a wage for being in prison, they receive a bed, a TV in all cells, Sky television in most areas for recreational use, free telephones, breakfast in bed on many occasions, cash bonuses for good behaviour," said Mr Travis. "And prison staff are forced to deal with them in such a subservient way. It's ridiculous."
Prison only works if people don't want to go there more than they want to commit a crime. You can reduce the latter a bit by teaching them basketweaving, or what ever, but facing a realistic chance of being banged up somewhere unpleasant is the real crime preventer.