Sunday, February 01, 2009

Slopping on Your Human Rights

As I was driving down the A1 this morning, my wife alerted my attention to a newspaper article concerning a paedophile who is suing for £5000 because his prison cell does not have a loo. He has to "slop out" every day. He feels his human rights have been violated.

Ok, I hear the cry of "Well, he's a paedo - he gets what he deserves - let him rot" ....etc...etc...

I beg to differ.

I do not care whether you are a criminal of the worst kind, or a king in your palace. Having a pee or the other thing is a basic biological necessity, and everybody has the right to a loo in their place of residence - even if it is a prison cell.

The trouble is, we are supposed to live in a civilized society espousing civilized values. And yet, we still incarcerate people in disgusting cells not fit for a dog and expect them to pee and crap into a stinking pot and then have to suffer the indignity of slopping out the next morning.

Yes, I know its not all like that. Prisoners’ living conditions differ vastly depending upon where they are locked up. I also feel no sympathy at all for the individual making this complaint. He is a monster and in my opinion should be hung, and perhaps that is not severe enough. But that is not the point; I am writing this on a point of principle.

The point I wish to make is that this situation says more about the society we live in than the criminals it imprisons. We are now, in case anyone hasn't noticed, living in the 21st century, and yet we still lock people up in barbaric 19th century penal institutions. This is just not good enough. It is an indictment against our society. If we treat prisoners in an uncivilized way, how do we expect them to be civilized themselves? I'm not saying that they should live in luxury, far from it, but as human beings dealing with fellow human beings there are minimum standards which everyone should be entitled to, and having such a basic thing as a loo in your living space is one of them.

Consider this. Many people locked up in our appalling prison system are completely innocent and should not be there in the first place. They are victims of miscarriages of justice. One day it might be you - or me. Do these people deserve to suffer the disgusting privation of slopping out??? Of course not, and neither should anyone else.

Anyone want to disagree??

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Took me time to read the whole article, the article is great but the comments bring more brainstorm ideas, thanks.

- Johnson