An Exploration of Policy Initiatives to Introduce Full Time Work for Serving Prisoners (2012)

Full Time Work for Serving Prisoners Dissertation – The purpose of this dissertation is to explore the policy initiatives in the implementation of full time work for serving prisoners, and to critically discuss past policy attempts to introduce penal work into prisons. Britain practiced penal transportation of convicted criminals to penal colonies in the British Empire between 1788 and 1868.

Around 190,000 convicts were transported to North America, the West Indies and Australia during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. When transportation was abolished, hard labour was the central goal of the prison. The late 20th century saw a push in community sentences, and a prison service which main aims were to rehabilitate the offender.

However, now there is a plan to heavily reduce reoffending by teaching offenders to contribute to society in a positive way through industry and learning. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) released a green paper ‘Breaking the Cycle’ (2010) which entailed plans to reform the Prison Service by creating jobs for every prisoner within custody.

This research project will attempt to discover whether interventions made for the punishment and rehabilitation of a prisoner through prison labour are beneficial, and whether recent plans are feasible in modern society. The aim of this dissertation is to question the limitations in which full employment for offenders within prison may have, and how these proposed new plans may affect the offender themselves.

The Green paper released by the Ministry of Justice details the proposal for the radical change in the ‘Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing Offenders’ MoD (2010) this change has come after several years of researching and discovering the way in which full time employment for prisoners helps the offender to not only rehabilitate more effectively, but it increases their chances to attain a job once released back into society.

The research shows how the Prison Service has transformed over the past one hundred years ‘Despite record spending and the highest ever prison population we are not delivering what really matters: improved public safety through more effective punishments that reduce the prospect of criminals reoffending time and time again.

Currently there are over 300 workshops employing around 10,000 prisoners each week day in a range of disciplines including producing goods for the internal market, including complex and challenging production tasks such as clothing, window frames, woodwork, office furniture manufacturing, plastic injection moulding, printing, light engineering and laundries.

Prison Industries are generating partnerships with commercial and voluntary organisations to reduce re-offending by developing employment opportunities for prisoners who have gained skills, experience and qualifications whilst working in Prison Industry workshops. This is positive in terms of the development of industries within prison, but how realistic is it, taking into consideration the extremely small budget the government has to carry out such an ambitious task. 40% of the 10,000 prisoners who work across these industries work for ‘contract services’ and are producing goods and services for an external, commercial market.

  • 9,000 words – 30 pages in length
  • Good use of literature
  • Good analysis of subject area
  • Well written throughout
  • Ideal for criminology students

1: Introduction

2: Methodology

3: The History of the Prison

4: Breaking the Cycle

5: Discussion and Conclusions


Full Time Work for Serving Prisoners Dissertation
Full Time Work for Serving Prisoners Dissertation

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