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BS: Prisoners to fill gaps in the workforce

Senoufou 23 Aug 21 - 06:34 AM
Backwoodsman 23 Aug 21 - 07:23 AM
Senoufou 23 Aug 21 - 07:35 AM
Backwoodsman 23 Aug 21 - 07:47 AM
Senoufou 24 Aug 21 - 01:31 PM
Rapparee 24 Aug 21 - 06:44 PM
Rapparee 24 Aug 21 - 06:56 PM
Senoufou 25 Aug 21 - 03:44 AM
Rain Dog 25 Aug 21 - 04:06 AM
Backwoodsman 25 Aug 21 - 04:12 AM
Rain Dog 25 Aug 21 - 04:22 AM
The Sandman 25 Aug 21 - 04:27 AM
Rain Dog 25 Aug 21 - 04:30 AM
Senoufou 25 Aug 21 - 08:14 AM
Rain Dog 25 Aug 21 - 10:18 AM
Senoufou 26 Aug 21 - 06:08 AM
mayomick 26 Aug 21 - 07:38 AM
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Subject: BS: Prisoners to fill gaps in the workforce
From: Senoufou
Date: 23 Aug 21 - 06:34 AM

I see (in an article in the Guardian) that there has been a proposal by the meat processing industry to draft prisoners on a day-release basis to fill the gaps in their workforce. They would be paid for this work.
Hollesley Bay Prison in Suffolk (a prison I have visited many times) has been contacted to suggest this.
The newspaper has printed a photo of some meat-processing being undertaken with a large (and probably very sharp!) knife. Rather crafty, as it depicts an obvious danger involved.
I have mixed feelings about this, and wondered what people on here might think.
This prison is an 'open' one, for inmates coming to the end of their sentences, and they used to run a breeding stud for Suffolk Punch horses nearby. Inmates would also be allowed on their large farm to grow tomatoes and other fruit/vegetables, issued with lovely warm 'donkey jackets' against the chilly weather.
However, drugs, knives, hypodermic needles, all sorts of naughty stuff were always being found hidden in among the horses' hay/straw. Inmates sometimes ran off and vanished into the wide blue yonder. The Prison Officers were driven bonkers by the problems involved.
But it's quite a good idea to rehabilitate offenders I suppose. And we're awfully short of workers at the moment.
Any opinions?


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Subject: RE: BS: Prisoners to fill gaps in the workforce
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 23 Aug 21 - 07:23 AM

Wouldn’t it be great if we had some sort of ‘free movement’ arrangement with the 27 EU Member-States, so that workers from those countries could come to the UK and fill all the shortages of workers? Also, people from the UK would be able to go to those countries unhindered, to live, study, and work.

Oh…ah….mmmmmm… :-(


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Subject: RE: BS: Prisoners to fill gaps in the workforce
From: Senoufou
Date: 23 Aug 21 - 07:35 AM

Hee hee Backwoodsman! Quite so. Round here (deepest Norfolk) many Eastern Europeans used to come and work in the fields, and farmers would provide caravan accommodation for them. They always spoke well of these folks' 'work ethic'. I used to ask why the farmers didn't employ local youngsters, and the answer was always, "They won't come. And even if they do, they skive off at every opportunity!"
I don't think this new idea could be termed 'slave labour' because the prisoners would be paid appropriately. (In many prisons I visited, paid work was available on site, stitching mail bags, packing tea bags, and anything NOT involving sharp instruments!) But they still managed to do naughty/dangerous things behind the officers' backs.
Good idea, but fraught with snags and drawbacks I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Prisoners to fill gaps in the workforce
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 23 Aug 21 - 07:47 AM

Same here just north of you in Lincolnshire, Sen! A problem of the Brexiteers’ own making, and absolutely, plain-as-the-nose-on-yer-face predictable for anyone except, apparently, a Brexiteer.

Im not sure about this prisoner thing either. Fraught with problems, not the least of which being that of supervision while they’re ‘on tour’ around the country. Maybe, when the details are properly worked out, we’ll understand how they intend to make it work, but I think it will take greater minds than mine to come up with a viable, secure plan.

