Prison Works

Pasteurised politicians queasy at finding
Facts proved and proved and proved
Again and again and again.
Vengeful prisons make society worse.

Prisons full of men born as lost souls
Condemned as children, limping through life
Illiterate in words and love.
Aliens in a world they don’t understand.

Prisons full of women born as lost souls
Exploited in their vulnerable sexuality
Self- abased, self- abused. Destroyed and
Buried in their failure to be women.

Men and women shuffling, puzzled and
Living as strangers on streets of hate.
Demonised, persecuted prison fodder
A politicians quota over- filled to order.

Political vengeance feeding on the
Criminalised. The odd, the sad, the mad
Swept up, warehoused, out of sight,
Incarcerated in the belly of the beast.

Facts. Facts. Facts. Tell the story
Quasi- criminals, pseudo criminals
Fill our courts. fill our prisons;
Prison works: They are real criminals now.

Dedicated to Michael Howard who unleashed an age of vengeance thinly disguised as justice in 1993.


This entry was posted in Poetry, Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Prison Works

  1. odeboyz says:

    Possibly I have a problem with the concept ‘criminal’. Criminals do indeed need to be locked up etc however two thirds of current inmates are sub- optimal in terms of a modern society. They can’t read/ do simple maths and are socially dis functional. They need education and welfare via a well funded probation service they do not need a social warehouse. On Friday I’m writing a critique of Michael Howard’s 1993 speech where the current atmosphere will be analysed.

  2. Chris Roberts says:

    I expect it was not his first offence. I am sure that just carrying a claw hammer with intent does not result in prison if it is a first offence. It sounds like his life was already on the road to ruination.
    Its a tall order to get the prisons to reform a character.

    • odeboyz says:

      I’m quite sure that they did have ‘form’ and especially the one who got prison. The point is that, as Douglas Hurd said ” prison is an expensive way of making bad people worse”. Prison won’t make them better people but is there a viable alternative? And I think the answer is yes. But it doesn’t suit the bloodlust of the tabloids or the ‘revenge as justice’ brigade.

      • Chris Roberts says:

        All societies tend to lock up their miscreants, so that they know where they are and to keep them away from the law abiding citizens. If you know of a better way, then lets hear it. The Victorian Colonies did not last long and Hollesley Bay turned in to a Borstal and is now a Young Offenders Institution and a Category D Open Prison. See
        Perhaps it is time for a re-think. How do the Nordic countries look after their criminals?

  3. Chris Roberts says:

    Were the guys who broke in to your garage pseudo or quasi criminals? I think they were real criminals before the event. The judiciary incarcerates real criminals of whatever degree or hue but the prisons fail to reform them. Chris R

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.