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Thursday, August 04, 2011

NOMS and victims groups to steal prisoners earnings

The following is a letter to insidetime, from issue August 2011

NOMS and victims groups to steal prisoners earnings

From Name withheld – HMP Sudbury

I would like to inform your readers of a recent development here at HMP Sudbury that will affect a lot of people in other prisons. On the 20th of July a notice titled ‘Prisoners Earnings Act 1996’ was put up here. It informs us that under the Act if we are working outside prison we will be subject to deductions in our pay. From 26 September 2011 anyone who earns more than £20 net per week (that is after we have paid tax, National Insurance and any court-ordered or child support payments) will have a further 40% deducted from our pay and given to victim support groups! Also, our employers will no longer pay us direct but will instead pay our wages straight to a NOMS bank account and that we should ‘expect a delay’ of at least 5 days before NOMS give us whatever is left of our wages!!! If we refuse to go along with this then we will no longer be allowed to work in paid employment.

Most prisoners in paid employment are on minimum wage anyway so that will not leave a lot. And what about prisoners who are maintaining innocence? Why should they work to pay for victims that they don’t have? Surely the fact that we are serving prison sentences is our ‘payment’ for our crimes? And don’t the government already give criminal compensation to victims? Where is this going to end? I’ve heard of paying your debt to society but this is just an outrageous liberty. This government are obviously trying to save money on what they have to pay out to victims and at the same time pandering to the News International mentality that advocates prisoners should be treated like dirt and never be allowed to escape their pasts. It wasn’t so long ago that Kenneth Clarke announced that all prisoners should be working a 40 hour week – now we know why.

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