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150601 chomsky privatisation

The Conservative Government has been handing over prisons to private companies – G4S being the well-known option – for years, and there can be no doubt that the plan is to privatise the whole service.

It certainly fits with Noam Chomsky’s description of the pattern for handing public services over to profit-making companies (see above).

It’s clear that funds have been drained from a service that is suffering staff shortages and in which prisons are being choked with far too many inmates.

Result: Prisons have become powder kegs.

This Writer thinks that is the plan. What do the Tories care if riots break out? A few prisoners will get hurt, and maybe some staff. That’s a risk of their job, isn’t it?

No – it really isn’t.

They are supposed to be working in acceptable conditions – they aren’t. That’s what is causing the unrest.

And what about the alternative – handing over more prisons to G4S and similar companies?

That would be begging for even worse events. These companies are only concerned with profit and should not be allowed anywhere near custody of other human beings. Corners will be cut in order to make more money from contracts. Inmates – and staff – will suffer.

And a Tory Government will turn a blind eye.

It is not a civilised way to treat criminals. If you don’t care about that, bear in mind that it is an appalling way to treat prison staff.

But then, it is foolish ever to consider Conservatives civilised.

Earlier this year, the departing chief inspector of prisons, Nick Hardwick, described the former justice minister Chris Grayling’s attempts to interfere with his conclusion that overcrowding and a shortage of staff were contributing to worsening standards across the prison estate.

In September, a report by Hardwick’s successor Peter Clarke on an inspection of Bedford prison said that standards there were “unacceptable” and fell short of “basic levels of decency”, partly because of staffing shortages.

Last week, the head of the Prison Officers Association (POA), Mike Rolfe, said that staff across the country were on their knees, and that prisons were succumbing to a “bloodbath”.

Last night, 200 prisoners were involved in a riot in Bedford prison that took more than six hours to get under control. Whatever else anyone thinks about Sunday’s disturbances, no one can say that they weren’t warned that it was coming.

Source: Dear Liz Truss – please consider why prisoners are rioting | Archie Bland | Opinion | The Guardian

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