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Reform of Prison System Aessential

THE nation’s courts have the power to take away a man’s liberty and the prisons are duty bound to take him into custody. However, the prisons have a responsibility for his welfare.

If –– as seems to be the case –– prisons cannot feed the inmates then the justice department should make use of alternative modes of punishment.

In respect of remand prisoners, magistrates or judges should make use of bail or otherwise insist that police and prosecutors finalise cases in good time.

They cannot refuse bail when prisons are already overcrowded.

In the event of a death occurring in a prison this must be investigated and any or all culpable persons brought to justice and in the event of multiple deaths the prison authorities must be accountable as well as the Minister for Justice.

The Minister of Justice should be aware that prison conditions are unacceptable and that prisons are overcrowded. There can be no excuses for the present position.

It is in the interests of every MP to ensure that prisoners are adequately looked after.  Anybody from any party could fall foul of the law whether he is an MP, a friend or a constituent. They should enact such legislation as soon as possible.

It is time that the general public are made aware of their rights and the media devoted some space to educating people on their rights.

W Peters,
United Kingdom.

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