Rattus would like to remind readers of the words of Fyodor Dostoevsky — ‘The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.’

Rattus has no personal experience but many say our prisons are in a worse state than they have been for years.  

The rat population is thriving but prisons are ludicrously overcrowded and people on short sentences are being made to do community work because the gaols are full.  

This is actually a good thing as they are not signed up to one of the few training options in prisons – ‘how to make a career out of drug trafficking’.  

Short sentences almost guarantee reoffending.  

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The right wing wants longer sentences and although there are people who should never be released, many are failed by the poor opportunities for training and are often introduced to harmful drug use.

There are exceptions.  The restaurant ‘clink’ does a good job in training catering staff and gives them an opportunity for employment when they get out.  We need need more of that.

Clearing the backlog in the legal system will guarantee prisons remain full for ages. 

Prisons take years to build.  

The problem is not going to go away. 

A little humanity and intelligence on behalf of politicians would not go amiss.

Yours as usual,

Rattus rattus