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Prison

 
 
Reply Sun 16 Jul, 2006 01:18 am
Who belongs in prison?

Okay, of course all those who were convicted to go to prison. No doubts at all about that.

When I worked in prison as well as in hospitals for mental (which is nearly 20 ago and happened in Germany), there was consensus among the colleagues that roughly 50% of those in the hospitals actually should stay in prison. And vice versa.
(That wasm't at all a scientifically made up opinion and the number can't be back by hard figures - just a saying, pointing at the problem.)

'Prison' is a big topic in the UK momentarily - as is Tony Blair (and Labour), Labour's law and order record is disfigured by imprisoning children, it is said:

Quote:
Narey [the former head of the Prison Service] told The Observer he was speaking out because the jails had reached crisis point. 'It takes guts for politicians to recognise that for some people, prison isn't the appropriate place,' he said. While criticising mistakes going back two decades, he turned his main fire on Labour: 'The only Home Secretary brave enough to point out the reality that prison is an ineffective way of dealing with petty offenders was Douglas Hurd, when he was working for Margaret Thatcher, for God's sake! He drove the prison population down by 4,000.'

source: Ex-prisons chief launches broadside at 'gutless' Blair
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,022 • Replies: 14
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jul, 2006 01:18 am
Some background infos from today's Observer, a report about the actual situation in British prisons:
My shocking day behind bars in Britain's biggest prison

http://i2.tinypic.com/205rq51.jpghttp://i1.tinypic.com/205rqcn.jpg

(today's Observer, page 23)


Comment: John Reid should act to reduce prison population
Quote:
When this government came to power Britain's prison population stood at 65,000. Today it is nudging 80,000, a figure that many within government argue represents a success story. Far from it. There are now so many locked up in the prison system that it is dangerously close to exceeding its operating capacity.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jul, 2006 01:21 am
bookmark
[Interesting topic, Walter]
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jul, 2006 02:25 am
Yeppers.


We actually know how to raise people for prison...(eg if we decided we really wanted prison labour, for some weird reason...or decided to harvest prisoners for organs, as appears to be happening in China) ie enough common risk factors have been identified that, if we wished to, we could deliberately raise hosts of future prisoners. Some would escape the net, of course.


We actually do it now, really, by not acting to truly tackle the causes, where they are demonstrably reactive to well researched, but relatively expensive, interventions...in a time where it is fashionable to neglect prevention, while spending untold billions on dealing with the lack of said prevention.



Ah.....rigid and fanatical economic rationalism.....tragic one day, abysmal the next.


Oh...the same interventions also eventually cut costs in health and mental health too.
0 Replies
 
smorgs
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jul, 2006 03:05 am
Walter,

As you know I work in a Jobcentre. Prisoners about to be released have priority appointments for claiming Jobseekers Allowance (called Fresh-Start customers).

Unfortunately most (but by no means all) have some kind of barrier(s) to employability. Barriers that could be addressed if funding were available. We used to be able to refer Fresh-Starts for early entry to new Deal, where most of (what's left of) the funding still exists - but I can't even do that now.

My funding, for training, basic skills, CSCS cards etc was stripped away in April. The only funding I still have is for English (through European Social Fund.

I send some of my customers away knowing they will certainly re-offend, it is a frustrating and heartbreaking job, knowing that for want of more funding from our so-called Socialist Government we happily watch people slip through the net... a life wasted, no skills, no resources, no hope... why wouldn't they re-offend? In order to prevent past behaviours re-occurring, you need to offer some kind of alternative. The Government MUST recognise that these are citizens that require financial intervention at the point of discharge from prison if they are to affect change in the number of re-offenders in the prison population.

...an interesting subject, Walter. Working at the grass roots of the problem certainly influences my view on the subject. You see the bigger picture...
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jul, 2006 05:54 am
I recall learning in Biology class in High School that there's a substantial portion of the criminal population who have genetic disorders (XYY, that sort of thing). I have no idea where the teacher came up with that information or if it's been disproven.
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djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jul, 2006 06:19 am
watching COPS last night and one suspect confessed to an accusation he probably could have got out of with a caution, because in his words, he was tired of life on the streets and wanted "three hots and a cot", he was rather pissed off when he asked what the charge was, and determined that he would be released by morning
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jul, 2006 06:26 am
I remember the bad joke among social workers, teachers, psychologists, security inspectors in prison that you couldn't become a uniformed guard there without a genetic disorders, but they made there jokes about us as well.

Genetic disorder might have the same relevance as head injuries/injuries at birt or abusive parents etc etc.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jul, 2006 07:54 am
Perhaps the general population ought to be born into prisons, and only released after twenty or thirty years of good behavior?
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jul, 2006 08:23 am
edgar's perfect society

Laughing funny, man......
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jul, 2006 08:37 am
jespah wrote:
I recall learning in Biology class in High School that there's a substantial portion of the criminal population who have genetic disorders (XYY, that sort of thing). I have no idea where the teacher came up with that information or if it's been disproven.


I doubt that this conclusion is correct. Looks like a high % of those in jail in the USA are there due to drugs violations of one sort or another.

By the way, in none of my several Genetics classes was the XYY situation mentioned.
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jul, 2006 08:39 am
djjd62 wrote:
watching COPS last night and one suspect confessed to an accusation he probably could have got out of with a caution, because in his words, he was tired of life on the streets and wanted "three hots and a cot", he was rather pissed off when he asked what the charge was, and determined that he would be released by morning


Consider all the organ transplants made available to the prison population, which are not readily available to the general population. WHy? 'Cause criminals have rights... Shocked
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jul, 2006 11:29 am
According to Wikipedia 47 XYY chromosome carriers are not statistically more violent than the general population.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XYY

Our local prison recently received a 100% rating from the PA State Prison Board. Among those interviewed were men and women who had served time in other state prisons.

Prisons are supposed to punish lawbreakers, rehabilitate lawbreakers and keep dangerous lawbreakers away from the general public.

Branding and time spent in the stocks were much cheaper for the colonial taxpayers than maintaining a local gaol.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jul, 2006 06:06 pm
Noddy24 wrote:

Branding and time spent in the stocks were much cheaper for the colonial taxpayers than maintaining a local gaol.


And, as far as recidivism goes, those methods were probably just as effective as modern prisons.

One of the major problems with the penal system in the US these days is that no one has yet decided what the purpose of a prison really is. Is it just punishment? Is it intended to rehabilitate the offender? A little of both? We seem to swing back and forth between the two. In Massachusetts, state prisons are now officialy refered to as 'correctional institutions.' This would seem to suggest that the purpose is to 'correct' certain anti-social behavior patterns of the inmates. If so, these places are abysmal failures. The recidivism rate is phenomenal. In prison, thieves learn how to be better thieves next time, that's all.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jul, 2006 11:05 pm
I always remember what I've been told during my first days in the probation office .... and in prison as well [NB: when I was in prsion, I had only two keys, but could opene with them all doors besides a couple of offices :wink: ]: 1/3 is worth dealing with, 1/3 is hard work and 1/3 get's better more or less by themselves.
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