National Union of Prisoners - Introduction

The Prison Rules 1999 came into force ironically on April Fools’ Day. It was however, far from foolish to proclaim in Part II:- ‘The purpose of the training and treatment of convicted prisoners shall be to encourage and assist them to lead a good and useful life.’ That use of the phase ‘useful life’ is not, cannot and must not be limited to post release. It must include also the life whilst one is awaiting release. In many ways the life awaiting release is the content of a sandwich! It’s found in the middle between two pieces of bread. If you are lucky you may even find the bread has been buttered. It was Winston Churchill who inspired, and promoted, the European convention of Human Rights notwithstanding that Britain did not introduce legislation to compliment the Charter until 1998. The Human Rights Act 1998 is a statute and as such must be adhered to by those who administer the law.