British taxpayer must fund balls and comedy workshops for criminals??
The Tory Left is really squishy. Margaret Thatcher called them "wets"
A Tory minister has provoked fury with an astonishing declaration that taxpayers should fund comedy workshops and party nights for prisoners. Crispin Blunt also set out how he planned to scrap harsh indefinite sentences for the country's most depraved criminals.
The prisons minister was immediately accused of damaging the Conservatives' reputation as the party of law and order.
Mr Blunt revealed he had overturned a ban on publicly funded jollies for prisoners - brought in following condemnation of a horror-themed fancy dress party for women inmates, including seven convicted killers.
The restriction, which explicitly ruled out events likely to outrage the public, had also been a response to revelations that an Al Qaeda terrorist was given lessons on how to be a stand-up comic while at a high-security prison. But Mr Blunt branded the guidance, introduced in 2008, 'damaging and daft' and revoked it.
He also indicated an end to sentences which allow judges to lock up indefinitely thousands of the country's worst offenders - including rapists, paedophiles and murderers. Known as Indeterminate Sentences for Public Protection - or IPPs - they ensure the worst criminals are kept behind bars for life unless they prove that they are no longer a threat to the public.
However, Mr Blunt said too many IPP sentences, brought in under Labour, were handed out, adding that locking people up and throwing away the key was 'not the answer'.
The disturbing moves follow the announcement by Justice Secretary Ken Clarke that thousands of offenders will be given community sentences instead of short jail terms.
Former Justice Secretary Jack Straw, who introduced the ban on unacceptable events, condemned the impact on victims and said the law-abiding public would be 'incredulous'.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).