Jeremy Clarkson has suggested British prisons are “not grim enough” as he argued that incarceration “should be a punishment”.
The Clarkson’s Farm presenter complained that “no one is ever arrested for anything any more” despite recently discovering that 88,000 people are currently doing time.
In his most recent column for the Sunday Times, the Amazon Prime star fumed about the current state of the UK’s prison system.
His comments come following reports that low-level offenders are set to be released early under government plans to free up prison space.
“Jails continue to fill up and, amazingly, our government doesn’t seem to have a clue what to do,” the ex-BBC host wrote.
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Jeremy went on to slam the “fluffy suggestions of vicar types who worry about the mental health of these burglars and murderers”.
The former Top Gear presenter also refuted the idea that prison should be a place of “quiet reflection and of rehabilitation”.
“But then I would be sceptical, because I’ve always believed prison should be a punishment,” he argued. “And I can’t get my head round the idea that committing a crime will somehow improve the quality of your life.
“If someone burgles my house, I don’t want to think, as I work all day to pay for the increased insurance premium, that he’s sitting in a centrally heated spa, watching Bob Ross painting shows on his flatscreen television while learning how to make a bolognese sauce.”
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“There’s another problem too,” Jeremy added. “While I accept some prisoners can be rehabilitated. I’ve met one. I strongly believe that most can’t.
“And I therefore don’t see that it’s sensible to have a policy that benefits the few while making no difference to the majority. Especially when the policy in question is so damn expensive.”
Jeremy then went on to reflect on the £47,000 it takes per year to keep a prisoner in jail.
He then concluded: “I remain of the view that most of the criminal classes need a slap. And in a civilised society where corporal punishment is frowned on, an overcrowded, rat-infested prison with excrement on the walls and a pervading sense that you’re going to be stabbed with a snapped toothbrush is the best way of administering it.
Justice Secretary Alex Chalk has explained that new powers will be granted to allow the Prison Service to move some people out of their cells and on to licence “up to 18 days before their automatic release date” to free up capacity in jails.
According to Sky News, he stressed that “this will not apply to anyone serving a life sentence” or anyone convicted of a serious violence offence, a sex offence or terrorism.
“This power will only be used for a limited period and only in targeted areas,” he told MPs, adding that releases would be made under conditions that included electronic tagging and attending appointments.
He also claimed the change would not apply to all “so-called lower-level offenders who are a blight on our communities”, adding: “For some offenders, the proper sanction is, I am afraid, the clang of the prison gate.”
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