CONVERSE: The National Prisoners Newspaper for England and Wales
Press Release: 11th August 2011 – No Embargo
GOVERNORS ARE WORRIED – PRISONS WON’T BE ABLE TO COPE WITH LARGE RIOTER NUMBERS
An already over crowded prison system will not have the capacity to cope with any more than about 800 rioters said Mark Leech, editor of Converse the national prisoners newspaper.
Speaking as Parliament was recalled and the Prime Minister promised ‘touch sentences’ Mr Leech said: “The truth is that the penal reality may not match the political promise.”
Mr Leech said: “Although on paper the prison system has capacity for about 2000 more prisoners, the reality is that these are spread right across the prison estate – in male prisons, female prisons, open prisons, young offender institutions.
“It would take a massive amount of luck for the rioter ‘pegs’ to fit the prison ‘holes exactly – and the chances are they won’t.
“Prison Governors I have spoken to are worried, the prison system is currently a very volatile place, and an influx of large numbers of rioters could see the riots merely being moved from the streets to the jails themselves.”