G4s, the private company that runs Birmingham & Oakwood prisons have been told by the Ministry of Justice to ban a penal reform charity from visiting those prisons to see the work they are doing to improve conditions behind bars.
Frances Crook, head of the penal reform charity the Howard League, received a letter from the Ministry of Justice, telling her that the “visits were not appropriate at this time”
The reason? Well it seems that Ms Crook and the Howard League have previously criticised the privatisation of prison work.
Ms Crook gave this illuminating response in relation to Justice Secretary Chris Grayling…
” He has a very emotional response to criticism that is very unhelpful”
The Howard Leagues concern about privatisation of prisons is a moral and ethical one … Is it right for a private firm to profit from punishment.
Once again it should be remembered that a prison is a public institution which is publicly funded.
Chris Grayling isn’t the only one who has an “emotional response” to criticism; IDS, Cameron, Osborne, Pickles, Shapps et al, they all react in the same way, as if we little people, who pay the taxes and national insurance that fund these private firms who meddle in public services, shouldn’t ask questions or raise concerns about how our money is being spent and whether or not the taxpayer has value for money; remember we are ALL taxpayers because we ALL pay VAT.
Conditions in prisons are as bad now as they were at the time of one of Britain’s worst jail riots in Strangeways Manchester, 25 years ago, former Lord Chief Justice Woolf has said.