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M302 - Reconsideration of the Prison Parcel Ban watch

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    M302 - Reconsideration of the Prison Parcel Ban, TSR Green Party This House welcomes the recent ruling that will allow family and friends of prisoners to send parcels containing books. However, the (rightful) outrage about the lack of access to books in prison has masked a greater problem of restrictions placed on the sending of parcels in general - it is only permitted in exceptional circumstances, mostly related to a prisoner's health problems.

    The restrictions mean that families of prisoners are not permitted to send basic items such as clothes, underwear and toiletries. Prisoners have to purchase such items from either the prison shop or through a special catalogue. The problem is that the average income of prisoners is £10 a week, and these items are expensive. Also, not every prisoner can work - they may have physical or mental health problems or be prevented from working by old age.

    The restrictions are supposed to be a part of a "punishment and reward" system, but even the most well-behaved prisoner cannot receive parcels except for in the aforementioned special circumstances. The ban can lead to real problems - for example, there have been cases of female prisoners who are unable to get a hold of enough clean underwear to keep them hygienic during their period, or who have insufficient access to sanitary products. Prisoners working on temporary license may not be able to purchase a change of clothes, or a jacket to keep them warm during the winter. A ban on parcels containing such basic necessities, then, seems nonsensical.

    This House proposes an assessment of the so-called "parcel ban". It is understood that there can be a security risk associated with parcels, but it should be possible to find a balance between security and meeting basic needs. Underwear, for example, can easily be checked for illegal items or substances. If it is found to be too difficult to check sanitary items for illegal items or substances, these should be made available for free in sufficient quantities. One of the main purposes of a person's stay in prison is that of rehabilitation, and a lack of access to basic necessities can threaten a person's health and well-being, which is unnecessary and unhelpful.


    Links:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30344867
    http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/...w/1/itemid/201
    http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-an...ing-sent-books
    http://www.internetjournalofcriminol...in_Custody.pdf
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    Aye, though parcels should obviously be opened by staff and then the contents passed on to prisoners for security reasons.
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    Aye, good motion!
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    Nay.

    In the context of the current sentencing and prison system I'll have to use a broad brush and say they should suffer the consequences of their action.

    I do think the TV's should become. Removed and allow them to read though.
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    Nay.
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    Such vulgar language has been used, nay.
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    Aye, the current ban serves little purpose.
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    (Original post by tehFrance)
    Such vulgar language has been used, nay.
    Vulgar language? Where? :confused:
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    (Original post by Kittiara)
    Vulgar language? Where? :confused:
    In regards to the lady problems, disgusting wording
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    (Original post by tehFrance)
    In regards to the lady problems, disgusting wording
    What, period? That's not vulgar. Even health sites use it (including the NHS).
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    Nay.
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    Aye.
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    Aye!
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    In prison everyone is equal; what about the prisoners who have no one to send them toiletries etc? They don't deserve gifts any more than their fellow inmates do in my opinion. Items essential for basic hygiene should be provided by the state and if they're not then I would immediately support government action to rectify that. This motion however does not help all prisoners, just those with concerned folk on the outside so to speak.

    In deference to the Green Party, whose goals to liberalise the prison system I generally agree with and admire, I'll abstain.
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    I'm entirely in agreement with Ray here - for me this definitely has the right intentions but isn't quite the right solution. Abstain.
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    (Original post by RayApparently)
    MSG
    (Original post by Green_Pink)
    MSG.
    Afternoon folks. My understanding was the the sanitary towels issue was being used as an example of how the current rules have an adverse affect. I have not read the motion as providing preferential treatment to just a certain group of prisoners. Have I misunderstood?

    I'm leaning towards an Aye on this.

    The punishment a custodial sentence entails in the loss of liberty. The detaining of someone and preventing them from moving freely. The magnitude of this punishment should not be underestimated. Prison is not about forcing people to live in poor conditions, forgo mental stimulation and, in most cases, become completely detached from society.

    That means the prisons should be decent. Not the Ritz... maybe not even a Travelodge. But decent. And I think part of this would be to allow parcels - so long as the security of the prison could be ensured.

    I think this motion goes some way to improving prison conditions.
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    (Original post by InnerTemple)
    Afternoon folks. My understanding was the the sanitary towels issue was being used as an example of how the current rules have an adverse affect. I have not read the motion as providing preferential treatment to just a certain group of prisoners. Have I misunderstood?

    I'm leaning towards an Aye on this.

    The punishment a custodial sentence entails in the loss of liberty. The detaining of someone and preventing them from moving freely. The magnitude of this punishment should not be underestimated. Prison is not about forcing people to live in poor conditions, forgo mental stimulation and, in most cases, become completely detached from society.

    That means the prisons should be decent. Not the Ritz... maybe not even a Travelodge. But decent. And I think part of this would be to allow parcels - so long as the security of the prison could be ensured.

    I think this motion goes some way to improving prison conditions.
    The motion's highlighted how prisoners' don't have sufficient access to items such as sanitary towels, jackets etc. The proposed solution is to allow parcels so that friends or family can send these items, but the fear is that this'll create a two-tier structure where those with supportive contacts on the outside enjoy much better conditions than those who don't. All prisoners should, in my view, have access to essential items without them having to be sent in.
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    (Original post by Green_Pink)
    The motion's highlighted how prisoners' don't have sufficient access to items such as sanitary towels, jackets etc. The proposed solution is to allow parcels so that friends or family can send these items, but the fear is that this'll create a two-tier structure where those with supportive contacts on the outside enjoy much better conditions than those who don't. All prisoners should, in my view, have access to essential items without them having to be sent in.
    Fair enough, but that shouldn't stop prisoners receiving parcels. The example given in the motion is perhaps not great, but the sentiment of the motion is the right one.
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    Aye

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    (Original post by InnerTemple)
    Afternoon folks. My understanding was the the sanitary towels issue was being used as an example of how the current rules have an adverse affect. I have not read the motion as providing preferential treatment to just a certain group of prisoners. Have I misunderstood?

    I'm leaning towards an Aye on this.

    The punishment a custodial sentence entails in the loss of liberty. The detaining of someone and preventing them from moving freely. The magnitude of this punishment should not be underestimated. Prison is not about forcing people to live in poor conditions, forgo mental stimulation and, in most cases, become completely detached from society.

    That means the prisons should be decent. Not the Ritz... maybe not even a Travelodge. But decent. And I think part of this would be to allow parcels - so long as the security of the prison could be ensured.

    I think this motion goes some way to improving prison conditions.
    As Green_Pink has explained.

    (Original post by O133)
    Fair enough, but that shouldn't stop prisoners receiving parcels. The example given in the motion is perhaps not great, but the sentiment of the motion is the right one.
    The sentiment is right, and so I shall abstain rather than voting against.
 
 
 
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