Scottish prisoners could be allowed to send emails

high profile stories and issues for Prison Officers

Moderator: Chryo

User avatar
falkor
Navigator
Navigator
Posts: 4904
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 1:26 pm
Alignment: 'Shade'
Location: Surrey

Scottish prisoners could be allowed to send emails

Post by falkor » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:21 pm

By Claire McKim 3 OCT 2012
SCOTTISH prisoners could get the right to send email – by giving handwritten messages to warders to scan in and send on.

Bosses want inmates to be able to communicate with friends and family more quickly than traditional “snail mail” allows.

But because prisoners are not allowed access to online computers, hard-pressed warders will have to electronically convert the messages and then type in email addresses
Critics of the plan today branded it an “extraordinary and costly” waste of prison officers’ time.

The revelation comes just a day after it emerged that taxpayers are funding free Viagra for Scottish prisoners to pep up their home visits.

Some 14 Scottish prisons already take part in an “Email a Prisoner” scheme which requires jail staff to print off messages from outside and hand-deliver them to cons.

But the new plan, set to be introduced by Barlinnie, will make email a two-way system for 1,100 inmates.

Prisoners will hand-write their emails and hand the sheets to staff to be scanned in to a computer. It is understood the scan will then have to be attached to an email and the addresses required by the prisoner manually typed in.

Mr Arshaq Ahmad, unit manager at Barlinnie, said the one-way system, under which prisoners received emails, had been a success.

He said: “It works very well and very simply and the scheme is very popular throughout the prison estate.

“It is particularly popular with foreign national prisoners and it is used by the legal profession, on occasion, to send non privileged information.”

Mr Ahmad said allowing prisoners to make good family contact via two-way email would reduce reoffending.

He added: “You also have to think of the families on the outside. Why would you want to punish them? They should have as much communication as possible with those inside.

“We know the company is looking at Barlinnie for the two-way service.

“If it did meet all our security criteria, it is something we would certainly consider.”

Eben Wilson, of Taxpayers Scotland, warned the scheme could be costly.

He said: “In a time when all public servants are being asked to look for cost savings, the idea of using expensive staff to scan and manually transfer the text from prisoner’s e-mails is extraordinary.

“There must be a better way of monitoring communications in their electronic format.”

He added: “There are many precedents for oversight of possibly sensitive material in the services and elsewhere. Surely the Prison Service can think of a way of doing this that is less costly for taxpayers”.

User avatar
purplepig20
Counsellor
Counsellor
Posts: 1580
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:35 pm
Location: Deepest, Darkest Peru.

Re: Scottish prisoners could be allowed to send emails

Post by purplepig20 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:28 pm

The revelation comes just a day after it emerged that taxpayers are funding free Viagra for Scottish prisoners to pep up their home visits.
Excuse me while I choke on my coffee!!! :slvo:

Words just fail me.... :slsh2:
If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur!

snowdrop342
Executive Officer
Executive Officer
Posts: 285
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:54 pm

Re: Scottish prisoners could be allowed to send emails

Post by snowdrop342 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:40 am

Nothing at all surprises me in today's PC environment. I suppose we can then add 'typist' to our job description as well as family planning officer! I ask myself where on earth is this service going & where willl it all end? Tears probably-but not mine!

User avatar
spike
Committee Member
Committee Member
Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:35 pm

Re: Scottish prisoners could be allowed to send emails

Post by spike » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:36 am

snowdrop342 wrote:Nothing at all surprises me in today's PC environment. I suppose we can then add 'typist' to our job description as well as family planning officer! I ask myself where on earth is this service going & where willl it all end? Tears probably-but not mine!
bang on snowdrop howabout a rise instead,doubt that will happen in april either,god can't wait for retirement

snowdrop342
Executive Officer
Executive Officer
Posts: 285
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:54 pm

Re: Scottish prisoners could be allowed to send emails

Post by snowdrop342 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:04 pm

Hi spike,just picked myself up of the floor from your comments.A rise you ask,what on earth is one of those. The only rise I'll have is if I take one of those little blue pills! In the very short time I've got left in HMPS, I'm not expecting a payrise at all as the powers that be think that we are all overpaid as it is but not overworked! Regards.

El Guesto

Re: Scottish prisoners could be allowed to send emails

Post by El Guesto » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:49 pm

purplepig20 wrote:
The revelation comes just a day after it emerged that taxpayers are funding free Viagra for Scottish prisoners to pep up their home visits.
Excuse me while I choke on my coffee!!! :slvo:

Words just fail me.... :slsh2:

Gives a whole new meaning to hardened criminals
:slbg:

Ixashe
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 12:37 pm

Re: Scottish prisoners could be allowed to send emails

Post by Ixashe » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:22 am

Not withstanding the issue of issuing viagra, I don't see a problem with this.

Firstly, we need to move with the times! I can't remember the last time I sent a letter and didn't just send an email instead. As for the cost, wouldn't this mainly be the wages of the staff who do it (Probably AA rather than officer). If prisoners send emails rather than letter the person who used to deal with the snail mail will have a lot more spare time and this could be filled by dealing with the emails, at no extra staff costs to the establishment.

Secondly, its got to be a lot harder to hide drugs in an email than it is in a normal letter......

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic