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Prisons not perfect
SIR – L A Hobsbaum, who wants to revive the treadmill in British prisons, abolished by the Prisons Act of 1898 (Letters, May 21), should be glad he doesn't live in Norway.
The “lock ’em up and throw away the key” brigade would no doubt be apoplectic with rage if they heard about the flatscreen TVs, ensuite showers and toilets and general luxury of the cells in Norway's £138 million Halden prison.
Featherbedding? Perhaps. But according to reports, though Halden is home for 245 of the most dangerous criminals in Norway, there is virtually no violence between prisoners or between them and the staff.
Your reader and I can agree on one thing: our present prisons are not fit for purpose. Our prison population is the highest in Europe, proportionately, and the level of recidivism is extremely high.
Flat-screen TVs may not be the answer, but treating prisoners as human beings who are capable of reform certainly is.
Karl Dallas, Church Green, Bradford