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(not satire – it’s the UK today!)

Well, this is as shocking as it looks.

The Howard League for Penal Reform has famously been campaigning for the improvement of criminal justice policy in the UK for over 140 years.

But now the Cameron/Clegg government has effectively banned the charity from visiting privatised prisons Birmingham and Oakwood, which are now run by G4S:

g4s prison

The author of the shocking letter – Ian Blakeman – was appointed head of the National Offender Management Service by the Cameron/Clegg government because of his enthusiastic support for the coalition’s policy of privatising prisons.

And Blakeman makes it clear in his letter to Francis Crook – the CEO of the Howard League – that it is her criticisms of privatised prisons which is the reason for the ban.

To be clear, it was G4S itself which invited the Howard League to visit their prisons, and they have made it clear they are still willing to allow the charity to visit:

G4S prison visit


So the question is – is the Cameron government doing this because it’s hoping to keep privatisation off the agenda and out of the news in the run up to the election, knowing how unpopular the policy is with voters?

If so, we’d better make sure we keep it in the news.


So please comment. And share: