Labour would give prisoners a say on how jails are run, it has emerged. They have justified the proposal on the ground that prison should be about rehabilitation, not just a form of punishment.
The proposal was revealed in a recording passed to The Sun, featuring shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan addressing a conference last year. He told the audience that Labour would create prison boards to oversee the running of each prison, made up of representatives from the local council, the police, health system, education system and prison staff.
When asked by a member of the audience whether prisoners could be included on the boards too, he replied that it was a “very good idea”, saying “there’s no reason why prisoners shouldn’t be involved”. He suggested that inmates might hold elections to decide on who gets to sit on the board.
Last night Mr Khan attempted to defend the idea, saying “Prison is meant to be about punishment and reform, yet this Government’s prisons crisis means they’re about suicides and violence instead. Prisoners are being released without being rehabilitated, putting public safety at risk.”
But Tory MP Henry Smith said that it was further proof that Labour were soft on crime, adding “This is complete and utter madness. It’s like having lunatics running the asylum.”