Anorak News | The Hard Cell

The Hard Cell

by | 16th, June 2003

‘IF only the Government set itself more realistic targets, it could credibly award itself full marks when it performs its annual review.

Prison calls offer the last word in en suite toilets

For instance, it should forget about trying to get half the population to go into higher education and announce instead that it intends to lock them up.

Never mind aiming for record rates of literacy and numeracy, it has already achieved record deaths in custody, record numbers of assaults in prison and record numbers of escapes.

As other public services struggle to cope, the Prison Service is a beacon of excellence, serving more and more customers every week without even spending money on increased capacity.

If only hospital wards adopted the same policy as prison cells – ”There’s always room for one more” – no patient would be refused entry for lack of a bed.

Not only that, but as the News Of The World showed at the weekend, the Prison Service is a generous employer, providing jobs to anyone with a couple of bogus references.

This morning, the Guardian celebrates the fact that on Friday the prison population hit a new record of 73,379 and is rising by 150 people a week.

A leaked weekly operations report shows also that the number of security incidents is up 50% from the late 1990s, including seven deaths in the first week of June alone.

Harry Fletcher, of the probation officers’ union Napo, tells the paper: ”This is clearly linked to overcrowding and the ability of staff to cope.

”I fear for those working inside prisons. The number of assaults on staff is unacceptable.”

Never mind – the Government will just set a new target for assaults on staff and suddenly the figures will look very acceptable.

Posted: 16th, June 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink