Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.





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Friday, 26 August 2016

WHO RUNS THE PRISONS?



There are four constituent parts of any criminal justice system, the process of catching suspected offenders, charging and convicting them in the courts, incarcerating them in prisons where it is hoped that many can be rehabilitated. The first two components consist of many people with corresponding checks and balances to ensure justice is done with fairness to all and is seen to be thus done. However when it comes to the running of prisons in general the governor is "king" and almost but not quite an absolute monarch. Controversy erupts from time to time when it is revealed that governors have power and were using that power to release prisoners far sooner than anybody had authorised. 


If prison governors are "kings" then prison warders are the "nobles" and as we learn in history kings and nobles were often in conflict as to where the power would lie. In prison it is forbidden for inmates to possess or use mobile phones, drugs, or to use networking sites. So there is no drug problem in jails.....? no criminal activity involving mobile phone contact between convicts and the outside world.....? It is a fact that inmates are using Facebook to further their criminal activities whilst inside and to promote their violent actions inside.

It has been said by many with knowledge that the Prison Officers Union is the last bastion of left wing union extremism where union power and not the management is in control of the work place . Similarly it has been said that whilst drugs are illegal if they were totally excluded from jails there would be serious riots with the result that to a certain extent a blind eye is turned to the illegal supply in prisons. If using Facebook is contrary to prison rules how does a dangerous inmate access it without the knowledge of those paid to keep him secure and out of contact with the public at large?

Continuing shortfalls in the rehabilitation of offenders and efforts to overcome this deficit are endemic.  Whether this government led by a former Home Secretary can do any better is a moot point. 


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