Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Cox's Farm is grossly overcrowded.

The Western Mule reports that 3,180 people incarcerated in Cardiff, Bridgend’s Parc prison, Usk and Swansea,  Welsh prisons are 136% over the Prison Service’s Certified Normal Accommodation (CNA).

According to the Prison Reform Trust, CNA is “the good, decent standard of accommodation that the Service aspires to provide all prisoners”.

Swanse colloquially known as 'Cox's farm', after a former governor. "houses"category B/C men’s prison, is the third most overcrowded prison in England and Wales, with levels at 182% of what they should be.

The statistics show the Victorian-era prison, built in 1845 to hold 240 people, now holds 436 men.

Across Wales, the prison system is 51 prisoners short of exceeding its operational capacity.

A spokesman for the Prison Reform Trust, which analysed the figures, said:
For people in prison themselves, overcrowding has a tangible impact.
“Figures for 2010-11 show that nearly a quarter of people in prison are being held in overcrowded accommodation, either doubling up in cells designed for one occupant or being held three to a cell in cells designed for two people.
“Private prisons have held a higher percentage of their prisoners in overcrowded accommodation than public sector prisons every year for the 13 years to 2010-11.
“Overcrowding makes it much harder for staff to work intensively with offenders on resettlement.
“Currently 47% of adults re-offend within a year of leaving prison, rising to almost 57% for those who had served a sentence of less than 12 months. Nearly 70% of children (10-17) released from custody re-offend within a year.”
England and Wales  are 90th in te league if Prisoners per 100 thousand of population(156)  nd Scotland  89th (157) and Northern Ireland 146 99. The USA imprisons most with 730 per thousand.

By Contrast  Denmark is at  169 (74) Noway 170 (73) Sweden 174 (70) and Finland 186 (56).

Despite the "Nordic Noir" view people may get of Scandinavian countries from Wallander , The Killing and The Bridge on Television  crime in these countries is not higher than the UK it is less despite having a lower prison population

In reality, the last murder in the area around Ystad (Where Wallander) is based,happened in 1999. This part of Sweden, in the far south, is notoriously quiet and peaceful.

If you think prison is there for revenge then I suppose you wouldn't be to worried about these figures but if you believe it should be about rehabilitation  then clearly  having overcrowded prisoners is not the way.

Yes Violent people and some habitual prisoners should sent to prison but we can punish people by other means .

Indeed with modern technology we should be able to monitor people in their homes restricting their they times outside e , Even their access to the Internet and other communications.should be able to be limited or denied.

Of course ir would need to monitored but done properly we could have a effective "Home Prison" system where people can be rewarded or punished for thier behaviour by altering their access to main stream society whilst they are still able to live in it.

Letting people see what they are missing by not being fully involved in daily life would probably have a greater affect on them than placing them in a Victorian prison where they will get to sense of civil responsibility at all.

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