Companies should hire prisoners says Ken Clarke
You know how there's no jobs and loads of people are signing-on because they've no other option? Well, Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has had a brilliant idea! Why don't we give jobs to people in prison?
Kenneth Clarke said businesses such as Virgin and Marks & Spencer can hire crims without damaging their reputation or values. And so, 40-or-so companies will attend a Downing Street reception later this month to snaffle free food and drink and not really listen to the man with the pink face telling them about how prisoners can make loyal and committed employees.
"Introducing work experience and training to people who are serving their time and being punished in prison is altogether a more intelligent way of running the prison service," Mr Clarke told the Press Association. "There is no doubt that people who get sent to prison have made a mistake, society is entitled to look for them to be punished, but also society should be trying to do something to help those who have the gumption to sort themselves out, to resume an ordinary honest life as decent citizens when they leave."
"If you just incarcerate people, if prison is just a warehouse in which you keep people and then release them without guidance into the world, it's hardly surprising that half of them will be back within 12 months, having committed more crime. Many prisoners do not want to be part of that cycle. We need to facilitate the way in which people get back into a normal life and do not commit further crimes again."
A Virgin Group spokesman said: "We believe the more productive people can be while they are in prison, the more they can develop their skills and the better their chances of rehabilitation and of succeeding and not reoffending on release. Everyone deserves a second chance and research shows that many ex-offenders are more committed and willing to do more than 'just the job' and are grateful for the opportunity to do something worthwhile."
Meanwhile, on the outside...