Softly softly approach is not working

MY BLOOD was boiling when I watched Holloway – a documentary series set inside the women s prison – on ITV last week. Women were committing small crimes with the sole aim of getting locked up in Holloway because they actually liked it there. And it s not

MY BLOOD was boiling when I watched Holloway - a documentary series set inside the women's prison - on ITV last week.

Women were committing small crimes with the sole aim of getting locked up in Holloway because they actually liked it there.

And it's not surprising, when you discover inmates are pampered in a hair salon - with prices for a cut and blow dry just �1.50 - and if they fancy it, can be treated to a manicure. It's supposed to be a prison for goodness sake, not a health spa.

The prison officers are more like social workers than guards, and from what I saw, there appears to be a distinct lack of punishment. Yes, the women are obviously deprived of their freedom, but many see this as a positive as it makes them feel safe.

The regularity with which prison officers at Holloway said they see the same familiar faces released, only to reoffend and be incarcerated once more, shows this softly, softly approach clearly isn't working.

And the fact offenders are given money in their hand upon release is ludicrous. One girl shamelessly admitted that she spent it on drugs within half an hour of being released, and before she reoffended and was sent back to Holloway days later.

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Prison should be a punishment, not a holiday camp.

The Holloway documentary has laid bare just how easy a life offenders are given, and it's the victims of crime I really feel sorry for.

RESIDENTS who protested against the erection of a phone mast close to their homes no doubt expressed the same sentiment most people would have, faced with a similar situation.

But phone masts such as the one proposed for Broadhall Way in Stevenage would not be needed if the demand wasn't there.

Indeed, when I was speaking to residents in Shephall Way and Oakwood Close in Stevenage, who were hot under the collar about the new phone mast proposal, at least one resident gave me a mobile phone number on which to reach them.

You can't have it both ways - if you use a mobile phone, you should accept the fact that phone masts are a necessary evil.

And why should they not be on your doorstep? They have to be on someone's. It's all very well suggesting they are situated in remote places, away from residential areas, but I suspect this would render them as effective as a chocolate teapot.

If people really want to make a stand against the erection of phone masts, they should stop using mobile phones. Maybe then they will have a case.

LIKE Valentine's Day, Mother's Day is a commercial enterprise I detest.

Leading up to Mothering Sunday, there was advert after advert of gift ideas for mums, but who in their right mind wants 101 Housework Songs? And how on earth does that kind of gift show love and affection?

It's a sad state of affairs if people need to be prompted by a money-making scheme to show their mums appreciation.

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