Lib Dems slam prisons as a “national disgrace”

The Liberal Democrats’ home affairs spokesperson today called
for the country’s oldest prisons to be knocked down and replaced by
modern units to improve rehabilitation, particularly among young
offenders, writes Mithran Samuel from

In a speech to this year’s annual party conference in Blackpool,
Mark Oaten said prisons were a “national disgrace” due to
over-crowding, high rates of suicide and mental health problems,
the availability of drugs and their failure to prevent

Oaten said these problems were particularly acute in older
jails, and said new units, offering better training and skills for
prisoners, would improve rehabilitation and cut crime.

He added: “Now it is time for these crumbling prisons to be
knocked down and new modern secure units to be built. So the next
generation of young criminals experience a tough regime in these
centres which will prevent them from committing crimes in the
future and end the revolving door of re-offending.”

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