Blast From the Past

Friday, January 19, 2007


Facts about prison

  • Up to three-quarters of men in UK prisons suffer from two or more mental disorders.
  • One in four women in prison has spent time in local authority care as a child
  • The number of 15-17 year olds in prison has more than doubled over the last ten years
  • It costs over £40,000 per year to keep a person in prison
  • 67.4% of all prisoners re-offend within two years of release
  • The suicide rate for men in prison is five times that of men in the community
  • Almost one third of suicides occur within the first week in custody, 1 in 7 within 2 days
  • One study found that 72% of those who committed suicide in prison had a history of mental disorder
  • Boys in prison aged 15-17 are eighteen times more likely to kill themselves than in the community
  • Almost 1 in 5 of those held on remand before trial were acquitted or not proceeded against
  • Recalled prisoners now make up nearly 11% of the population of local prisons
  • One third of all women in prison had no previous convictions
  • The majority of women in prison are held for non-violent offences
  • Nearly two thirds of women in prison have a drug problem
  • Over half of the women in prison have suffered domestic abuse, 1 in 3 sexual abuse
  • It is estimated that 150,000 children have a parent in prison
  • England & Wales has the highest number of life sentanced prisoners in Europe. It has more than German, France, Italy and Turkey - combined.
  • 30% of people released from prison will have nowhere to live
  • Over half of all prisoners are at or below the level of an 11 year old at reading
  • Just under half of all male prisoners were excluded from school
Does prison work? Does it rehabilitate people? Does it solve matters? More importantly, does it reduce crime?

Is it time to actually tackle the causes of crime, the upbringing of a child & parenting.


dickiebo said...

A lot of these points can, of course, be readily explained. e.g. We probably have all the "Life" sentences because that is the sentence laid down, but it does not mean that they serve "life". It is merely the system.
Looking at the high rates of mental disorders, it is not surprising that suicide attempts are disproportionate to the rest of society.
Though I do believe that where the "ordinary" person is imprisoned, (as opposed to a "way-of-life" criminal), the conditions are enough to drive him/her to contemplate suicide.
Where career-criminals and vicious thugs are concerned, I have no problem at all in locking them up for long periods, thereby giving more decent people a chance to lead their lives in peace.

PC South West said...

dickiebo has made good points. I have to say the best reason for locking people up is protect the rest of us from their criminal behavior.
I think £40,000 per year to keep a prisoner is way too high. Life if probably too good for a majority of them, and they should be made to earn their keep.

Anonymous said...

Good luck in the child upbringing paper!

ExtraSpecialCopper said...

One would think that private prisons have better conditions than public. However, public prisons are far better than private ones.

As for prison conditions, the daily "allowance" for food for a prisoner is £1.85 - thats split between breakfast lunch and dinner.

BigFellainBlue said...

SC, I am not having a go at you but I dont know if you have made any prison visits. I have been numerous times to interview people or gate arrest. They have it easy some crims even commit crime to go back they get fed, a bed, TV etc. Some YOIs have PS2s for f*cks sake.
Prison is about serving time for commiting a lot of crimes it takes alot these days just to get six months.
If I had my way there would be chain gangs and have these people doing real work and this might make them think about robbing granny at knife point and hurting them for £2-50!!!
Prisons will work if funded and worked properly I am not saying remove Human Rights as it is in some other countries, Im on about good honest graft and lots of it.
I have had to deal with lots of victims and they get nothing, the crims get away with it most of the time and when they get caught the courts give them worthless punishments.
Oh and by the way our school kids get about that for their dinners me thinks take some more off of the crims get them to grow their own.

ExtraSpecialCopper said...

BigFella, I have had the opportunity to visit several prisons and have seen quite a contrast.

My next blog is on what you have described ;)

PC South West said...

I have always liked the idea of chain gangs and would have them scraping the chewing gum off the pavements. I agree that prison is too easy and so many people want to go back there.
We had one that walked into the nick and placed a wing mirror on the front desk and informed the member of police staff that they had just broke it off a car outside. Not to mention the chap that threw a concrete block through the front office window, just so he could go back to his warn cell and three meals a day.
Something is wrong somewhere.

dickiebo said...

SouthWest is right. Back in the '60s, we had a chap, Charlie Newman, who virtually lived in prison. When I was "new" to this station area, I came out of the nick one day and heard someone (Charlie)call out, "Officer". I turned around to see Charlie poised with brick in hand. As soon as he was satisfied that even I couldn't miss it, he hurled the brick through the cafe window, next-door to the nick. A good arrest, I thought. I soon found out that Charlie always did this when he was ready to go back inside. Incidentally, he had done this so many times that the cafe owner could not get an Insurance company to cover his window!

Joe90 said...

'As for prison conditions, the daily "allowance" for food for a prisoner is £1.85 - thats split between breakfast lunch and dinner.'

I won't lose any sleep over that fact.

BigFellainBlue said...

I have already put this link on another blog but it seems quite apt.

This is the future of policing -

Gargoyle said...

Why would we need Police if we could adequately treat and deal with our mentally ill????

blueknight said...

Unless 'the criminal has committed a serious offence, his or her chances of going to prison for the first second or third court appearance are pretty slim.
Prison does not necessarily rehabilitate, but it does punish and it keeps the criminal out of circulation for a couple of months.
It is the non custodial sentences handed out for the first few court appearances that do not work. Otherwise he/she would not keep coming back.
When the Home Office is split in two all the problems of crime and punishment will be sorted. Or they won't, one of the two.

Anonymous said...

A national sterilisation programme for some groups of people may a be a good idea. Had one guy who broke a couple of windows, and refused to give any details, so he had to be remanded and kept in for court. Oh, and his bed and food courtesy of the local tax payer.