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Prison life 'better than the streets'

A new regime for all prisons in England and Wales is being announced.

Changes to the Incentives and Earned Privileges scheme will mean that all inmates will have to actively earn any privileges, the simple "absence of bad behaviour" will no longer be enough.

All new prisoners will be required to wear prison uniform for the first two weeks, and a failure to engage with rehabilitation schemes could mean withdrawal of luxuries such as in cell TV's and access to leisure facilities.

Mick Norman has been in and out of prison most his life, he is one of those followed in the BBC 1 documentary The Prisoners, and he believes the current regime should not be changed.

"I feel whatever's going on in prison, which is a lot of good stuff, there's a lot of things to learn in prison, a lot of courses - but when you leave the prison gate, if you've got nowhere to live with £46 in your pocket, doesn't matter what you've learned in prison, what you've trained for," Mr Norman told that Today programme's John Humphrys.

"The support has got to come from the gate, other than that you will go back to prison. Most of the regime that's been set out by the minister is already there anyway, so I can't really see what difference it's all going to make, " he added.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Tuesday 30 April 2013.

  • 30 Apr 2013