Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Back On The Chain Gang.

You really couldn't make this up.

"IN MATES in Scotland's biggest prison should be let out to work on major construction projects including new facilities for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the justice secretary said yesterday. Kenny MacAskill said it was "ridiculous" that there were 1,500 prisoners stuck behind bars in Barlinnie jail when they could be used to fill the labour gap in the construction industry. He said that instead of using prison gates as a "revolving door", offenders should be required to do "hard work" on building and engineering projects that could be hit by labour shortages."

Ignoring the fact that we are on the brink, if not already in, the worst economic recession for a generation which will hit the construction industry harder than any other industrial sectors, are we really happy with the average inmate from the Bar-L being let out even if they are doing hard labour? People are sent to prison as a punishment, and if you let them out on some weird kind of day release to sledgehammer some rocks what kind of message are we sending them?

Mr MacAskill MSP is fast reinforcing his position as the John Prescott of Scottish politics. Mr Smith thinks the Justice Secretary should recognise the seriousness of the role he occupies and engage his brain a bit more before he comes out with these ridiculous pronouncements which undermine the credibility of his office, if not his own.

No comments: