UK Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is introducing tough new rules to the UK prison system, starting reforms that will make UK prisons ‘spartan but humane’. Grayling said he didn’t want it to be a place people had a ‘desire’ to come back to.
Soft-spoken MP for leafy Epsom in Surrey, Chris Grayling is anything but brutal by nature.
A former Channel 4 business reporter and ex-member of the Social Democrat Party, a forerunner of the Lib Dems, he is not from the Tories’ old-style hang ’em and flog ’em brigade.
But his new ‘spartan’ jails policy is final proof that David Cameron’s ‘hug a hoodie’ phase is well and truly over.
Now this will raise a few eyebrows, on both sides of the debate
‘Prisoners get extra privileges and resources through good behaviour. We may tighten that regime. We are considering all aspects of prison life.’
And he is not prepared to tolerate the practice, said to be growing, whereby some gay inmates live as couples in cells, allowing them to have sex regularly.
‘It is not acceptable to allow same-sex couples to effectively move in together and live a domestic life. If such a thing happened, I would want those prisoners put in separate prisons.’
It sounds like being a career crim in Blighty is going to get a lot less comfy
Mr Grayling believes prisoners do not deserve the kind of lifestyle and ‘frills’ that are beyond the reach of families on low wages.
The move will provoke fierce opposition from prison reformers, but Mr Grayling says that making prison life tougher is a vital part of his war on crime.
- Subscription satellite television channels, including Sky Sports, will be banned – and thousands may lose the perk of having a TV in their cell.
- More could be forced to wear drab grey prison overalls instead of their own clothes.
- The right to use pocket money to buy toiletries and sweets in prison shops could be curbed.
- Prisoners who have gay relationships in jail will be barred from sharing cells – and even sent to separate jails.
- Prisoners who misbehave will forfeit the automatic right to be freed early.
And in New Zealand we discover that banning smoking from prisons is against the poor petals’ human rights?
The sooner we adopt a similar stance in this country, the better.