Is Prison too nice?
I know instantly you’ll be split into two groups; the ones who agree beyond belief and others who think that prisons should offer more. The next question you’ll probably be thinking is why discuss this now? Well currently in the houses of parliament they are discussing whether or not prisoners should be given the right to vote? The minute I saw this I was outraged, thinking yet another reward for being a criminal. I study law and so for me it should follow the basic principle that once you’re detained, it is the state against the individual and not how it currently appears as the state appeasing the individual. It is also the basic principle that once you’re detained your rights are gone because you have gone against the rules and therefore your liberty should be taken away.
If we look at youth offenders, it becomes clear that there is something more sinister going on. They aren’t going to prison because they are feeling ‘guilty’ about their crimes… they aren’t going to prison because of something out of their control. They are going to prison because they want to. They’re going to learn the tricks of the trade from older offenders, to gain ‘life experience’. They know they will get out quickly and won’t be punished too harshly. This is backed up by gov.uk which states that 73% of youth offenders end up in jail a year after they were released. This shows that they see the system as a joke and frankly I feel the same.
I reflect back on the days where prison meant an ice cold metal bed where you would be chained at the leg and you were forced to do manual labour no questions asked and in comparison to this, today, prisoners complain if they get a TV which they deem too small to fit in with their ‘human rights’, where they are rewarded with play station time for being a ‘good boy’ and not smoking a joint or not throwing a billiard (that’s right some of these ‘prisons’ have snooker tables too so the poor old prisoners don’t get too bored) I think it’s sickening when we look at how our country is being run. Homeless people are left fighting for their lives to get a scrap of bread whereas in prison, prisoners are getting fed three meals a day for stabbing someone to death. This doesn’t fulfil the demands of moral qualities. We are being unjust. What kind of moral message does that send out? Work for what you want or if that sounds too much just rob a bank and be given a bed, food, shelter and the right to entertainment almost immediately, oh and let’s not forget you can vote now too!
For me, the way I see it, prisoners shouldn’t have the right to ¾ of what they get let alone the right to vote. Prison shouldn’t be seen as some holiday camp where you can get basic qualifications and a pat on the back, it should be seen as this place you’re trying to avoid like the plague. I don’t know about you, but if I was parliament, when looking at prison reforms, I would be removing all the luxuries, making prison a horrible place to stay. Where you’re forced to do hard labour all day long and if you do it to a good standard then you get your meal and then when you go back to your cell, one metal bed, your leg attached to a chain and a hole in the ground for your toilet. I may sound cruel but the way I see is those who damage the peace of society shouldn’t be given such a luxurious life.