Prisoners made to pay for damage

Published on Monday, 30 September 2013 13:33
Written by Sinead Fynes Black

Prisoners who cause damage to prisons and prison property will have to pay for the cost of repairs under new plans announced by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.

For the first time offenders will be made to take financial responsibility for their actions as they shoulder the cost of the repairs.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said:
'It is clearly not right that prisoners can wilfully cause damage in prisons and not be held financially accountable.

'For too long the hard-working tax payer has had to foot the bill for offenders' malicious acts, and this cannot continue.

'From now on, if you wilfully break it you will pay for it.'

The new instruction, which covers all prisons and Young Offender Institutions in England and Wales, will be introduced on 1 November.

It will see adjudicators make prisoners pay compensation for damage caused, and gives governors of public sector prisons and directors of privately managed prisons the power to take the money directly from their prison accounts.

Last year there were 6,881 proven cases of wilful damage in prisons, and under the new policy all prisoners would be expected to pay towards the full cost of their actions.

Currently a prisoner makes no contribution to the repairs - such as the £1,000 cost of replacing the complete toilet and sink unit and plumbing, the £832 cost for a new cell door or up to £419 for a new window – or the cost of labour.

In addition, adjudicators can decide on an appropriate punishment for an offender's behaviour. This could include loss of privileges or cell confinement.

Source: MOJ

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