Today there are so many reports of the mounting chaos in the prison system that it is difficult to keep pace.
How can a prisoner be attacked on exercise in Bristol Prison and there not be sufficient staff to intervene and come to his assistance, just doesn’t bear thinking about.
As I have said in previous posts thoserunning the penal system, Grayling et al,just don’t have any comprehension of the realities of life within the system. Before anything changes two things HAVE to happen. Firstly we have to go back in society to a point where people come before profits, that applies across the board not just in penal affairs. Secondly the whole penal system has to be subject to radical changes, not just piecemeal hit and miss ideas like thelunatic hairbrain proposals which have emanted from MoJ lately.


Yet another crazy idea from MoJ and its fuhrer, the egotistical clown Grayling. What planet is he on?Someone at Moj is very clearly coming up with all these ideas, perhaps all Moj policymakers should be subjected to regular mental health checks. Over the years we have seen various schemes or changes implemented by the Home Office but never have there been as many cloud cuckoo land schemes as we have witnessed overthe past couple of years.
What on earth difference does it make what time the boys have lights out? You don’t need a light on to watch television andlegally I don’t think MoJ can restrict viewing hours because the boys actually pay for their television access.No doubt we willshortly be faced with a multi million pound legal bill for fighting a claim under the Human Rights legislation on this aspect ofthe changes.
Why on earth don’t Grayling and his minions do some serious work and research to try and improve and mend the broken penal system. We all know prisons are not a votecatcher but at least some effort could be made instead of just coming up with these crazy hair brained schemes which are totally non-effective and have as their only effect making MoJ a laughing stock.
Same with the issue f books in prison, again what planet is Grayling on?
One of the problems we are constantly being told about society today is the lack of literacy and numeracy so along comes Grayling and makes the problem even worse, perhaps it would behelpful if Michael Gove at education were to have a little word in his shell like. Of course I forgot, this Government is in such chaotic turmoil that ministers no longer talk to each other!!!!!


I am about to begin writing a report as in the heading for this post. As an ex offender with several sentences under my belt and as someone who has worked in various parts of the voluntary sector for many years and who has used my incarceration to research prisons and prisoners I feel I am very well qualified to approach this task both objectively and non-sensationally.
I have also written, and had published commercially, three or four books based on various aspects of the penal system.
My report will be totally non-political, independent and objective. Anyone who feels that they have anything to contribute to this work is cordially invited to contact me via the Contact Form at the end of this post.


When will the Ministry of Justice remove it;s blindfolds and ear defenders and wake up to the realities of what is happening in the British prison system? It never will, certainly not during the lifetime of this Government which is only interested in profit, definitely not in people. I would really like to see exactly what links MoJ staff and ministers have to Serco and G4S. Would really be interesing to know how many shares are held and by whom.


Once again the Mail on Sunday is headlining 4 absconds in a week from Sudbury OPen Prison in Derbyshire. Of course four absconds in such a short time is far too many but as I’ve said in ealier posts the selection procedure for prisoners considered for open conditions is really where the fault lies and that is determined by finance rather than any other reasons. Until the Ministry of Justice gets this right nothing will change. But that’s not really what this post is about.
Iknow it’sthe way things are but why can’t the media focus just for once on the many positives aspects of open prisons?
I have served a sentence, albeit a relatively short one, at Sudbury and I can say from first hand knowledge that there are lots of positives.
Firstly, a number of charity shops in Derby are partly manned by Sudbury inmates. Added up over a year that must equate to thousands of hours. Secondly, a number of local factories and even more so farms rely on the prison for labour. Yes, the men are paid at the going rate. Part of these wages are paid into an account to provide a lump sum to help te guy on his eventual release but a portion of it also goes to the prison to pay for the mans keep thereby redcing the burden on the tax payer. Also very obviously the inmate is being trained in the work ethic, very useful in the case of a large number of prisoners who, before their imprisonment had never worked.
Look at the numbers, in any one year thsands of guys pass through Sudbury. In that period there may be at the outside a hundred or soabsconds, as a percentage the proportion is miniscule.
So get real, cut out the sensationalism and let/s look at things as they really are.


Just been working on the proofs for my book and have become very emotional reading about how I reduscovered my falth in 1996. Really was a very emotional time but a time of great joy and happiness which changed my life forever and gave me a strength which is as strong today as it ever was.
Being a committed Christian really is great, knowing that you are part of a worldwide Christian fellowship is a source of great peace and joy. Just saddens me that so many churches are as far from true Christianity as it is possible to be.
I’m disabled and virtually housebound but I really feel a spiritual boost when I share in Holy Communion. Because of this my local vicar visited me at home a couple of times to celebrate communion. Then two years ago the visits just stopped, no explanation, nothing and I’ve heard nothing since and the churche4s wonder why numbers are falling!!!


Yesterday I received the first proofs for my book which is always a very exciting milepost, seeing it in print for the first time.
Has come out to 255 pages and the publishers are making very complimentary commentd do am very happy about that. So look out for it ‘A LIFE OF SENTENCES’ by Dave J Hardwick