Saturday, 28 June 2014

Lights out at Young Offenders Institutions

Lights out - and no reading under covers: Young offenders will be sent to bed early - just like at Eton - The Independent

It's futile to argue with Lord Chancellor Grayling, as his sport is to provoke those who know what they are talking about, so that they look ridiculous in the immature swirl of populism, name-calling and handwringing that our National Discourse has become. Never mind that his ban on sending in books is counterproductive and just an old trick of Crown Prerogative "justice" to inflict a form of torture that doesn't show the marks (cf A Man for All Seasons, Act 2, scene 7). Never mind that his "strict" and "tough" measures are known to be counterproductive and contribute nothing to reduced offending, desistance from crime, or resettlement and that the Commons Select Committee has concluded that, with crime and serious crime both falling, his repression is a waste of money better spent on (considerably cheaper) prevention, therapy and problem-solving. All I will say is that, instead of ordering the practice in minute detail of experienced governors, prison staff and professionals who know exactly what to do and what not to do, at the same time as cutting the means to do it beyond sustainability, Grayling C should run a Young Offender Institution himself, be measured on his personal and direct outcomes on their behaviours, circumstances and prospects - and see how far he gets.

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