UK promoted corruption by privatizing prisons: Expert
Wed Aug 22, 2018 06:04PM
Rodney Shakespeare speaking to Press TV
The United Kingdom was absolutely wrong to privatize its prisons administrations as the policy finally played into the hands of a small group of contractors who had parochial interests, a political analyst from London says.
The “squalid” situation in HMP Birmingham, the main prison facility in Britain’s second largest city, was the result of government policy to privatize core public services that have to remain in the hands of the central government, Rodney Shakespeare told Press TV on Wednesday.
“The whole system of privatizing prisons ultimately leads to forms of corruption and a situation where you have what you have in Birmingham today where the whole thing is completely out of hand,” said Shakespeare.
“This is the fault of the government that they have exceeded the reasonable bounds of privatization.”
The expert cited the prison services in the United States as an example of a corrupt system in which a small group of contractors have taken over prisons for their own interests
“In the USA you have a completely corrupt system. The courts and the judges are paid backhand money to fill the prisons which are then run by the private contractors,” Shakespeare said.
The problems in Birmingham’s main prison and other detention centers across the UK were also a manifestation of economic problems in the country, he said.
The violence in prisons, where there have been fights between Muslims and non-Muslims, clearly reflected the failure of the British society to integrate certain groups, including Muslims, Shakespeare said.
The UK government takes control of a crisis-hit prison in Birmingham from a private contractor.
The UK government took control of the HMP Birmingham on Monday after an inspection authority found that drug abuse and violence was rife in the facility.
The Ministry of Justice said the decision was meant to counter “squalid” conditions in the prison where rats and cockroaches were swarming the cells, showers and corridors as a result of blood, urine, vomit and feces left in the places.
The statement came after an inspection showed that prisoners were using drugs and violence with near impunity in HMP Birmingham, forcing staff to lock themselves in offices.
The inspectors even reported violence at the time of their visit, saying their cars were set on fire during an arson attack.
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