Sunday, September 04, 2011


Here is a story in - guess? - The Mail about a perfectly routine and unexceptional bit of prison management. Only those on very short sentences are left in the big city prisons for long, because they have limited space that is needed for the rapid turnover of inmates - last time I was at Pentonville they told me that they turn over well over a hundred men every day, a hefty administrative and logistical workload. Remand prisoners need to see their lawyers and families often, hence the need to keep them within sensible travelling distance.

Those such as Gilmour who present a negligible security risk are assessed and then, if suitable, shipped out to a Cat C or Cat D establishment in a few weeks.

I get very tired of newspapers that cannot give the length of a sentence without the prefix of 'just' so many years or months, or who imply that the standard 50% remission of sentence is some kind of special treatment, and that televisions in cells are the ultimate in cosseting those who the Sun delights in calling 'lags'.

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