The sheer hypocrisy of the government ant its attitude towards public and private services came to my attention today with David Cameron’s intentions towards private prisons and what appears to happen with state run ones…
Owners of private prisons who fail to stop prisoners re-offending will be fined, under new plans to be announced by David Cameron.
Under the slogan ‘Tough But Intelligent’, the Prime Minister will signal a tougher approach to law and order by declaring “retribution is not a dirty word”.
The speech is being billed as an attempt by Mr Cameron to bury finally his “hug a hoodie” message which he first unveiled in 2009.
It will also alarm criminal justice reformers, who were delighted by the previously softer approach toward prisons policy by former Justice Secretary Ken Clarke.
Mr Cameron is expected to say that firms that run private prisons will only get their fee for running the jails if they help to cut reoffending.
Under a scheme that has been trialled in Doncaster prison, contractors such as G4S and Serco will only receive their full fee if reconviction rates fall with a year of release by five per cent.
It strikes me that Cameron is somehow making the behaviour of someone outside a system responsible for the fees collected by the companies running a system. Sure they can put the prisoners through a regime of rehabilitation, but what the ex-prisoners do once they are free surely isn’t the responsibility of the private prisons? After all, it’s certainly not the responsibility of those released from the state run prisons and I cannot for the life of me see them having their budgets cut if they stray above a 5% re-offending rate.
Personally if this was thrown at me (if I were to be running a private prison) I’d pull out of the scheme, certainly I’d run things as efficiently as possible, make a profit (naturally) budget for rehabilitation schemes and retraining/education for the inmates but I could not and would not take on the responsibilities of what they do after being released from my custody, particularly if my fees from the state depended on it.
What we have appears to be a case of one rule for them and another for the private system for doing the same job.
The rest is just window dressing and will probably fall apart under various human rights court claims…