Should prisoners work ?
There are many reasons why encouraging or even compelling prisoners to work makes good sense. Arguments include :-
- Prisoners should contribute at least something towards the cost of keeping them in prison.
- Some money raised by prisoners working could be used to compensate victims.
- Work prepares prisoners for useful and productive reintegration back into society, helps to create new skills for them and encourages self respect and discipline
The idea of prisoners working is not a new one, but prison reform is very much on the current political agenda, so the renewed debate is to be welcomed. Some useful work in this regard has been done by Policy Exchange, which is suggesting prisoners should work a full week for a minimum wage lower than the national minimum wage with a proportion of earnings paid into a victim’s fund. Their research also suggests that there is considerable public support for prisoners being compelled to work, with over 70% backing this.
What do you think ?