Direct Democracy proposal for Home Affairs, Security and Policing

Redefining the purpose of prison

The People's Administration believes that it is vital that we address whether we are sending people to prison ‘as' punishment or ‘for' punishment before making any decisions regarding the prison system and the treatment of prisoners. We therefore propose to let the people define the purpose of prison by putting the two potential definitions to the national vote.

According to UK common law, being sent to prison is 'as' punishment and not 'for' punishment and so, by denying prisoners the opportunity to vote [for example], the UK government is intentionally defying UK common law as well as European and UN human rights laws. This in-turn has led to the Coalition having to consider paying out up to £100 M in compensation to prisoners for breaching their human rights and Parliament has now voted [10th Feb. 2011] in favour of maintaining this breach - That's £100 M of your money that Parliament almost cost us whilst it's government and its 'leader' claim to be the best thing for the UK economy and for justice.

Is it really fair that a single mother who is imprisoned for BBC 'TV' license payment evasion [for example] is then further punished by having her right to vote removed? Why stop at that? Why not hack-off a limb or two? Who decides upon where to draw the line? Parliament? You? No one has this right and that is exactly why human rights must be protected well above the personal political gimmicks of politicians.

In UK general elections, it is known that there is a swing of only 1 million votes that actually decides the outcome of all UK general elections. Removing the right to vote from prisoners eradicates approx. 10% of this swing and so the People's Administration questions the political motives behind breaching this basic human right.

UK law states that only the right to roam freely may be removed but that all other rights must at least in some part, be afforded. David Cameron's coalition have broken the law so as to further punish people who are already being punished and we believe that this is a highly personal attack on a whole section of society and, it is a moral-oriented attack. In principal, our unelected government is behaving in the same way as the many foreign regimes that it criticises for having poor human rights records.

Once a definition is established, we will then be able to be far more efficient and more effective in how we deal with all aspects of the UK prison system including, how treatment in prison relates to the causes of further crime as well as the value of all rehabilitation programmes.

It is our firm belief that to continue to be humans, prisoners must be treated as humans. If we are sending people to prison ‘as' punishment in itself, then we shouldn't be wasting energy, time and money in complaining about any perceived benefits that prisoners receive but, we should instead intensify rehabilitation programmes. The decision to send people to prison ‘as' punishment fulfils the purpose of punishment just in prisoners being kept in prison, whilst keeping them from accessing the freedoms of our society - this is the punishment.

If we are sending people to prison ‘for' punishment in itself, then it does become necessary that we spend energy, time and money in complaining about any light treatment and other perceived benefits that prisoners receive and, we would also then have to install punishment regimes and abolish all rehabilitation programmes as they would be in conflict with punishment.

It is the opinion of the People's Administration that people are sent to prison ‘as' punishment and not ‘for' punishment, as we believe that this would effect and benefit the prisoner in a way that would benefit society as a whole by leading to a potential reduction in crime.

Should the People's Administration install direct democracy, we propose to let the people define the legal purpose of prison.

Voting for direct democracy outside a general election

Direct Democracy - Audio

It is up to us, the people [not the politicians] to use the power that we have always had, to choose to implement direct democracy as soon as possible.

This is not a protest campaign.

In accordance with Magna Carta Article 61 and with UN UDHR Article 21 and with all of the democratic principals up-held by the UN [which the UK has signed-up to], the people already have the lawful right to reform to direct democracy - even outside a general election.