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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Teresa May shows Tories in disarray

Teresa May shows Tories in disarray

Prison works, says Home Secretary

Theresa May declared "prison works" yesterday in another blow to Kenneth Clarke's plans to put fewer criminals behind bars.

By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor, Daily Telegraph 6:50AM GMT 15 Dec 2010

Since 9 May 2007 when the Ministry of Justice was created and took over responsibility for prisons they were no longer the responsibility of the Home Secretary and the Home Office. Therefore, Teresa May should jolly well mind her own business.

Prison either works or it doesn't work. That prison does not rehabilitate the vast majority of prisoners and that they go on to reoffend shows that prison does not work. Michael Howard was wrong when he made the "prison works" statement way back when, and he is still wrong now. We need to change that. We can no longer afford to adopt the 'lock 'em up and throw away the key' mentality. Because this is the equivalent of continuing digging the big hole we are in even deeper. Stop digging.

Speaking in the Commons last week, Mr Clarke said:

"I regard prison, first and foremost, as a place of punishment where people lose their liberty as reparation for what they have done. But on top of that, prison can't continue to be simply an expensive way of giving communities a break."

Kenneth Clarke is wrong to say that prison is a place of punishment. The court which passes sentence is the place of punishment. That is, prisoners are sent to prison as a punishment and not for punishment!

Unless this position is reinstated it only confuses people into believing that they can all stick the boot into prisoners and kick them when they are down by adding their own private punishments to the state sanction.

Human warehouses benefit nobody.

UPDATE: Is it any wonder that Ken Clarke is in trouble when he keeps blundering?

Today Clarke told MPs: "Prison works as a place for sentencing people".

Er, Ken, judges in court sentence people, and prison is the place where sentences are carried out!

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