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Prison is not a place for recreation says the new Justice Secretary

Date: (20 September 2012)    |    

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Prison inmates convicted and sentenced should not be let to have a easy time in the prison, watching the Sunday afternoon match on Sky Sports or viewing jail as a place to recreation says the new Justice Secretary.
Mr Chris Grayling has said that life must be harder for criminals. Pledging action on the completely unacceptable use of mobile phones in prison, he said that he wanted to be a tough Justice Secretary.
Mr Grayling, who replaced Kenneth Clarke at the Ministry of Justice in the cabinet reshuffle earlier this month, said he also had no intention of cutting prisoner numbers.
Talking to a newspaper he said he did not wanted inmates to enjoy prison, the criminal justice system needed to be one in which the public could have confidence.
He said he was coming with a fresh view over the issue and that he was very mindful of the need to have a criminal justice system in which people would have confidence because most often the people were not very confident about it.
Mr Grayling told the Daily Mail that prison was not meant to be a place that people enjoy being in. Putting a question to himself whether he wanted to reduce the number of prison places he answered in negative and said that he was not keen on setting target to reduce the prison population.
What he would do instead is to bring down the cost of prison. The whole philosophy would be to getting more for less he said.
For the Tory’s Mr Clarke had been a thorn in the side and saw him as a soft justice secretary, who oversaw the scrapping of indeterminate sentences for the most serious offenders, while at the same time apparently embarking on policies aimed at reducing prison numbers.
The decision by Prime Minister David Cameron to appoint Mr Grayling to the brief was seen as a nod to the Conservative right, who have long seen a tough justice system as central plank of any Tory agenda.
Though Mr Grayling had put a tough posture on prison numbers, he was supportive of Mr Clarke's policies to rehabilitate inmates. Private firms could be paid according to results, he said, in a nod to a policy introduced by Mr Clarke.
And he also promised to bring an end to the stalking of victims by inmates using social media after they have successfully smuggled mobile phones in to prison. He said that he had talked to the victims of crime who were being stalked by the person who attacked them it was unacceptable he said.
It is the case that mobile phones are smuggled into prisons. We have powers to take tough action on that front, blocking signals, other ways of clamping down on it.