Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fire and Theft

Some fire inspectors have decided that the bedding we have been allowed to buy to date is a disaster waiting to happen. Now we can only buy specific bedding, supplied through the prison's monopoly supplier.
That's £14 for a single bedsheet, £30 for a 7.5 TOG duvet. And we're the crooks??


  1. Someone's feathering their nest, that's for sure! Try not to get too 'down' though! :-/

  2. Well said Jules,
    If you didn't laugh you would cry at this latest example of Health & Safety gone mad!!
    Which private company will make the profit on this one I wonder?

  3. I thought you could order from argos cataloge? i am sure a company like arogs, or any company in fact, would only sell goods that were fire retardant etc.

  4. Excuse me for being dim, but surely the Prison Service should supply bedding free?

  5. That is a total racket, how HMP can plead poverty, I'll never know

  6. @Bruce because the prison makes no money in reality from this. Any "profit" that appears is an accounting trick.

    Basically there are two ways for the prison service to provide the small luxuries such as deodorant, decent bedding and cigarettes. Either they can give each prisoner an allowance or these items, or give the prisoners money and have them "buy" the items back off you.

    Either way, the cost of the items to the prison service is the same. However, under the first method the books will show the prison service is providing these things to the prisoners. Under the second, all the books will show is that the prisoners receive wages for work done, and then the prison service handles transactions between the prisoners and businesses outside. Its still the same money from the same overall budget, but it just travels round in a slightly less efficient manner.

    Why is this done? Well, firstly it gives it a better political look, as the accounts don't show the amount the Prison service spends on these items. So it takes much more effort for a journalist to say, "hey look, they spent "£X" on chocolate last year!"

    A less cynical second view is that it gives the prisoners some sense of freedom and decision making, which whilst sounds good given the descriptions in Ben's blog the entire process seems somewhat farcical due to the limited choices. So one has to wonder if the extra admin cost is really worth the benefit.

  7. Who supplying them Harrods?? Some of the multinationalist chain sell duvet and pillow for less than £10!!


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