I like the idea of prisoners doing genuine, paid work as part of their rehabilitation, but the suggested scheme sounds a bit ‘loose’ and fraught with problems to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Prisoners to fill gaps in the workforce
From: Senoufou
Date: 24 Aug 21 - 01:31 PM

I used to live next door to a couple of whom the husband was a Bail Hostel Manager. He often had to supervise prisoners from his hostel out on bail in his large minibus while they performed various tasks such as litter-picking and street-sweeping. They seemed to have an endless supply of drugs, knives, mobile phones (not allowed) and so on. During the nights, the place was chaotic with prostitutes being smuggled in, drug-dealers hanging about outside and fights breaking out at all hours.
If prisoners are working in 'gangs' out in the fields or inside factories, imagine the security risks and potential dangers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Prisoners to fill gaps in the workforce
From: Rapparee
Date: 24 Aug 21 - 06:44 PM

Take a toothbrush and rub the handle on concrete/stone/brick until it's a point and you have what's called here a "shank." Pencils, ditto. You can think of other things, because ANYTHING can be made into or used as a weapon.

Get a clean plastic rubbish bag and dump in a can of mixed fruit segments (what we call here "fruit cocktail"). Add a slice or two of bread and some warm water and hide it somewhere warm where the odor won't be noticed, such as in a toilet tank. It will ferment and you can sell it to other inmates.

The human ingenuity for violence and the bad seems to know no bounds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Prisoners to fill gaps in the workforce
From: Rapparee
Date: 24 Aug 21 - 06:56 PM

I wouldn't be surprised if prisoners used as "outside" laborers weren't eventually "rented" out to the company bidding highest for their labor. It's unlikely that the prisoners would or will be paid an equivalent wage for their work, as supposedly housing, clothing, meals, and medical care would be taken care of by the prison. So if the going wage was, say, 10.00 per hour, the prisoners could be paid 7.50 per hour because they don't have to pay for things listed above. You needn't be Black to have things like this done to you, and then...well, the Krupp factories didn't pay the "unskilled" workers well.

Better they should be taught a trade whilst "inside" and, yes, paid something for what they produce.


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Subject: RE: BS: Prisoners to fill gaps in the workforce
From: Senoufou
Date: 25 Aug 21 - 03:44 AM

Oooh Rap! You're spot on there! Have you visited in prisons too? The making of fermented hooch was rife. One prisoner came into the Visits Room in tears. He wept, "Someone stole my bag of sugar!" I looked at this serial burglar and replied, "Oh dear! There must be a thief in here!"But it was sugar he'd intended to use to make fermented drink.
And filing down something on the concrete floor to make a shank was also a constant nightmare for the officers.
Prisoners used to secrete things up their bottoms. Another of my little 'friends' came out wincing. He'd got a packet of drugs stuck up there and was in agony. I decided to tell the Visit Officer and they got him some medical help.
The Howard League (prison reformers' organisation) made it unacceptable to compel any inmate to work. But some jails have workshops where a trade might be taught. However, the little monkeys nick tools, associate with each other to pass drugs around etc etc.
Groups of officers used to 'turn over' a cell unannounced, to check for weapons/drugs hidden in nooks or crannies. Along the Wing, the cry from the inmates was "Burglars! Burglars!" meaning officers coming to search.
I often came out of a visit in fits of giggles.
I can't see how letting these naughty lads/women out to work in the community could be safely supervised.


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Subject: RE: BS: Prisoners to fill gaps in the workforce
From: Rain Dog
Date: 25 Aug 21 - 04:06 AM

This is not a new policy, as the article in The Guardian makes clear. What is new is the fact that food manufacturers want to be given priority.

UK food firms beg ministers to let them use prisoners to ease labour shortages

"A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “Helping prisoners find jobs during their sentence and after release makes it much less likely they will reoffend. We will support all industries with skills shortages where possible, and are working towards bringing levels [of release on temporary licence] back up towards pre-pandemic levels as restrictions allow.”


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Subject: RE: BS: Prisoners to fill gaps in the workforce
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 25 Aug 21 - 04:12 AM

BrexShit - the gift that keeps on giving…


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Subject: RE: BS: Prisoners to fill gaps in the workforce
From: Rain Dog
Date: 25 Aug 21 - 04:22 AM

BBC Radio 4 broadcast the first of five episodes last week of the series Prison Break.

++

Episode 1: We've survived, haven't we?

Prison Break

Episode 1 of 5

Former 'prison wife' Josie Bevan confronts the failings of the prison system.

Josie meets her husband Rob at the prison gates, after he's served four-and-a-half years of a nine year sentence for fraud. She takes stock of where the experience of his incarceration has left her and the family, and the dramatic ways it has impacted her understanding of how the criminal justice system in the UK works - or doesn't work.

Josie introduces Rob to Carl Cattermole, who wrote Prison: A Survival Guide following his own term in Wormwood Scrubs. She talks with former prison governor Peter Dawson, who is now director of the Prison Reform Trust, about how honest public discourse is about prison and she meets Dave Merritt, whose son Jack was working with former prisoners when he was killed in a terror attack at Fishmongers' Hall, London in November 2019.

Josie's previous podcast series Prison Bag - one family's unflinching confrontation with the prison system - is available on BBC Sounds.

Prison Break


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Subject: RE: BS: Prisoners to fill gaps in the workforce
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Aug 21 - 04:27 AM

what we think will make no difference.
prisoners are being used, do they get paid, do they get paid the min wage, they are being used because of a labour shortage , do they have rights as regards covid distancing?


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Subject: RE: BS: Prisoners to fill gaps in the workforce
From: Rain Dog
Date: 25 Aug 21 - 04:30 AM

Sandman, did you read the article?


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Subject: RE: BS: Prisoners to fill gaps in the workforce
From: Senoufou
Date: 25 Aug 21 - 08:14 AM

Here's a list of all the prisons where I visited (some many times!) :-

Wormwood Scrubs
Parkhurst
The Mount (Hemel Hempstead)
Hollesley Bay
Norwich
Wayland
Highpoint (North and South)

Many of 'my' inmates were terrible recidivists. On visiting them again, I found they were so upset at being 'inside' once more. I often gently asked why they continued to offend if jail was so awful. The answer was nearly always drugs. Theft, robbery and burglary in order to buy Class A drugs.
Their womenfolk would trail up to visit them (I often gave them lifts in my car) and secreted drugs in their ... er.. body parts, and babies' nappies. Sniffer dogs and enforced nappy changes put a stop to some of this.
I always felt some degree of pity for all concerned, and tried not to judge. But one has to be practical and put in place security systems to prevent attacks, danger and further criminal activity inside and outside the prison building.
I just can't see how these measures could have any effect if the prisoners were outside in groups doing work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Prisoners to fill gaps in the workforce
From: Rain Dog
Date: 25 Aug 21 - 10:18 AM

This is not a new scheme Senoufou. It has been going on for quite a while. There are risks but also benefits too.

Link was too long for a clicky.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/unlock-opportunity-employer-information-pack-and-case-studies/employing-prisoners-and-ex-offenders


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Subject: RE: BS: Prisoners to fill gaps in the workforce
From: Senoufou
Date: 26 Aug 21 - 06:08 AM

That was interesting Rain Dog and I'm feeling proud of myself as I managed to make a blue thingy, drag it up to that space at the top and click on it!! (I'm terrible on the computer)
But having met and got to know many prisoners and also Prison Officers, I believe that quite a few prisoners/ex-prisoners have no inclination to work or 'go straight'. This is partly because many of them come from families with long histories of living on Benefits or crime. Many of them are still on Class A drugs and have little hope of getting 'clean'. And sad to say, most of them are intrinsically dishonest.
This sounds condemnatory I know, but it's realistic.
The 'work ethic' is hard to generate in someone without any working background.


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Subject: RE: BS: Prisoners to fill gaps in the workforce
From: mayomick
Date: 26 Aug 21 - 07:38 AM

How long before we see the Daily Express asking how many asylum seekers are detained in the UK at the moment - why use dangerous prisoners to bring in the harvest , work in the meat industry etc.?


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