Tag Archives: prison rehabilitation

31 October 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Stop Brexit. Build a brighter future.
  • Brexit hinders growth in green, clean cars
  • Davey: Labour’s spending plans “can’t be squared with the cost of Brexit”
  • Self-harm and assaults in prisons preventing rehabilitation
  • Lib Dems: Donald Trump and Boris Johnson both unfit for office

Stop Brexit. Build a brighter future.

Today, Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats are launching their slogan for the General Election campaign: Stop Brexit. Build a brighter future, alongside a campaign poster launch.

This election is a once in a generation opportunity to reshape our politics, and give hope to the millions of people who want a fairer, brighter future.

The Liberal Democrats’ slogan reflects a positive …

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Lord Martin Thomas writes: Building a justice system that offers rehabilitation and hope

No one will forget the pictures three weeks ago of the shaven headed prisoners  clad in orange trousers, sardined together in an improvised prison cell in Northern Syria. Nothing to do except exist. They were captured ISIL fighters, at least a third of whom were foreigners, including British citizens, who had flocked to join the caliphate. My sympathy for them is non existent.  Their captors, the Kurdish SDF, regard them as a time bomb and in the events of the last few days, can no  longer guarantee to hold them. But it was their eyes that caught my attention.

I have seen eyes like that before. In the early eighties, I was privileged to tour the Vietnamese Boat People’s heavily guarded camps in Hong Kong where refugee families were warehoused in three storey high, square steel pods, awaiting endlessly to be processed. They had nothing to do. My Report, made for the Leader of the Liberal Party, Lord Steel, and passed to the British government, was according to my UNHCR contacts at the time, influential in opening the gates of the camps to permit the males useful daytime work within the HK community.

Contrast Death Row in a Caribbean country, where 180 men sentenced to death stood around in a compound built for fifty and despaired. The opposition campaigned vigorously for the abolition of appeals to the Privy Council  so that the gallows at the end of the building could do their work. Why bother with rehabilitation?

So it was with some weariness that I heard again the proposal in the Queen’s Speech to waste the limited resources of the Justice Department on lengthening sentences of imprisonment, instead of focusing on running the jails properly, killing off the drug trade, and making a real effort to release into the community people who will not offend again.In 2014, with the active support of the Liberal Democrats in the Welsh Parliament, permission was granted for the Berwyn training prison to be built on the Industrial Estate of my home town, Wrexham. I was intrigued because in my youth, I had worked on that very site as a member of a railway gang with my pick and shovel. We were replacing wooden war time sleepers with concrete supports. I know the area well. I watched the buildings go up to open at a cost of £250 millions as the largest operational prison in the UK and the second largest in Europe. Here, I thought, was the opportunity with the excellent modern design and facilities, really to do something to tackle attitudes, to change people’s lives, to turn prisoners away from crime.  All “rooms” have integral sanitation, a shower cubicle, a PIN phone, and a UniLink laptop terminal. It opened in February 2017. It is designed to hold up to  2106 prisoners serving 4 years or more.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 6 Comments
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  • User AvatarDavid Allen 17th Nov - 8:04pm
    That's the person...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 17th Nov - 7:58pm
    @ David Allen Do you mean the former man leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Vincent Cable, David ?
  • User Avatarmarcstevens 17th Nov - 7:05pm
    Yes you're right they should be open about what Liberal Reform stands for otherwise this is very undemocratic and misleading voting party members. I wouldn't...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 17th Nov - 6:37pm
    "The petition states “Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are running scared of debating the woman leader of the strongest party of Remain.”" No need to...
  • User AvatarMick Taylor 17th Nov - 6:05pm
    There are also a number of well known former members of committees who were defeated this time. Not least long-time chair Robert Woodthorpe-Brown, Mark Valadares...
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    Should Sal Brinton have said "the two persons who want to deliver Brexit", then? Two men is just normal speech, no need to read anything...