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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Prison ships?

David Cameron, the leader of the UK Conservative Party is considering bringing back the practice of prison ships. I had no idea that this practice existed in the first place, but according to the BBC the last prison ship was sold in 2005.

Mr. Cameron is floating (heh) this idea as a cost saving measure that will allow the government to end the early release program. I think that there is a valid case to be made for ending the early release program. After all criminals aren't deterred if they aren't actually punished.

Still I don't see how building a prison ship would be cheaper than building a prison. Plus you'll have a constant cost of fuel. My mother gets sea sick, and I assume that many criminals do as well. Wouldn't it be cruel then to force them to live on a boat for 20 years? Also if the ship gets caught in a storm...well that scene from Ben Hur comes horribly to mind.

I'm not saying that the idea is unworkable. I would, however, be interested to know why the prison ship was previously sold and hopefully Mr. Cameron will flush the idea out more.

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on January 26, 2010 | Permalink


HIstorically prison ships were decommissioned RN ships, floating hulks, moored in the Thames and other rivers. Sea sickness and fuel weren't really an issue. It's more like a house boat than a cruise ship. That said they were also very poorly maintained and rat infested. I'd assume that modern versions would be better looked after.

Posted by: Publius | 2010-01-26 8:23:01 AM

We would hope so.

I wonder if an old oil tanker could be re-modified into a largish prison? That would be interesting.

Or imagine a prison at the bottom of the ocean, won't be any escapes from that. Sounds like a bad movie plot to me.

Posted by: Floyd Looney | 2010-01-26 8:33:31 AM

Sea sick? Rats?

So who really gives a damn? Prisons should be unpleasant. Really unpleasant. I know that there is not a single soul in a modern prison that hasn't been through the 'legal' system at least a dozen times before they finally get a jail sentence. So if prison is not a very nice pace... I say GOOD! Solitary confinement for all. 24/7, 365. Maybe repeat offenders would cease to be an issue?

Posted by: arctic_front | 2010-01-28 10:53:51 PM

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