Prison - From the Inside

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Angury
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There was a fantastic documentary about life in prison on BBC Northern Ireland recently:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...es-1-episode-1

There was a quote by Phil Wragg, the Director of Prisons for the NI Prison Service which I felt summed up the entire episode:

‘Imprisonment is not punishment. Coming to prison is the punishment; the depravation of liberty taken by the court is the punishment., Imprisonment is about understanding why somebody finds themselves here, and starting the journey of rehabilitation.
Often people’s lives are in chaos. There’s homelessness, there’s hopelessness, there’s despair. There’s educational concerns about levels of literacy, numeracy. For some, they’ve got concerns of drug abuse, alcohol abuse, domestic violence.
We’ve got learned behaviour. People have been used to doing something for a significant part of their lives. But we’ve got to try and break that cycle. We’ve got to try and give people opportunity. We’ve got to try and give people faith, we’ve got to try and give people hope. We have to rebuild that fracture that’s occurred while they’ve been in the community.’


This is a topic I'm really interested in - I really believe the way we treat the most vulnerable is a reflection of the society that we live in.

Has anyone else seen this documentary/have any thoughts on this topic?
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username3099438
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I might watch it
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username2353215
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The criminal justice system we have in this country is almost too fair on those who commit the most despicable of acts. The prisons we have in this country are hardly a punishment, dont kid yourself.
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Angury
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(Original post by TSRFT8)
The criminal justice system we have in this country is almost too fair on those who commit the most despicable of acts. The prisons we have in this country are hardly a punishment, dont kid yourself.
Do you think the main aim of prisons should be punishment?
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username2353215
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(Original post by Angury)
Do you think the main aim of prisons should be punishment?
I think punishment for wrong doing should always be the main aim, however i see how the loss of freedom/liberty is the actual punishment after trial. But being a law student i genuinely believe the criminal justice system and the prison system is a joke in this country.

The new prison which opened in West Midlands has better rooms than some university accommodations. Its not right to treat people who have done the most heinous of crimes in this way as what is then stopping someone who is homeless or not that well off from doing the same and getting a better life in prison than they would have outside?
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Angury
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(Original post by TSRFT8)
I think punishment for wrong doing should always be the main aim, however i see how the loss of freedom/liberty is the actual punishment after trial. But being a law student i genuinely believe the criminal justice system and the prison system is a joke in this country.

The new prison which opened in West Midlands has better rooms than some university accommodations. Its not right to treat people who have done the most heinous of crimes in this way as what is then stopping someone who is homeless or not that well off from doing the same and getting a better life in prison than they would have outside?
Out of interest, what made you decide to study Law? (I'm just very interested in Law myself so wanted to hear a Law student's perspective).

Tbh, I'm not sure how well deterrent works on those who repeatedly commit crimes. I agree that abuse of the system is possible, but like you say, I think depravation of liberty is the main punishment, and after that the focus should be on rehabilitation.
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username2353215
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(Original post by Angury)
Out of interest, what made you decide to study Law? (I'm just very interested in Law myself so wanted to hear a Law student's perspective).

Tbh, I'm not sure how well deterrent works on those who repeatedly commit crimes.
I would say my interest in the Law itself is what motivated me at the start then the natural progression into the legal field. Although im only in my first year, I have really taken an interest in different areas of law to help me decide what would suit me the best. If im being really honest my teacher in year 9 said i would be a great lawyer after arguing about why I needed to wear school uniform (Till year 12 i had little to no idea of what a lawyer even did apart from the usual they help the bad people in court) but after much research and work experience i actually really enjoyed it.

I agree it hardly is a deterrent, but then again why would it be? Our countries prisons are some of the most lenient around? I think its the criminal justice system in general which need a review into. Look at the recent case of Sean Mercer and how they want to move him to a different prison because he says hes scared. Killed a young boy because he was "top boy" but now cant roll with the rest of them. If real justice is to be served they should keep him in there but they wont, they will take him to a more lenient prison where he can run his mouth to the kids who will be scared of him.
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The justice system in the UK is nothing short of a joke. 10 years for murder! Prison sentences should be longer for violent crimes and all prisoners should be kept in solitary confinement as boredom is the real punishment
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Angury
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I also want to make the point that simply locking people up and throwing away the key does not get rid of problems of crime. The prison population is reflective of our society. Things like poverty, alcohol abuse and child abuse are linked with crime. Thus, by simply locking someone in prison without an attempt to understand the underlying reasons of the crime would be akin to putting a blanket over the issue and pretending it doesn't exist.
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