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Thursday, 9 June 2011


Every week the Dame gets letters from her dear readers with their ideas to improve life: some are frankly not viable but one or two are so lateral and innovative in their thinking that the Dame considers them worthy of wider dissemination. So here's our first one from one of the Dame's fans in
Abingdon somewhere or other. The Dame has no view but welcomes yours.....

Dear Dame
We all feel so helpless. Britain's seems stuck in a unbreakable cycle of violent crime with no solution. Prisons are overcrowded and we don't have the money to build more. The cost of keeping a prisoner in Northern Ireland is £77,000 a year and in England nearly £40,000 and likely to get more expensive.
But here's an idea that could solve the problem at a stroke.

Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Hungary are have vast excess prison capacity and they need money.
We could come to a contractual arrangement with these countries whereby they agree to take a certain number of UK prisoners convicted of violent crime.
Prisoners would be housed separately from the main indigenous prison population and looked after by warders fluent in English: they may have even spent time in the UK.
Instead of paying the average UK cost of £60,000 a year per prisoner we would negotiate an annual cost per prisoner of £5,000 per annum. Of course, facilities would not be quite as comfortable and the telly would be in the local lingo so they would quickly acquire another language.
Now the question comes how do we deliver prisoners to their new prison and how do family visits get facilitated? That's an easy one. Both EasyJet and Ryanair fly to all convenient locations close to target prisons, so it just a question of negotiation with the airlines. Families and friends would be given an allocation of tickets so they could visit monthly.
The net effect of such a programme would be a dramatic decrease in violent crime: after all who wants to be shipped off to serve a sentence under very different conditions to a UK prison. It would save us billions of pounds a year in prison housing costs, the cost of violent crime-and an end to recidivism.
To the human rights argument we could respond by saying that they are being treated as per EU Standards.

A stop to all new prison building, an end to violent crime and an opportunity to economically aid EU countries-looks like wins all round.
I know, Dame you have the ears of the powerful so maybe you could it up to that useless Europhile Sleepyhead K. Clarke

Ever yours

B.Phelps retd


  1. Why not? The general UK population would think it an excellent way of dealing with the violent psychopaths who ruin our lives.
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