British Prisons and Prisoners

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Male and female prisons are split up along with many other categorized prisons there are over 100 in the UK alone. There are many people who don’t understand specific subjects inside prison; there are many advantages and disadvantages while being ‘locked up’.

Courses for work and education are limited in prisons, but they are available. It depends on each prisoner’s scenario. Most prisoners are given an individual learning plan, sufficient to their needs and behavior. Being locked up means that even though its unlikely these people would want to take part in these courses or have the opportunity to take part on the outside, on the inside it means they are able to get out of their cell for a while, and better the skills and mannerisms for when or if they leave the prison. Therefore for this reason it’s a motivational way of bringing the prisoners to terms with everyday work, and learning facilities. Most of the educational courses offered will end in them earning a well-known qualification such as a GCSE or an NVQ, sometimes depending on ability and personal behavior, efforts or amenities they show towards their sentence and staff, they can be offered a chance to take part in a long distance learning course, for open university.

So while serving a prison sentence its still required and offered by the government to make change in themselves, in reality the only person they are helping by taking part in these courses are themselves if they want to change or start to turn their life around they need routine, a starting point, rules, motivation and a little encouragement.

Special help and support can be given to convicts that have issues, disabilities, disorders or learning difficulties. Some of the well-known support that’s offered is for, drug or alcohol abuse, dyslexic issues, or health issues for example HIV or AIDS. It is within the rights of the prisoners to decide to refuse any treatment that may be required, although they are not legible to make this decision if they are not capable, in situations such as having a mental illness condition.

Privileges are earned in prison. If you can’t conduct yourself on the outside, why should you just get what you want handed on a plate inside. There are rules and regulations as to what privileges the prisoners can have access to. To an excess it is how the prisoners behave, treat staff and other inmates, their risk assessment percentage and the reason why they put themselves there. Although its fair to say, while in prison, disciplining the prisoners can help them to communicate and conduct themselves in better ways, earning them extra time to see family or friends, or allowing them to spend extra money in the prison shops and canteens. The privileges schemes are different and the course of action within is diverse in every prison.

Some people believe though that in some cases prisoners are pampered more than they should be. Gareth a Twitter account user says ‘Why should they sit in a room all day watching TV, they should be out in Afghan on the front line serving our country.’ Maybe this is a reasonable theory; some prisons allow their higher risk inmates to have televisions, radios, and social games with other prisoners. Some are earned privileges some are given as essential items. Prisons have evolved a lot over the years and in some cases they have been imposed to ‘pampering’ the inmates.

There are mother and baby care unit prisons, or in some prisons a wing that provides needs for expectant mothers or mothers that are at low risk who are allowed to keep their baby and look after them in prison with a set routine. Some ladies that are at higher risk have the decision made for them to have social services take the child away and put into a care home, or with a foster family. Although in some cases the prisoners family will be informed and may become the legal guardian until the mother is discharged from prison and is in a fit state with the sufficient requirements to look after a child.

Written by Victoria Renshaw

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