Letter - My concerns over prisons plan

I think people should be realy concerned at the government’s new announcement that they are going to put the HM Prisons out to tender to the public sector.

In their announcement to do so they stated that records show offenders who spent time in private prisons were less likely to re-offended compared to HM Prisons.

One can only speculate to why this is and perhaps it needs further debate amongst prison reform groups and HMP staff, but what I find worrying is the prospect of running these prisons on the cheap, as there’s already been words uttered by the government of introducing work schemes into prison, and then of course prisons then will become profitable to run.

All well and good you might think, but we are a country with about 90,000 in prison at a cost to the taxpayer, the consideration of sending someone to prison has to be considered carefully, economically and how much benefit it would do the general public.

I myself think only persistent offenders and those who are a danger to the public should be sent to prison, but my biggest worry is if prisons become profitable, more prisons will open, and more people will be sent there, and just like in the United States which has nearly three million prisoners.

The incentives will be put there to send people to jail, not to mention, they will of course become debtors’ prisons too, and the days of going bankrupt and walking away from and unsustainable debt will be gone.

Pete McGowan

Windross Close