Updated on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 11:19AM by Vix
Today I had lunch in a prison.
It was just as vile as you might imagine.
A choice of meat pie, pasty or samosa with rice or potatoes (at least I think that is what they were, I can’t be sure). There was not a fresh vegetable or piece of fruit in sight. There was a "vegetable casserole" but I am not counting that since the only discernable components were peas and corn; ergo, it looked more like something that one’s body might expel than something one should be consuming. (Perhaps not so) sadly, I do not have a picture I can show you as we were not allowed to take cameras into the prison.
You would be forgiven for wondering what on earth I was doing eating lunch in a prison. The Howard League for Penal Reform is a charity which campaigns for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison. They advocate that in most cases prison is ineffective in rehabilitating offenders and inevitably leads to reoffending, suggesting community sentences as an alternative for people on short-term sentences or for those that have committed non-violent offences. They also provide a legal advice service for children and young people in custody.