Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Prison reform: Gove should look at our own pioneers

Justice Minister Michael Gove is repeatedly reported to be looking at US gaols for ideas for reform (here and here). He should be aware that American improvements should be checked against the fact that they start from a very low base: the US locks up more citizens than any other democratic nation.

If he has not already done so, he should also look at the work of our own reforming prison governors in the twentieth century. (I would give a URI, but because of the nature of the Web - made worse by Google's purging policy - no link survives, even to CA Joyce, a significant figure in his time.) He will no doubt be aware that any reforms were reversed by populist Home Secretaries, badgered by such as the Daily Mail. There is a superb example resulting from his recent visit to Texas.

I trust that Liberal Democrats and other liberal parliamentarians will support and encourage Michael Gove in his endeavours, which should prove to be more beneficial to the people of England and Wales than his divisive education policy for England.


1 comment:

Frank H Little said...

It is now rumoured that Mr Gove aims to reverse the draconian courts charge imposed by his predecessor. I hope this is true. Perhaps it is too much to hope that he will go on to look at the inequitable working of legal aid as well.