Ken Clarke proves you can do more with less
Telegraph (where else?): Three cheers for Ken Clarke. In a strange conference in which hopes far exceed the money needed to underpin them, he has come up with the best idea to emerge from the platform.
Saying that prisoners should work a 40-hour week for the minimum wage makes sense on every level. Victims would be rewarded from the proceeds, cash sent home to families and taxes paid. The iniquity of having fit and healthy young people sitting idly in their cells at the taxpayers’ expense currently instils the idea that it’s fine not to earn a living.
Now, assuming the scheme gets off the ground, all that is going to alter. There are already good examples in British prisons. High Down runs a gourmet restaurant, The Clink, where prisoners are trained up for the catering trade and given hope of a good job on their release. Wansdworth does IT, bricklaying, plastering and shoe repairs. Now it’s up to Mr Clarke and individual governors to build on that model.
Normally, I’d be quite happy to admit that the Howard League (referred to in the article) comes up with good ideas – but I really am not sure that this plan will work. There are Union issues. There are Employment Law issues, There are Human Rights Act issues. There are administrative, supervision and …. well… there are issues…. possibly issues which may have ESCAPED… Mr Clarke’s attention… if you will forgive the pun.
The mantra is… GET EVERYONE BACK TO WORK…. unfortunately… there are 470,000 vacancies at the moment (apparently) … but there are a lot of unemployed (Millions of ’em) …. and MORE to come?… so 85,000 prisoners…. who will want/not want to work… could be a problem.
But.. as I said in my last post… happy to be proved wrong
Perhaps these working prisoners could be given the vote? see Jailhouse Lawyer’s blog for all the gen on prisoner votes and UK compliance with European Court orders!
And… while you are at it… from Jailhouse Lawyer… this…?
And… for you music lovers out there… here is Elvis Clarke QC, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, singing… what else?…. JAILHOUSE ROCK