doctorow at March 24th, 2014 00:02 — #1
redesigned at March 24th, 2014 00:08 — #2
what will prosecutors do now when they want to "throw the book at someone"?
seriously though, this sucks. in prison reading and education play a pretty large role in the lives of the few prisoners that the system actually rehabilitates. the system is broken.
bytefyre at March 24th, 2014 00:48 — #3
This is idiotic, hopefully someone will sue.
rattypilgrim at March 24th, 2014 01:03 — #4
This is inhumane treatment and nothing less than torture for both the prisoners and their family members. There was a time when rehabilitation was part of the prison stay. That included educational classes. I bought a used copy of "The Grapes of Wrath" a long time ago and it was stamped "San Quentin Prison Library". If you've ever read the novel you would know it was an indictment of all the injustices poor and powerless people have to endure. There's no way a prison in the US would let any incarcerated person near that book today. So humans languish in empty holes of denigration while the Industrialized Prison Complex corners the market and pads the investments of people like Barbara Bush.
l_mariachi at March 24th, 2014 01:04 — #5
This should be painted far and wide as what it is: not tough on crime, but pro-crime. Preventing prisoners from receiving educational literature, religious books, etc., hobbles their opportunity to improve themselves and all but ensures that upon release they will be in the same (or worse) position as they were when they resorted to whatever crimes got them locked up in the first place.
Therefore anyone who advocates this sadistic and counterproductive assholery is clearly trying to increase crime rates, and should be called out for it in no uncertain terms.
(Does the U.K. have the same problem with prison privatization and profiteering as the U.S.? That would go a long way towards explaining these policies.)
workwatchbuyrpt at March 24th, 2014 01:06 — #6
Appeal-to-the-basest-instincts vote-pandering techniques perfected in America are now migrating to the UK and the world at large. The Internet now spreads America's infectious memes far and wide, helped along by carpet-bagging American "campaign consultants" who sell these mind-viruses to their international clients.
daneel at March 24th, 2014 01:16 — #7
I guess they should just read the bible or something like Jonathan Aitken?
My old school mate was the Labour candidate against Chris Grayling at the last election. Shame he didn't win.
sdmikev at March 24th, 2014 01:21 — #8
Next big thing - For profit prisons!
dobby at March 24th, 2014 01:32 — #9
We are so angry that drawing and quartering is no longer in the legal code.
mtdna at March 24th, 2014 01:35 — #10
It's shameful that we voters let politicians get away with this craziness. It appeals to our desire for vengeance, but in the end it's blatantly self-destructive. We essentially torture inmates and expect them to respond by being model citizens when we release them. Of course, they're usually worse coming out than when they went in, someone gets hurt, and we lock them up again to punish them even more.
Rather than being angry criminals aren't being punished enough we need to get angry they're not being rehabilitated enough. But noooooo...
nox at March 24th, 2014 02:06 — #11
They're operating under the assumption that harsher prison fines will be a superior deterrent and make them safer. It's understandable why they would think that, unfortunately, our progress against other countries show these tactics do not work as well as treatment/correction methods.
mkstvns at March 24th, 2014 03:10 — #12
So... what's the goal here, drive prisoners insane? I don't know where I come down on how criminals should be dealt with - it's too complex for the likes of me to be declaring a position on - but surely robbing them of even the most basic of privileges and essentials is cruel and unnecessary treatment.
Is there a law on 'cruel and unnecessary', or does it only extend to physical harm?
Can't help but think that while the goal is probably "scare them into never committing crime again", the result is just going to be "turn them from regular criminals into damaged psychopaths".
davecl42 at March 24th, 2014 03:38 — #13
If Grayling won't let people send books to prisoners, then we should send books to him, without postage.
fredley at March 24th, 2014 04:58 — #14
glenable at March 24th, 2014 06:03 — #15
Yeah, possibly. I don't accept the "pandering to a vicious public" idea because, although that's certainly something that happens, this story seems to be quite obscure - and has not gleefully been trumpeted by the Daily Mail et al.
themudshark at March 24th, 2014 06:35 — #16
Wait until they hire Rebecca Roache as a consultant …
boundegar at March 24th, 2014 07:25 — #17
You say this as if it was a new invention, and not as old as democracy itself.
prentiz at March 24th, 2014 08:25 — #18
1) This is a security measure to stop people smuggling in drugs, which are a massive problem in UK prisons. 2) Its being implemented by the coalition government and, as, such is as much a Lib Dem policy as a Conservative one.
kimmo at March 24th, 2014 08:50 — #19
This sort of horrifying atrocity is bound to happen if we let arch-scum like Murdoch follow their own rules, but we had kind of an actual civilisation going there for a while... certain norms of common decency had been taken by many to be self-evident; I suppose we figured freedom was irrepressible once the cat was out of the bag.
For the longest time we could point to the Nazis as a dire warning against fascism, but these days folks can hide behind Godwin. I guess history repeats itself because the warnings become cliched; the perceived relevance drains away.
But getting back to the point, the USAnian scumbags are at the top of their game; beneficiaries of a vast heritage of well(?)-funded skullduggery. They've used the scientific method for decades to hone their game, while sullying the name of science (and poisoning business at large) with their ideology via the Chicago School of Economics.
scav at March 24th, 2014 08:50 — #20
1) Bullshit. Drug prohibition is a massive problem inside and outside of prisons. While they may seriously have intended this to be a measure to tighten the monopoly on contraband enjoyed by the prison staff, it's still astonishing that they don't seem to see the downside. Deprivation of reading material is more harmful than availability of drugs.
2) Yellow tory, blue tory, red tory. The distinction is tribal rather than practical.
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