Forward Thinking …

FORWARD THINKING… Since the release of my last prison sentence, my life has definitely taking a massive turn for the better. I currently have a number of influential people in my life today. One of these people is a professor,  he asked me a question. For the reader, I will copy & paste it. verbatim:

Wandsworth prison
Most recent figures show there are 19,925 full-time officers to look after 83,000 prisoners.
The starting salary for a ­prison officer is £20,750.

I read your blog and really liked tsome of your posts.

In my life as a professor l might soon be meeting an MP who is involved in prisons – so I have a question for you to ponder: what small changes do you think he might make that would make the largest difference.

Warm wishes,
Professor. 

What a question…..My mind started racing, Although I have spent years incarcerated in institutions, I have never been asked a question from an Professor before, Infact not any form of Professor. I started thinking of the conservatives and how they love a bit of privatisation. I also thought of the new Justice Secretary David Gauke MP. and how one of his first major decisions was to scrap women’s prisons and house them in residential communities. I then thought maybe a prisons minister that has courage to be the forward thinker. However, when I first heard this, my automatic thought was some ”financial aid” within the Home Office, has told the new prisons minister, that residential communities is cheaper for women than the prisons we have today. Accordingly, I then thought of how we could find a way forward and putting some humanity back in to the male prison system and trying to be realistic and concise in my reply.

This was my reply….Verbatim…

Given the conservatives will have the last say, no matter what, then…Wow!!! I would be a rich man if, I had the answer to that question you proposed. However, given that there is no turning back with the privatisation within the criminal justice system, I would invest more independent companies and businesses to work in and with prisoners helping them to pay for own stay at the prison. Furthermore, I would set up some financial structure where prisoners could earn a living wage, pay their taxes and support their families. This would also help prisoners giving them a chance to save some money, being released with some finances can give a prisoner a huge chance of success on release. This would not be for the few but, for the many within the system. Therefore this would dramatically protect the public and enhance opportunities for men and women that are disengaged from society. Also, giving hope, confidence, reason, self esteem, self worth, respect. This is something which is missing from the people within our prison system. We could help people who may have never been able to work a better chance, or atleast a better chance than they have today. In all the circumstances Professor, its about having brave forward thinkers in positions, that can make a difference.

I received a very short reply from the Professor… Verbatim…

Thanks James,
Really helpful,
P

This is a massive ask to be implemented within the British Prison System. Therefore it would take an individual like (Justice secretary) David Guake MP. to have the foresight and courage in proposing this idea to the House. Well, with a slogan like this: We would like to think so…

Ministry of Justice:

We work to protect the public and reduce reoffending, and to provide a more effective, transparent and responsive criminal justice system.

Todays News… 10/07/18.


A £30 million prisons improvement package will tackle organised crime and bring buildings back up to a decent standard, Justice Secretary David Gauke announced today

  1. Safety, security and decency will be improved across the prison estate
  2. Criminal lynchpins operating behind bars will be targeted through technology
  3.  In-cell phones to incentivise good behaviour and boost rehabilitation

Criminal lynchpins who orchestrate gangs from behind bars will be identified, targeted and disrupted thanks to the use of new technology.As part of action to enhance safety, security and decency across the estate, a new digital tool will enable prisons to build a more detailed picture of the kind of risk an offender is likely to present – including the likelihood of involvement in organised crime.

Following a successful trial, the digital tool – which assesses information from various law enforcement databases to create a central ‘risk rating’ for each prisoner – will be rolled out across the country over the next year, thanks to a £1m injection.While the current system relies on offence type and sentence length to categorise prisoners, the new technology will help staff to assess the risks an offender is likely to pose – including violence, escape, or becoming involved in organised crime. This intelligence will allow police and prison staff to better target their activity to prevent, disrupt and disable criminal networks, including moving prisoners when necessary.This smarter approach to categorisation is already having an impact and has led to 12 of the most prolific criminals being moved to different prisons, disrupting their control over criminal networks.224385097-britain27s-secretary-of-state-for-justice-david-gauke-arrives-at-the-bbc-in-central-lon

Justice Secretary David Gauke said:

