Prisons across England and Wales are doing away with bars across their windows in an effort to make prison life more domestic and improve the prospects of rehabilitation.
The bars will be replaced with reinforced glass which Ministers have said will more difficult to break and reduce the amount of contraband inmates can access.
Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust said: “A normal environment in which people take responsibility for as much of their own lives as possible in preparation for successful release.
This change is one of many in an attempt to treat inmates with more respect. Terminology appears to be another incoming change, guards may need to start referring to those detained in prisons as ‘men’ instead of prisoners, cells as ‘rooms’ and prison blocks a ‘communities.’
These changes were formed from a study with the intent of normalising prison life, suggesting that this could reduce reoffending by improving the rehabilitation of convicts.
Criminology Professor, Dr Yvonne Jewkes, who was involved in the study states that “it’s about what difference prisons can make if they can rehabilitate offenders.” Suggesting that increasing the amount of trust, respect and dignity prisoners are treated with will encourage them to invest in themselves and their future.
Not everyone is quite so keen on the idea, however, ex-prisoner Leroy Smith who is now a Charity Worker sees the changes as “pointless gestures,” suggesting instead that prisoners be given access to more training and education.
Trials for bar-less prison will be help at HMP Berwyn, which is fast approaching the title of UK’s largest prison. Where, along with the installation of reinforced glass, tea and sandwich making facilities will be provided. Prisoners will also be provided with laptops.