onsdag 14 april 2010

Prison works - not like this it doesn't


Prison gatehouse, originally uploaded by captainbonobo.

I was talking to a friend who had gone to collect someone who had just been released from prison.

The procedure, apparently, is that prisoners are released with a few pounds and a train ticket to their place where they previously lived. That's it.

The individual concerned has been in and out of prison for years, mostly for drug offences. I have come across him myself and he is not the kind of person I would want to have much to do with. As a child he had been in the "care" of a local authority and abused regularly. Then he took to drugs. It would be very difficult for anyone with a past like this to get their life in order.

But it would help if, once having been brought into the prison system, a coherent post-release plan was put in place to give people like these the best possible chance.

If there was a serious intent to cut crime, that is what would be happening. It would also help if what is a medical problem was recognised as such and taken out of the hands of the law-enforcement authorities so far as possible.

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