“We must make it clear to these gangs that criminality stops at the prison gate.…We have already identified some of the worst offenders co-ordinating drug supply from the inside and moved them to other prisons to cut them off from their market. This includes people using drones and visitors to smuggle drugs and mobile phones into prisons, and those seeking to corrupt prison staff and coerce other prisoners – through intimidation or fear – to get involved in criminal activity.Removing these individuals disrupts supply routes and just like any organisation, this lack of leadership paralyses the gangs and stops them from getting business done.The £30m package announced today includes an overall £7m investment in safety. This will fund a range of new security measures, including airport-security style scanners, improved searching techniques and phone-blocking technology. The Justice Secretary also announced that the MOJ will be working with the prison service, police and CPS to update the ‘Crime in Prisons Protocol’, to enhance the response to crime behind bars. New training for prison staff, due to be rolled out by Autumn, will focus on crime scene preservation to make sure investigators and prosecutors have the evidence they need to pursue offenders wherever possible.

The remainder of the £30m will be spent on:

·        £16m to improve the fabric of prisons, targeting establishments with the most pressing maintenance issues and to ensure that they are brought back up to acceptable standards. This is on top of the existing maintenance budget.

·        £7m on in-cell telephones for more prisons. Currently most prisoners queue for public phones on the landings, which can be the trigger for violence or fuel demand for illicit mobile phones. Some of our modern prisons have in-cell phones with strict security measures, meaning calls to family can take place in private. Prisoners will continue to pay to make these calls.

The Justice Secretary added:

Once in prison, offenders deserve to live in decent, safe and secure environments.. In too many parts of our prison estate today cells are dirty with peeling paint and exposed wiring, shower and toilet facilities are filthy or broken, and food serving and eating areas do not meet modern food hygiene standards.… Decency also extends to how we treat prisoners – fairly and consistently, with time out of their cells, activities, and the opportunity to maintain family relationships.

As Lord Farmer made clear in his ground-breaking review last year, supportive relationships are critical to achieving rehabilitation.As part of his drive to improve opportunities for compliant prisoners who want to reform and turn their backs on crime, the Justice Secretary outlined plans for an enhanced ‘incentives and earned privileges’ scheme.Under this scheme, governors will be given the autonomy to identify what works best in the context of their prison – for instance, if they have excellent gym facilities, prisoners could be given extra access if they engage in education and employment programmes.

Likewise, these privileges can be revoked if prisoners do not behave well. The existing scheme is run centrally and this has been identified as a flaw by governors and inspectors.The MOJ will also explore plans for enhanced drug-free wings where prisoners can live in better conditions if they agree to undergo regular testing.As well as helping offenders to keep on track, we also need to give them hope for the future and the tools to build a bright one. So, we need to create prison regimes that encourage offenders to engage positively with clear pathways to progress,” the Justice Secretary said.…By using this type of incentives and sanctions model, l I believe we can change the dynamic within prisons, creating environments built on mutual respect and trust – where prisoners know what is expected of them and what they can expect in return.

 

Like myself and anyone that has some insight into how our prisons work know, that this amount of money, will not even scratch the surface of our prison system. Therefore, I don’t know where this big improvement is going to take place? Maybe four or five prisons may get some ‘high-tec’ security and some pepper-spray with a few tazers thrown in but what about the other hundred and forty institutions in the UK? The debate for and against prisons has historically focused on the moral, political and social arguments for sentencing. But public money is scarce; we need to make sure that the benefits of our prisons outweigh their costs. Whatever penal policy we decide to pursue, ignoring the economic dimension to this argument is something we can no longer afford to do. I haven’t got an automatic answer to this question, as you would of read in my reply to the professor.  However, privatisation seems to be the only way, not just here and there. We have private prisons running very successfully within our criminal justice system. This could be the foundation to enhance the business opportunities that could bring structure, stability, financial balance,  public protection and safety from all angles of the system.In all the circumstances, Justice Secretary, David Gauke MP, is so far away from the realities of what needs to change, that he has completely forgotten that what laws and decisions made in parliament or in board meetings across the whole estate, seem to lose the reality of the layperson that they are making these decisions for. What may work in the boardroom does not mean it will work on the floor. That is why we need pragmatic people being realistic to bring about some fundamental changes. Not just a hard hitting headline that detracts the layperson from what’s really going on. As of today, although I believe David Guake MP means well, I don’t really believe he has got to grips with the enormity of changes he has to make for a more structured, safe environment ,where prisoners can pay for there own stay. Furthermore, support their families and lead an industrious life that will not only be beneficial for themselves, the justice system and it will also be a major contribution to society as a whole.  

