Prisoners Will No Longer Enjoy A Cushy Lifestyle Behind Bars

Another day another soundbite and this time it’s the turn of Justice Secretary Chris Grayling who’s been on the media circuit talking about an end to a prisoner-friendly lifestyle for a return to a more disciplined and structured regime behind bars.

Given Tony Blair’s infamous ‘ tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’ rhetoric, it’s hard to understand how prisoners have been able to enjoy a pampered and undemanding lifestyle inside prison.  But have no fear because Justice Secretary Grayling is about to change all that.

However, for the generations who didn’t know the first thing about it and were brought up on episodes of Porridge, what was seen was a grim and austere regime inside HMS Slade, with inmates wearing prison uniform and having to earn any perks.  The reality, however, is anything but.

Because while Chris Grayling stands in front of the microphone promising that prisoners will no longer watch Sky Sports and pledging an end to violent and sexually explicit films, the real scandal isn’t so much Livin' la Vida Locabut more to do with a prison system specifically designed for prisoners to serve less than half their sentence.

Today the laissez-faire penal system in Britain is a true reflection of what passes for crime and ‘punishment’.  Despite promises by the Justice Secretary that inmates will have to adjust to a basic lifestyle behind bars, for all the time prisoners have to actually stay banged up, you have to wonder why the government is even bothering.

From murderers released from a ‘life’ sentence after just 12 years to the disgraced politician Chris Huhne due to walk free this month after serving just two months of an eight-month sentence, it shows the system is no longer there to keep prisoners in but instead how quickly they can be let out.

Published by Martin Baum on 01/05/2013