Socialist Worker

Tories attack prisoner rights

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2490

David Cameron said on Monday that prison reform is “one of the great progressive causes”.

Downing Street proclaimed this was the first prime minister’s speech on prisons in 20 years.

In fact Cameron made one just as bad in 2012. He called for the “biggest shake-up of prisons since the Victorian era”.

Cameron said prisoners should be seen as “potential assets to be harnessed” and the “failure of our system today is scandalous”.

He then proceeded to announce attacks on prisoners’ rights.

The top Tory plans to cut red bureaucracy and red tape—read deregulation and privatisation. He wants satellite tracking of prisoners on release and phone signals to prisons blocked.

The model of free schools is to be brought to young offender institutions.

There are to be restrictions on imams being allowed into prisons and new powers to speed up the deportation of foreign inmates.

Last week there were 173 more people locked up than the previous week.

Frances Crook from the Howard League for Penal Reform, tweeted in response, “Suicide of a 47 year woman in Low Newton prison, 12th this year & third woman.

“Nothing I heard from David Cameron will prevent this.”

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