If prisons are repositories for no-good people, political rhetoric about prisons is a repository for no-good ideas. The opposition uses them in a predictable way, sounding the incompetence klaxon when there's a riot, when reoffending rates are high, or when prisoners escape, but otherwise keeping completely silent. Governments themselves have a more complicated task, demonstrated in its essence by Chris Grayling at the beginning of the week.

© Guardian News & Media Ltd

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