Reading in The Sun today about the Government’s secret, three-year programme to deliberately re-addict prisoners who have successfully kicked their drug habits while inside gives us a cold look into the mentality of the people that run the country in our name.
First of all, the idea that prisons are run for rehabilitation is completely blown out of the water. No member of the relevant ministries and civil services can ever make this claim again. I’m digressing here though.
I’m tempted to see this as another little leash keeping a part of the state’s client classes under control. Do they really want offenders getting themselves off of drugs and making something of themselves when they get out of prison?
This is where it gets a little sticky. If this policy originates from the lower levels of government it could be argued that it is simply the armies of social workers and drug counsellors employed by labour acting out of self-interest by keeping themselves in ‘customers.’ This wouldn’t be unheard of, and is in fact well within the bounds of normal human nature. It is evident in everything from the poor advice given to those seeking work at the Jobcentre (been there, been given it. Do you know anyone who ever got a job from the Jobcentre?) to the ineffective counselling and drug treatments (and jail) given to those with mental health problems. They have a monopoly and a limitless supply of cash, so the only thing they need to do to keep themselves in work is keep em rolling through the doors.
If, however, this is an initiative directed by central government then it starts to look more sinister.
Consider this: these are ex-addicts who have managed to get themselves off of drugs by their own efforts despite very difficult circumstances. Jail isn’t the nicest of places to be, and the drug supply inside is in many cases more plentiful than outside. To get off heroin while in prison is quite an achievement and says a little about a person. Also consider that these lags are being deliberately addicted to a drug the main dealer of which is the state. The ex-prisoners who have managed (to borrow a Jeremy Kyle parlance) ‘to turn their lives around’ are far more likely to stay in a methadone program than return to using street heroin, so they are effectively now hooked on the state, like being on tag only chemically.
Combining this with other ways of getting people hooked on the state, such as the rules that keep so many in the welfare trap, sink estate dwellers as well as those receiving ‘tax credits’ included and the all-encompassing so-expensive-you-can’t-afford-to-go-private NHS and you suddenly have a very different picture indeed.
Consider also: At the moment this is just prisoners who were already hooked when they came in, and only those who managed to get off heroin and didn’t just keep using while inside. How long before it’s extended? To all prisoners? To the general population? To a (new) drug that is only available from the state?
It might sound far-fetched now, but 10 years ago it would have sounded far-fetched that the state would be allowed to open your mail without a warrant.
Would you really put it past them?