Monday, 12 November 2012
My first book: "Doing Time"
Prison does work. It locks people up so that the prisoner cannot then commit a crime: yet prison for years has failed to change the prisoner’s behaviour. It is a disappointing fact of our prison system that, under the last government, released prisoners had a reoffending rate of approximately 70%. Prisons are a short term fix, not a long term solution. Reoffending doesn't just damage the lives of those caught up in the cycle but it hurts the public too, making ever larger numbers who are victims of crime.
The public, rightly, does not want us to be soft on prisoners. They are there to be punished and our Justice system needs to command the respect and confidence of the public. However, repeated polling also shows that the public wants prison to be more effective at changing prisoners’ behaviour. Put simply, it wants government to knuckle down, make prisons work and tackle reoffending rates. I have written a book that analyses past problems, makes suggestions for future changes, and assesses how things are changing under the new government.
My view is that simply locking people, and then releasing them, illiterate, with no basic skills, still often addicted to drugs, and with little work experience, we have created a recipe for disaster.
My book is being launched formally in Hexham with a talk at the Beaumont Hotel on the morning of Saturday December 8th. There is also a launch event in London organised by the think tank Policy Exchange on November 28th. If you would like to attend either event please email me at email@example.com.
The books is also available on Amazon and all good bookshops, including the wonderful Cogito Books, just round the corner from the office in Hexham. I should add that I am not being paid to produce the book, and that all profits go to the National Brain Appeal, which is the charity that supports the hospital that saved my life last year.