Wednesday, 1 May 2013

A uniform approach to justice and wasting money

There's something a bit strange going on when departments are wrestling with spending cuts and how to make them, yet a parallel discussion which says "let's spend more".

That's what looks set to be announced next Tuesday when it is decreed that all new prisoners will have to wear prison uniforms for the first two weeks of their 'Porridge'.

While there appear to be a reduction in prisoner privileges there do not appear any means of reducing the fixed costs, therefore the gyms and fancy TV's will still have to be paid for, but a new additional cost of uniforms will have to be added. Previously prisoners carried the cost of their own clothes, now it will be the public purse. I wonder has some costed this change and carried out a cost benefit analysis.

Thinking of the risks:

  1. What will happen if all prisoners see this as an opportunity to protest and request that the public pay for clothing beyond the two weeks as an act of protest? How much will that cost?
  2. How do you define 'a uniform', is it actually two uniforms (a prisoner could not be expected to wear the same clothes for two weeks?), complete with shoes, socks, etc?
  3. What will happen when prisoners demand the right to be consulted on the uniforms?
  4. What will happen if this goes to public tender and is won by a clothing provider in say Bangladesh? How will the public sector protect against the low cost manufacturing risks? 

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