Sunday, 20 May 2012

Everyone should do prison Norway style

After reading this on the guardian, I really truly think that prisons everywhere should be like they do in Norway.
To summaries; expensive prisons with decent facilities and a big focus on rehabilitation and maintaining normality have almost no internal prisoner violence or drug use. Can you imagine?

  I know there will be lots of Daily Mail style outrage, prison-should-be-a-punishment-not-a-holiday type sentiment, but prisons that treat inmates like shit create shittier inmates who get released back into society. Despite the reactionary urge to call for "PUNISHMENT AND REVENGE", it is an approach which leads to much more crime as offenders get exposed to gangs drugs and violence in prison.  I read that after the August riots, the prison population grew and new gangs were formed in prison. How is that going to solve any problems once those kids get released ? More gangs?? Thanks David Cameron!! taking a "tough stance" really pays off..

I think the guardian article focuses a little bit too much on the 'luxury' experience, but it seemed to me just basic decent living standards in a developed country (should be that way everywhere). I can truly understand if working class people read that and say 'I don't have all that stuff at home, why should the criminals?' but obvs as a socialist I don't think that anyone should be materially deprived whether they are in a prison or not! And opposing restorative justice like this is not going to make life any better for the working class in the long run, because they have to deal with the higher crime rates that come from fucked up prisoners being re released into the long run, and quite frankly I would like to see rates of mugging, violent crime and rape go down not go up.

Rich people can afford to live in the nicer areas so they don't really mind if crime happens a lot in the poor parts, because they would rather have lower taxes than pay for prison to be reformed. Just another injustice that happens in capitalism, but the point about taxes is that UK style prisons are still currently super expensive (I think its around £50,000 per year per prisoner). The difference is that the same money gets wasted in the negative abyss of crime, and eaten up in the profit margins of private security companies like G4S and Serco. In the long run, less re-offending would mean less prisoners and less paying for their upkeep. But G4S wouldn't be happy?? 

Norway style prison is still a punishment, for murderers and rapists they still lose their freedom. But after they leave they would have had a lot of counselling and therapy and are like a billion times less likely to reoffend (slight exaggeration on the numbers). But isn't that a good thing? 

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