Category Archives: Prison

Vladimir Putin’s favourite joke

A KGB colonel visits a Siberian youth prison , “Why are you here?” He asked the first youth. “For the past week my clock woke me up early so I got into work early. I’m convicted of being a spy … Continue reading

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A J P Taylor on the Nuremberg Trials

Twenty years ago [1963] I published a book about the origins of the Second World War. At the time it was dismissed as wrong-headed and controversial. Now it has become the accepted version for most people. But there still lurks … Continue reading

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Elderly Prisoners, Over-crowded Prisons and the Coronavirus Pandemic

‘Prisons designed for fit, young men must adjust to the largely unexpected and unplanned roles of care home and even hospice. Increasingly, prison staff are having to manage not just ageing prisoners and their age-related conditions, but also the end … Continue reading

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A Ricky Gervais quip

“My greatest hero is Nelson Mandela. What a man. Incarcerated for 25 years, he was released in 1990 and he hasn’t reoffended. I think he’s going straight, which shows you prison does work.” Chris

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Book Review: Richard Davies ~ Extreme Economies: Survival * Failure * Future – Lessons from the World’s Limits (2019)

Davies book has three parts. Each part is a case study. Davies’s book reflects global fieldwork, which is done brilliantly. Section one: Survival features an eye-catching analysis of Angola prison in Louisiana, USA. American justice(?) is barbaric,…average sentence for an … Continue reading

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Louisiana’s maximum-security prison is medieval

The population of Texas is half that of the UK, while the state’s prison population is larger than those of the UK, France and Germany combined. But it is Louisiana that stands out. The state has almost 34,000 prisoners, 94 … Continue reading

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Abraham Lincoln’s attitude towards Black-Americans in 1858

While I was at the hotel to-day an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing a perfect equality between the negroes and white people. [Great laughter.] While I had not proposed to … Continue reading

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Politics over thirty six years

During my life as a hard line unionist I’ve considered myself to be on the left of main stream politics. In the late 1970s I was very tempted to join the Communist party but instead, in the summer of 1983, … Continue reading

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The ideal prison officer

Fletcher [prisoner]: I had a friend once- haven’t told you this before, have I? He was a light-heavy. Good strong boy. Won a few fights. Suddenly thought he was the bees knees. Fast cars, easy women. Classic story of too … Continue reading

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Britain’s incoherent drug laws

The British government’s rhetoric about drug use is facile. Heroically misplaced aspirations are paraded with the premise that positive action will be decisive. A so-called Drug Tsar was appointed as long ago as 1998. Why, one wonders, would a British … Continue reading

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