Prisoners to be stripped of perks? More spin and less substance from Chris Grayling’ says Steve McCabe MP

Steve McCabe has branded the announcement by the Justice Secretary to remove prisoner perks as a cynical manoeuvre that has been orchestrated in time for local elections.

 

The Government has set out plans for a tougher prison regime in England and Wales; from November they say male prisoners will have to earn privileges such as daytime TV, the use of gyms and access to cash, by taking part in a programme of work, education, or rehabilitation.

 

Chris Grayling has accused prisons of going to easy on inmates and focusing too much attention on containing prisoners and keeping order rather than punishing and rehabilitating.

 

Steve McCabe MP said:

“I fear this announcement is more empty rhetoric from the same man that promised a ‘bash a burglar’ law which his own department disowned as soon as they issued guidance for the courts. We’ll probably find this measure is also abandoned just as swiftly as it was announced. People don’t want to hear empty promises to boost election chances, they want genuine action. Especially from the man in charge of the justice system.

 

“I don’t disagree that prisoners should actively earn privileges rather than be rewarded for not engaging in bad behaviour. But first we need to look at our prison system as a whole. They are extremely overcrowded and there is evidence that suggests prisoners are doing less meaningful work in prison not more, despite government claims.  We need to find ways to ensure prisoners are doing positive work during their time in prison which will help with their rehabilitation and chances of finding a job on the outside.

 

“Mr Grayling should focus on the real issues that need addressing in prisons, more spin is not going to help anyone let alone reduce reoffending rates.”

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