Covid shows not only the issues of prison overcrowding but the requirement for a system that actually works and reduces offending behaviour, this will save money and will reduce the social costs of criminal behaviour.
This is a complex and multifaceted problem and it is not possible to create a solution within a 1000 word limit. Covid (& Brexit) give the following opportunities for change;
– A requirement to reduce Government spending
– A requirement to reduce overcrowding / reduce infection risks / reduce pressure on the courts
– A desire to show the world that the UK can do things better
Create Prisons & Prison Systems that;
– Incentivises the Prison Service and/or Prison Management companies with bonuses primarily based on long-term reduction of offending – this should be quite easy to model with effective Prison Services/Companies gaining a much more profitable outcome while also saving the state money
– Inherently create a different prison experience for different prisoners in an entirely non-discriminatory manner (short term – vs – longterm prisoners have different requirements)
– Allows the traditional role of prison officers to shift away from ‘prison controllers,’ with positions of power over prisoner’s situations toward people who are qualified to help, support and educate prisoners while still helping to maintain order within the prison
– Provides tangible systems of education allowing prisoners to gain the key skills they require for 98% of jobs coupled with systems to identify those with poor ability
– Aims to increase the difficulty of organising criminal activities from within prison
– Reduces the likelihood of riots and allows ‘prisoner type’ segregation depending on likely negative effects on other prisoners
– Up-skills the prison workforce and makes it more difficult for staff to undertake corrupt activities – a way (which combined with the first point) can make working in well-performing prisons pay well
I got carried away and expanded on this somewhat. I am more than happy to share a more fully thought through and researched document if desired.