Letters: Mike Larcey, March 7, 2017

South West Norfolk MP and Secretary of State for Justice Elizabeth Truss  during her visit to Whitemoor Prison in  March Cambs on Friday 3rd March 2017
South West Norfolk MP and Secretary of State for Justice Elizabeth Truss during her visit to Whitemoor Prison in March Cambs on Friday 3rd March 2017
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Liz Truss, Justice Secretary, published The Prisons and Courts Bill.

She wants to make prisons a place of discipline, hard work and self employment. I know many of your readers will nod in agreement and acknowledge these as commendable ideals. However, one has to ask what is new and how will it be done? She is giving the governors control of their prisons’ budgets and that is it. Personally, I have been impressed by the reforms suggested by The Guardian’s prison correspondent. Eric Allison suggests those early start criminality centres, child prisons, should be closed and the age of criminal responsibility raised to 18 years. He also would scrap all women’s prisons, arguing that only a small number of women are a danger. As for male prisoners, we spend in annual taxes what we spent on the Olympic Games. He suggests scrapping sentences under 12 months and replace with Community Services. A significant number of prisoners suffer mental health problems. We should pour our hard-earned taxes into psychiatric care not into banging people up!

Mike Larcey, Downham Market