Am I right?

Or do you believe there is an alternative?

Please feel free to comment…

LORD FARMERS REVIEW…. LAID OUT  VERY ELEQUENTLY & DISCRIPTIVELY. HOWEVER, THE PEOPLE IN PRIVALEDGED POSITIONS, LIKE LORD FARMER & JUSTICE SECRETARY, DAVID GAUKE MP, ARE COMPLETELY MISSING THE OBVIOUS… A LARGE MAJORITY OF OUR PRISONERS  ARE VICTIMS THEMSELVES. MOST SUFFER FROM, SOME SORT OF MENTAL ILLNESS  & ARE SOCIALLY INEPT.

THEREFORE A MORE REALISTIC & FUNDAMENTAL APPROACH IS CRUCIAL. THAT DOESN’T MEAN SAYING WHAT THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO HEAR… IT’S ABOUT BEING PROACTIVE AND DIRECT WITHIN THIS DRAMATIC CHANGE FOR THE BETTER. I HAVE SAT IN NUMEROUS INSTITUTIONS GETTING ALL PREPARED FOR THE PRISON INSPECTORS. I HAVE EVEN SAT DOWN AND HAD DISCUSSIONS WITH SOME OF THE GOVERNMENTS ELITE PEOPLE THAT ARE IN THESE POSITIONS. I BELIEVE SOME OF YOU WILL KNOW WHO YOU ARE….

WE NEED PEOPLE BACK IN THE SYSTEM NAMELY, JOHN PODMORE. THIS MAN WAS THE  GOVERNOR OF HMP-SWALESIDE, WHEN I WAS SERVING MY 12 YEAR SENTENCE. HE WAS A REAL FAIR MAN AND A FANTASTIC FORWARD THINKER FOR THE TIME HE WAS IN OFFICE. LET’S HOPEFULLY SEE IF ANYONE LIKE HIM COME ALONG..
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2 thoughts on “Forward Thinking …

Add yours

  1. Enjoyed the post and know the goverment will not help prisoners, they seem to only want to punish more . The biggest and most accurate change would be a help to the prison system would be, to stop probation officers having so much power., The power to throw prisoners who have been released, back in to prison, They are allowed to make up what they like about an ex con, sadly, with the use of lies to recall them. No questions asked as to is it true. They often write these false reports, nobody can change reports once written. This is written under presumption, along with the false accusations. The O.A.S.Ys report is a computer that compiles a load of information and comes out with what it believes. This is coupled with what the probation officers thinks the ex-prisoner will do, what crime and so on. They often make up things, which push courts to recall prisoners and these are far from the truth. This so they can imprison a newly released prisoner, they lie and cut paste other reports that maybe similar to cover themselves. What other job position gives a person the power to imprison. The probation officer becomes the police, courts magistrates and judge, this is all done with a stroke of a pen and their managers signature. Where would it be allowed to blatantly lie and to put another human being in jail? This is what they have done to me personally. Some probation officers should be put in jail themselves for knowingly being involved in false accusations, lies that have put an ex-prisoner back in jail. The government know this and as there is no alternative, then they allow the Probation to run itself. This is also why the prisons are so full now, the amount of unnecessary recalls that has been used by an overworked, bitter and twisted probation officer, is unbelievable. Probation 0fficers seem to use a phrase of being mistaken when the reality is they are liars and it’s growing trend at an alarming rate, within the whole system. For a large majority of prisoners now is to find a probation officer that will give you a fair run of your licence, basically, a fair chance. Furthermore, maybe ‘5 out of 70’ will not blatantly lie to push inmates back in prison. These prisoners maybe released years later, with no money, structure or support, feeling angry, bitter and resentful of the whole judicial system. Moreover, they lose contact with their families, wives, children and love ones. Sadly then the drugs call them to fill tht void of, sadness, loneliness and rejection. A large majority go straight to sleeping on the streets, others turn back to crime and sadly, some commit suiside. Please people in positions of authority ”STOP PROBATION OFFICERS FROM BEING ABLE TO WRITE FALSE ACCUSATIONS AND LIES. THESE CASES LIKE MY OWN HAVE/HAD WITH NO PROOF YET, THEY SEEM TO PUT PEOPLE BACK IN PRISON. THIS IS WRONG….SO VERY WRONG!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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