Grayling Doesn't Care! - From Ex Prisoner Alex


I think that the real reason Chris Grayling and the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) banned prisoners receiving parcels has nothing to do with books. I doubt the issue was even considered when the revised Incentives and Earned Privileges (IEP) system was being planned last year. The main objective is for Mr Grayling to be able to tell the Daily Mail and its readers that he is being ‘tough’ on prisoners. Plenty of people who have never been inside a prison (or had a family member or friend inside) imagine that imprisonment is an easy ‘lifestyle choice’ where cons get to lie about all day watching Sky Sports and playing games on the latest Playstations while wearing designer casual wear. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth – even in an open prison. Grayling’s vision is of tens of thousands of broken-spirited men dressed in dirty, badly-fitting uniforms doing hard manual labour (or packing widgets as slave labour for private sector companies), fed on bad food and locked behind their doors for as many hours a day as possible. The revised IEP system was introduced with the aim of reducing privileges across the prison estate, particularly getting as many prisoners as possible off Enhanced level (so no cheap DVD players or Playstation 2s), with a very large number dropping down to Basic level, so they can really be punished in a way the Daily Mail will welcome. Against this background, books were just one casualty of the new hard-line ideology. Of course, after the popular outcry about the ban on positing in books in the media, he and his team then pretended it was all about security (drugs, mainly). Even the Prison Officers’ Association spoke out and disproved that particular lie. The problem is that Grayling really doesn’t care. He wants prisoners to be humiliated by having to wear stained, grubby boxers and socks that have been previously worn by dozens of other cons. He thinks it will help to break our spirits. He wants prisoners locked down on Basic regime for 23 hours a day until they self-harm. Grayling thinks that will be a deterrent to other lads to stay out of prison. And if more and more inmates are driven to suicide… well that will just send a message to the outside world that prison really is a terrible place. It’s all about keeping ordinary people in their place and under control. Prison is the state’s big stick to terrify the poor and Grayling doesn’t give a damn about rehabilitation – or about reducing crime.