Why Should I Care?

The current state of prisons in Britain is shocking. From staff shortages, a rise in the number of prisoner on prisoner and prisoner on officer attacks, the abhorrent number of suicides in our prisons, privatisation of prisons to the preposterous ban on family members and friends sending books (along with certain other items) which was enforced in November 2013 and thankfully was ruled to be unlawful by the High Court on December 5th 2014 – this was with great thanks to everyone involved in the books for prisoners campaign. But some members of society hold the opinion that it is not their place nor is it necessary for them to care about prisoners. Why should they give time and thoughts, or even actions, to people who have ‘brought it on themselves?’ This is something which in my opinion must change. I have to use generalisations when talking about this topic as it is just my opinion, however I am aware that with everything and everyone there are exceptions to the rules. Prison sentences are a result of a huge number of factors, too many to go into detail, but the majority result from failings in society. Individuals suffering with addiction, the housing crisis, lack of jobs and training, adults with reading and writing ages similar to children in primary schools, healthcare, the cost of living, the list goes on and on. Of course there are other reasons but when you are faced with the long list above it is often difficult to find a way out. I have noticed, from some, an attitude which allows little or no thought for others and a desire to help only ‘number one.’ We are all members of society, old and young, ill and healthy and I believe it is our duty to care about others. It starts with us. Creating some sort of barrier between ‘them’ and ‘us’ only contributes to the problem of offending and re-offending. Hostility and in many cases an unwillingness to understand the cause of an action contributes to a belief that people can’t change. People can change but they need help, positivity and support from everyone around them in order to succeed.

One thought on “Why Should I Care?

  1. Great post! Unfortunately a lot of people very very easily forget that the vast majority of prisoners will also be rejoining us in society… so even from the most self-serving POV it would still make sense for people to sit up and take notice about what happens inside & look at how the prisoners are treated. The effects of heavier restrictions on prisoners can also filter out onto their families too.

    I think there’s a perception that a lot of prisons are like holiday resorts – I’m not sure where it comes from, but it can only take one newspaper article where you hear about a prisoner having access to a TV and people start to whinge that they aren’t being “properly” punished. It comes back to the argument about whether prison itself is the punishment, or whether punishment needs to be dealt out while they are in prison. Wow, I could blab on all day…. 😉

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