Prison System in Crisis? Essay

2449 Words Jul 25th, 2013 10 Pages
The prison system in England and Wales could reasonably be described as being in crisis. Discuss.

The term crisis refers to an intense time of difficulty, trouble or danger, or a time when difficult decisions must be made. However, in the context of the prison system, it has to be looked at differently. This can be seen throughout the essay in how there have been times of danger, and difficult policy decisions made. In looking at whether these problems are important to the prison system, it has to be looked at whether it is hindering the purposes and objectives of prison. It is also worth noting that the prison system has been regarded in being in crisis for many years by the media and academics (Cavadino & Dignan, 2007). Thus it
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In relation to rehabilitation it is clear to see the higher number in prison the less resources will be available for prisoners. The less resources available to prisoners will mean less time spent on individual cases limiting the chances of success in reformation.

High Prison population and Overcrowding also lead on to the fact that there will be problems within the prison concerning staff. One of the problems in terms of staff will be the numbers available. With the increasing numbers, and the reductions in the prison budget, means the staff to prisoner ratio will continue to worsen. With this means that the supervision of prisoners will be less available which will reduce time out of cells and time in classes working towards rehabilitation. This also leads on to another problem within staff in prisons, in terms of their relation with the home office. The more prisoners coming into prisons increases the workload for the staff, this is without the relief of additional staff being employed. Staff unrest can lead to industrial action, which will lead to the breakdown of the prison service.

The final factors that need considering in this account is the effect all of the above has on the security in prisons. Prisoners breaking out of prison are seen as causing massive problems. This is relatively non-existent in prisons today, since 1995/1996 there has been no escape from prisons (NOMS annual report 2011: 5). This means that in terms

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