Sunday, 25 August 2013

IEA Lecture on Prison Reform

On stage at 9am tomorrow advocating a new approach to prisons. After all with a 65%+ fail rate and a cost of £50,000 per prisoner a year you would expect change and rehabilitation. Einstein was right -
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"
We need to take a different approach to how we treat prisoners in prison focusing less on warehousing and more on literacy, stopping drug use and the teaching of skills. Only then will we be able to mentor these men and women back into work and a normal life.
Surely the key is - what are the results of incarceration? Does it stop offending on release? At present the answer is no.
Prison numbers go up and up
1945- 10,000
1993- 43,000
2013- 86,000
The solution is not longer sentences but a better sentence. I believe the payment by results model as practised in the privatised prisons like Doncaster and Peterborough are the way ahead. They incentivise the teams of officers, governor, and prison staff to help change prisoners behaviour. The approach is very different to a traditional state prison.

"Every society gets the criminal it deserves.
Every community decides upon the the kind of law enforcement, justice, prison and rehabilitation it deserves."
Robert Kennedy, with a little help from GO