Prisons: security, rehabilitation and humanity

David Faulkner and Ros Burnett

in Where Next For Criminal Justice?

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9781847428929
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305569 | DOI:
Prisons: security, rehabilitation and humanity

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This chapter reviews the social and political context in which English and Welsh prisons now operate, the effect of successive reforms of management and reorganisation, and the culture and attitudes of prison staff. It examines the implications of the latest proposals for reform and considers the factors on which their success will depend, including influences on prisoners' own behaviour and the effect of wider public attitudes towards prisoners and imprisonment. Prisons are to become ‘places of hard work and industry’ along with offending-behaviour, drug-treatment and violence-reduction programmes, followed by integrated offender management after release. It is anticipated that, with the cooperation expected from the private sector, the work done in prisons will generate an income to pay for prison programmes, support prisoners' families and help compensate victims. The Prison Service has had similar aspirations in the past, but the disciplines needed for productive and profitable industry have always demanded a significant change in a prison's priorities and character. The chapter compares and contrasts public and private sector prisons and argues for a parallel agenda to accompany current proposals for prison reform, one which focuses on relationships and on legitimacy, responsibility, rehabilitation, citizenship and community.

Keywords: prisons; prisoners; prison service culture; security; humanity; rehabilitation; resettlement; private sector prisons; market testing; work in prisons

Chapter.  8021 words. 

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