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Srbija 2020

Rewards for the Punished

The London Dungeon – London’s Number One Tourist Attraction (for Prisoners)The London Dungeon – London’s Number One Tourist Attraction (for Prisoners)An acquaintance of mine who works for the police was out in London the other week when she came across a group of prison officers. Greeting her colleagues outside a London tourist attraction she asked them what they were doing there. Pointing to a group of likely looking lads who they were accompanying, the prison officers explained that they were taking a group of prisoners on an excursion. Apparently their charges had been granted a day’s release to visit one of London’s number one tourist attractions – the London Dungeon.

An ironic choice one would think. I wondered whose idea it had been, the prisoners or their officers? Either way it had been a rather crude one to decide to take prisoners around a museum that examined prison regimes of the past whilst reveling in their more gory details. You can imagine the comments from the prison officers as they led their charges around the ‘dungeon’ examining various methods of torture and imprisonment. Perhaps they were aiming to make the prisoners time spent at Her Majesty’s pleasure seem less bad. But if one can get beyond the absurdities of it all, what was the actual value of taking a group of prisoners to the London Dungeon?

Wouldn’t a trip to the London Dungeon be a mockery of the very prison system in which the visitors find themselves? Is it positive for inmates to be experiencing the trivialization of prison? I believe in the need to rehabilitate prisoners, but what possible rehabilitatory value can be placed upon a trip to the London Dungeon? There is very little in the way of educatory value in the place whilst the entire dungeon consists of depictions of violence; hardly the kind of images that criminals should be exposed to wittingly. I understand that an evening at the opera might not be the choice of your average inmate but surely the contents of the London Dungeon can hardly be considered a positive part of the rehabilitation process. You can just imagine the contents of a rehabilitation diary book entry for that day ‘Felt like I hadn’t been out of prison at all. Returned angry and full of ideas.’ Surely rehabilitation should contain something of practical and educational value for it to be worthwhile at all. If it doesn’t bring any benefits to the prisoner and by that token, to society as a whole, what is the value of this ineffective ‘rehabilitation’ and who is paying for it?

The problem is that it is the taxpayer who is paying for these little jaunts. Don’t get me wrong, I agree in paying for worthwhile initiatives and believe that the Home Office should place greater emphasis upon rehabilitation rather than retribution or deterrence but there is a fine rehabilitatory line over which the London Dungeon very firmly stepped. To expect taxpayers to pay for a group of prisoners to have a day out at the dry ice, wax dummies and fake blood extravaganza that is the London Dungeon is criminal. I wonder if anything like this would happen in other countries. I could hardly see it happening in Serbia. Aren’t these people supposed to be giving back to their communities, rather than having a good laugh as they go around the London Dungeon? It might sound a little Texas Ranger, tar and feathers but what was wrong with chain ganging?

Did they have an ice cream?

That sounds like a jolly good deal in your prison.

Guantanamo bay

You reminded me on CNN Insight report on Guantanamo Bay prisons last weekend. New York academic called the place 21st century dungeon of 16th century England! Much bigger burden on USA taxpayers...

Season's greetings from Ljubljana, Slovenia.

S & M

I see you are into S&M.....