Friday, February 11, 2011


The Prison Service coughs up quite a few quid each year to cons, in compensation for their various misdeeds. It's instructive to take a shufti at the breakdown of last years numbers. It's your money, after all.

The grant total of compo last year was £3.28 Millions. Spread amongst 85,000 cons, that's not too awful a headline. It could be worse.

The scandal is in the detail. The highest single category was some £1.6 Million coughed up for medical negligence. As our healthcare is NHS, I only assume that these costs accrue because prison staff delayed calling for help one of us is in difficulty. Night-staff telling people with chest-pains that "its indigestion", for example, only for it to be a heart attack.

The next highest category was £535,000 paid out as a result of assaults by staff. Only £107,000 was paid out as a result of assaults by other prisoners. Some people may wonder just what the hell is going on when prison staff are brutalising prisoners a damn sight more than we beat the crap out of each other. Who are the "animals" behind these walls..?

Then there is £259,000 paid out for "unlawful detention". That is, the prisoner wasn't released when his sentence ended. This may raise an eyebrow, for the sheer inefficiency of it.

These compensation payments really are worth looking at. They reveal a prison system which is incapable of adding up the days to when a prisoner should be freed. A staff culture that is riddled with violence against prisoners. And an indifference of our health that veers way over the line of benign neglect.

What a shambles. Not only do you pay a fortune to keep us here, you pay again because those charged with jailing us are incapable of doing their job properly.


  1. Fascinating. What's the source of these stats (if you're still speaking to me)?

  2. "Some people may wonder just what the hell is going on when prison staff are brutalising prisoners a damn sight more than we beat the crap out of each other."

    That's a misinterpretation of the stat. More compensation is derived from assualts by staff than from assaults by other prisoners because the latter will lead to compensation only when the prison service have committed some breach of duty.

  3. Staff should just not be assaulting anyone. End of.

  4. It's not just about assaults though is it? What about the medical negligence, failure to release prisoners on time? and all the other useless waste of money within prisons. With that sort of money don't you think it would make a difference if it was ploughed into rehabilition and reform? Things are so bad any extra could help.

  5. Every penny of our 3.28 million has been wasted.
    While they're cutting services people need, in order to save mere thousands and tens of thousands.
    Do you suppose anyone above the lowest level lost his job or even his bonus because of any of this waste?

  6. I think that the use of money in our lives necessarily creates these contradictory situations.
    Are wardens hell bent on working themselves out of a job? Do they spend every moment of work trying to mould prisoners into perfect upstanding members of society? Even if they erred on the way? Have wardens suggested financial penalties upon themselves if prisoners feel dissatisfied with prison life? Do lawyers and judges complete a rapid decision making process with the intention of speeding an offender thru incarceration and on to a utopian freedom? Do police purposely take time to research sociologigal effects of any possible offensive behaviour and forwarn any person who may fit an offenders profile to avoid acting in offensive manner + and critically 'why' they should act so.

    Any one heard of planned obsolescence?

    Do law makers enjoy governing? Do they make laws that will necessarily lead to more laws? Punish in a way that will lead to more punishment?

    Surely government wants the most evil, dangerous, threatening society possible(!) That means they'll have the most reason to govern?

    Cost/benefit trade off?


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