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Hard Time

By DeusExMacintosh

Chris Grayling says no to prison sex

Prisoners in relationships will be prevented from sharing jail cells in a crackdown on sex in prison by the new Justice Secretary.

Chris Grayling, who took over the role in the September re-shuffle, is understood to be looking at banning prisoners from setting up “cosy, domestic” living arrangements as part of his drive to make sure jail is not seen as a comfortable place.

There is no data on how many inmates are in same-sex relationships but the prison authorities accept there is a “degree of inevitability” to sex in jails.

One source close to Mr Grayling: “We don’t want and we will not accept prisoners replicating cosy, domestic relationships by being able to share cells in our prisons.”

Ministers will have to be careful that any move to split up same-sex couples in prison relationships does not attract challenges under human rights laws.
The Government is already facing a battle with the European Court of Human Rights over its efforts to keep a ban on prisoner voting.

Sex in prison is not allowed under current laws but charities believe it is relatively common. Under current guidelines, prisons make condoms available to inmates under prescription from doctors…

Mr Grayling’s move comes after ministers signalled that prisoners are likely to be banned from watching premium Sky TV channels in all jails. Nearly 3,000 prisoners in privately-run jails were eligible to access subscription Sky TV in September, figures showed. This week, Jeremy Wright, the prisons minister, declared: “Not for much longer.”

Mr Grayling has said also prison is not meant to be a place “full of perks and undeserved privileges”. He has ordered an urgent review “make changes where we need to”.

“There’s a balance between making sure you have things that provide the right incentives within prisons for prisoners to behave well and things that, if they’re looked at from the outside world, look as if they are out of kilter with what people would expect from prisons,” he said this week.

“What we’re trying to do is make sure we’ve got the right balance and what we do is defensible in both directions.”

He has also warned of tough action against inmates who take pictures of themselves at leisure and upload them to the internet.

He said: “Those offenders who smuggle mobile phones into prisons and take pictures of themselves and their fellow inmates purporting to be having an easy time should take heed – they will face serious disciplinary consequences.”

It comes after eight men at Haverigg prison in Cumbria flouted the ban on mobile phones in jails, posing while stripped to the waist and grinning before uploading the holiday snap-type photo to Facebook.

The Government is also considering blocking mobile phone signals within jails.

- The Telegraph

8 Comments

  1. moz in oz
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 4:15 am | Permalink

    Sounds like he wants riots. Take away all the rewards prisoners can get for not being difficult, then blame the staff for any problems. Hmmm. Solution: private prisons?

  2. Posted November 26, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    years ago I was part of a company which distributed tennis equipment. It had a monthly standing order from a Melbourne prison, collected from us in person, for a gross of tennis balls.
    Divide 30 days into 144 balls and wonder WTF they were using them for and why they didn’t remain on the premises very long.
    The government of us, realised that prisons cost too much to run, and instead of cancelling that, and all the other ridiculous standing orders there must have been, they outsourced imprisonment to private business.

    One time I rented next door to some mindless junior crims and learned that they HOPED to get to Barwon Prison one day and mix with the big names. Their equivalent to a scholarship to Oxford. all a bit off your same-sex topic, sorry, but criminality takes many forms. Most of them are insanity, and very few are ‘good people who have made a mistake’, and those prisoners need to be segregated from the sociopaths.

  3. Patrick
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    lol ideological knee-jerk detection activated…

    Moz in Oz, it is private prisons that the Minister is upset about – they are trying to achieve exactly the effect you describe to keep the inmates quiet.

  4. Mel
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    So Grayling is a typical Tory dickbrain. There really is nothing new under the sun. (Oh crap, did I mention the sun again? Dam I hate this time of year.)

    Prisons should be a comfortable and pleasant place of transformation. Swimming pools, yoga classes, Kama Sutra sex therapy classes, you name it, if it rehabilitates it should be in prison. Therapeutic programs like the Prison Pet Partnership are a great idea and it isn’t surprising that they can reduce recidivism. Can we make punching Tories legal?

  5. Posted November 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Well hey, if they’re throwing in swimming pools and sex therapy classes as part of the deal, maybe it’d be better if we left it illegal ;)

  6. Posted November 26, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Ann, you did eventually twig that’s how they get the drugs and other small contraband into the prison, yes? Rather than risk searches and sniffer dogs you just throw the stuff over the fence so inmates can pick them up in the yard.

    Patrick, anything that reduces overcrowding in prison must be a good thing, surely (excepting privatisation)?

    Mel, there are many American prisons with training programs for Assistance/Service Dogs as it seems to work well for the dogs and well for the inmates. There are only a couple of experimental programs in Australian prisons and I’m not sure if they’ve tried it at all in the UK.

    It also has the benefit of exposing the puppies to more men – Christine the Training Manager at Dogs for the Disabled in the UK mentioned recently this was becoming a problem as most puppywalkers/socialisers/trainers tend to be women but a good number of the dogs will eventually need to be placed with disabled men.

  7. ramswrsw
    Posted November 28, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    I’m always amazed at how once an idea becomes a talking point, it can be so mindlessly repeated without most ever taking the time to look into the validity of the talking point.
    In this case: “private prisons.” They have been widely tried in the U.S. and are a monumental failure. Their speciality is brutality and sub-human conditions. The entire point of their existence is to maximize profit, not corrections.
    For those who believe that brutalizing people who know nothing but a lifestyle of brutality is a good thing, I can only say that those who can see no value in their own lives will be unable to see the value of other people’s lives. You reap what you sow…it works both ways. Treat prisoners harshly, where will they learn about a different way of living?

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