Monday, 5 July 2010

The rights of the prisoner

I was listening to local radio a couple of days ago and they were interviewing people in the street on their views about prison. They happened to interview someone who had just come out of prison and he said that life was too easy inside. They all have their own TVs and kettles and they spend time playing pool. It sounds quite a nice existence if you add on to this that meals and a bed are provided.

I admit that my experience is limited but I have played a few rugby matches behind closed walls. The opposition players were very nice people. You could see that playing against a "normal" team was a privilege for them and they were certainly on their best behaviour - and that's the point. You need privilege so that you get best behaviour. I have also had direct experience of speaking with the staff of a few prisons. Order is maintained by agreement and without the little luxuries then life would be much harder for both staff and prisoners.

I guess it is a little like any organisation. People don't like change, but it does seem that prisoners have things a little too easy. If we are all tightening our belts then we could do worse than looking at the rights of the prisoner.

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