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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 10. 24 May 1972

Stay Alive

Stay Alive

Playfair is of the opinion that this process has continued until the present day. In recent times in England a long period of reform under the guidance of Alexander Paterson, has been followed quite recently by such reactions as the Mountbatten Report (1966) which advocated increased security precautions, and a prison regime emphasising more deterence and punishment, than education and reform. The aim of the prison system has always been and this is admitted by even its most reactionary supporters, to discharge as its end product a person who can fit in with society, and will cease to commit criminal offences. Yet the rates of re-offending amongst prisoners discharged from the horrors of Millbank in its worst punitive days are not significantly greater than amongst prisoners discharged from the most modem reform minded institutions. Perhaps the only change is that now more prisoners come out alive. The obvious conclusion is that reform of prisons has neither a positive nor a negative effect on their success, At the most the reformer makes the prisoners life a less unhappy one.