Prison Governor’s Journal
Prisons in England and Wales have weathered a succession of crises since 1947. Manx born Brendan O’Friel considers the impact of cell overcrowding and regime destruction on both staff and prisoners. The consequential failure to reduce re-offending, he argues, generates continuing threats to public safety.
Drawing on his decades of service as a Governor, he explores some “unanswered questions” arising from the chronic prison crises. He provides insights into life within the seven penal establishments in which he served, including the “explosion of evil” – his story of the Strangeways riot of April 1990.
From being involved in the difficult formation of the Prison Governors Association in 1987, he describes the work of the Association to influence and improve penal policy and practice.
The 2020 Covid 19 Pandemic has added substantially to the prisons crisis but Brendan O’Friel suggests it may also offer a surprising opportunity for radical change.