The changes outlined are based around the management of liberties which involve a rosta of liberties prisoners will need to earn from wearing their own clothes to in-cell television. These ideas generally work toward normalization where, mirroring the outside world, if you generally behave and work you get access to a better position in life.
The changes are very similar to concepts and ideas I spent a couple of years presenting to the now-Government, particularly in 2009-2011, which were centered around the management of liberties and the potential for changes within prison and or prison system’s design to enable it. (My original concepts outlined here). It is nice to think that I may have had some influence on the thinking of the current Government during this process!
It is clear that a process of this kind within prisons can be the start of a long-term move to a joined up prison system, where prisoners can gain liberties through education, time keeping, building links with employers and continue these programs when out on remand or otherwise.
I hope this move is the start of a true shift of the UK prison system towards proactive rehabilitation; where we see a real reduction in recidivism and we can benefit in a reduction in crime throughout the UK.
It will be interesting to see how well the new Liberty System is managed, how effectively it interconnects education and the measuring of behavior, how robust it is against favoritism and corruption and how well it is received by prisoners and prison staff.