The Discovery Channel’s documentary entitled “Russia’s Toughest Prisons” showed us how crime and punishment should be dealt with. The prisoners fear the guards, they do everything they are told when they’re told to do it, they don’t dare tell a lie, and generally, there’s no trouble within the prisons. Additionally, the conditions are awful. They get only the most basic rights needed for survival, prisoners live by a very strict and coordinated routine which they cannot deviate from, and in some cases, for the duration of the sentence, they will never see the sun.
The result of this is when a convict is eventually released at the end of the sentence, they sure as hell don’t want to go back again… Which brings me neatly onto the subject of British prisons.
Did I say prisons? I’m sorry, I meant luxury 5 star all-inclusive residences. In these pathetic excuses for detainment facilities, each prisoner is pretty much awarded every luxury that the general, honest-working population should be entitled to, but usually can’t quite manage. Three course meals (I recall an incident where a prisoner complained about the quality of his meal and was given another as an apology), access to the latest in computer entertainment and fully furnished cells, sometimes even with TVs. They’re so nice, in fact, that people have admitted to deliberately re-offending when they leave just because it’s an easier life than a life outside prison.
Not like that’s necessary, of course, because a lot of offenders who leave prison are given accommodation when they leave, along with a job in some cases, in order to rehabilitate them back into society. Decent accommodation and a job of any kind are out of reach for a great amount of the British populace. To say that procedures like these are a good, acceptable form of punishment is an absolute scandal; I’ve theorised before that it was created and passed by politicians who may one day end up in prison themselves. This must be the case, because surely, no right-minded, honest person would consider these good measures.
I understand that it does work sometimes, for smaller offenders at least. It’s been proven by case studies a number of times. But as far as I’m concerned, sometimes isn’t enough. It needs to work a majority of the time in order to make people fear these places. Prisons shouldn’t be coveted, they should be the sort of place no-one wants to end up in for any reason. It also costs the taxpayer a lot of money to run these places, so the irony that the murder victim’s family is paying for the murderer’s life in the lap of luxury is pretty obvious.
Here’s my proposal; agree or disagree with me if you wish. I think small time offences (petty theft, assault, shoplifiting and the like) should be met with time away from useful ameneties. Offenders should be placed in a cell with another person, and given a very basic bed (a plank with a straw mattress, something like that), access to a pretty basic recreation area, a “job” they need to do in order to earn the right to eat (manual labour, cooking etc.), and a bucket in the middle of the room to do their business in.
My proposal for big offences is rather a lot more radical (call me harsh if you must). Murderers, rapists, paedophiles etc. should be thrown into a stone pit in solitary confinement and force fed rotting meat every day until the day they die alone in misery. This would not only be just, but it would also cost next to nothing.
I’m sure they wouldn’t re-offend in a hurry.