The Socialist

The Socialist 7 September 2011

Strike together to defend pensions

The Socialist issue 684

Strike together to defend pensions

Mobilise the power of the working class


Mass workers' movement - the only way to make the super-rich pay


Tory bribes to promote socially divisive 'Free Schools' agenda

NHS reaches a tipping point

Reject health bill attacks on abortion

The riots, Clarke and the "broken penal system"

Fast news

New pamphlet - The Rise and Fall of the Scottish Socialist Party

Miliband to bury Labour


Consequences of 9/11: a world turned upside down


Bristol marches against home care sell-off

EDL kept out of Tower Hamlets by thousands protesting

Stop the Dale Farm evictions

Confronting a Labour cutter


Scotland - Unison calls for pensions strike

Picket lines at police stations

Workplace News in brief


Youth March For Jobs

One in a million...fighting back!

NEET figures still rising

Local Housing Allowance

£36,000 for a degree


Them and Us by Will Hutton


Libya after Gaddafi - Independent workers' action needed

Indian high commission protest over Tamil death sentences

 
 

PDFs for this issue

Page 1 pdfPage1 pdf

Page 2 pdfPage2 pdf

Page 3 pdfPage3 pdf

Page 4 pdfPage4 pdf

Page 5 pdfPage5 pdf

Page 6 pdfCentre pages pdf

Page 8 pdfPage8 pdf

Page 9 pdfPage9 pdf

Page 10 pdfPage10 pdf

Page 11 pdfPage11 pdf

Page 12 pdfPage12 pdf

PO Box 1398, Enfield EN1 9GT

020 8988 8777

editors@socialistparty.org.uk

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/684/12721

Seach this siteSearch the site

Printable versionPrintable version

Facebook

Twitter

Home   |   The Socialist 7 September 2011   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

The riots, Clarke and the "broken penal system"

'Justice' Secretary Kenneth Clarke has added to the Tories' reaction to the riots by blaming them on a "broken penal system" that has failed to rehabilitate the "criminal classes". He has defended the heavy sentences handed out. Before Clarke wrote his article, Glyn Travis and Joe Simpson, assistant secretaries of the prison workers' union POA set out some of the key issues in prisons following the riots.

Special magistrates courts stayed opened night and day as the police arrested hundreds of suspects. Magistrates remanded around 75% more people into custody than they normally would and handed down custodial sentences, sending the prison population to a record high.

No one questioned whether the sentencing was just and fair, if it would be effective, or if prisons would simply become warehouses. Has this country witnessed a new policy on criminality, as the coalition government and the majority of MPs appeared to accept summary justice?

In all our time working in prisons, we have very rarely known people to be sent to prison without some form of pre-sentence or psychiatric report, as is happening now. It seems that this decision was made to enhance the coalition government's image of being 'tough on law and order'. No thought can have gone into the impact on the offender or frontline services.

Every day prison staff have to manage, support and care for the people society no longer trusts. They have to ensure they do not self-harm or take their own life, protect them from other prisoners and more importantly, prepare them to lead law-abiding lives upon release. They have to ensure their human and statutory rights are adhered to.

The long-term impact of the summary justice that was handed down following the riots will have to be assessed as it is clear that a divide has arisen between magistrates and Crown Court judges, due to the interference of politicians in the judiciary.

Every prison will feel the effects of the aftermath of the riots for months to come. Staff must deal with prisoners' families and other organisations as they aim to achieve the Prison Service vision of keeping those in custody safe.

All of this has to be managed against the backdrop of more serious staff assaults and at a time when the budget to run prisons is being slashed and prisons are being handed over to private companies to run for profit.


In this issue


Action to defeat the cuts!

Strike together to defend pensions

Mobilise the power of the working class


The Socialist editorial

Mass workers' movement - the only way to make the super-rich pay


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tory bribes to promote socially divisive 'Free Schools' agenda

NHS reaches a tipping point

Reject health bill attacks on abortion

The riots, Clarke and the "broken penal system"

Fast news

New pamphlet - The Rise and Fall of the Scottish Socialist Party

Miliband to bury Labour


Socialist Party feature

Consequences of 9/11: a world turned upside down


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Bristol marches against home care sell-off

EDL kept out of Tower Hamlets by thousands protesting

Stop the Dale Farm evictions

Confronting a Labour cutter


Socialist Party workplace news

Scotland - Unison calls for pensions strike

Picket lines at police stations

Workplace News in brief


Socialist Party youth and students

Youth March For Jobs

One in a million...fighting back!

NEET figures still rising

Local Housing Allowance

£36,000 for a degree


Socialist Party review

Them and Us by Will Hutton


International socialist news and analysis

Libya after Gaddafi - Independent workers' action needed

Indian high commission protest over Tamil death sentences


 

Home   |   The Socialist 7 September 2011   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate