The National Prisoners Newspaper for England and Wales
16th August 2011, 15.35hrs – NO Embargo
Plans to force former prisoners into work on release from jail are is welcome in principle, but it comes at the wrong end of the sentence said Mark Leech, Editor of Converse the national prisoners newspaper.
The plan was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as part of the measures to end the “dismal cycle of repeat crime.”
Mr Clegg said that those released from jail from March next year would be “met at the prison gates” by providers in the Work Programme and put through a “tough process so that they find work and they stay on the straight and narrow”.
However “Clegg has it the wrong way round” Mr Leech said.
“Instead of meeting them on the last day of their sentence and trying to instil a work ethic, he should start from the very first day of that sentence, ensuring they get up each day, attend meaningful work, at realistic wages, and with a proportion of that pay being paid to victims of crime.
“Leaving it to the end of the sentence is meaningless, they will just come out, stick two fingers up, and go on their way.”
“I welcome anything which is aimed at reducing crime, but this scheme is knee-jerk and ill-thought-through.”
Converse: 08450 660011