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Prisons

James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool, is the Bishop to Her Majesty’s Prisons. He is currently presenting a series of three programmes on BBC Radio 4 The Bishop and the Prisoner. So far two have been broadcast and the last is scheduled for next Monday, 16 January, at 8.00 pm GMT.

The BBC has a synopsis for each programme.

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3

If you are in the UK you can listen to the programmes by following the links in each synopsis.

The Liverpool Echo published this preview article by Paddy Shennan about the series: Bishop of Liverpool Rt Rev James Jones talks about his radio series on prisons and prisoners.

The second programme in particular has prompted some attention by the press.

Nadia Khomami in the Radio Times The Bishop of Liverpool: punish our criminals in public
Liverpool Echo Bishop of Liverpool says too many people are being jailed
The Press Association Too many people jailed, says bishop

There are two related articles in the Church Times. They are currently only available to subscribers, but should be available to all on Friday of this week.
James Jones Community sentencing could change society
Paul Vallely Prison reform isn’t just for prisoners

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Father Ron Smith
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Having spent some time in prison chaplaincy, I must agree with Bishop James Jones, that too many people are sent to prison to get them out of the way. This is neither redemptive nor without other costs – to the families of the imprisoned, and to the society against which they have offended. The real problem would seem to be that it is very difficult to convince society of the advantages of community sentencing. One real incentive might be the realisation that, in prison, the prisoner has no way of providing monetary compensation for the people she/he has wronged. Community-based… Read more »

rjb
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rjb

In fact, you do not have to be in the UK to listen to radio programmes on BBC i-player. Through the magic of the interwebs, BBC radio is available in at least some other countries (I can’t confidently say that it can be heard everywhere). But shhhh! Don’t tell anyone! If the Daily Mail finds out, they’ll launch a crusade to stop foreigners benefitting from our licence fee…

David Shepherd
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While the focus is on prisons, I would hope the good bishop’s remit would include developing greater chaplaincy involvement on behalf of those held in the immigration detention centres throughout the UK. This would be consistent with Archbishop of Canterbury’s admirable advocacy on this matter. In particular, he should lead calls for an official public enquiry into the appalling conditions that lead to inordinately high levels of mental and physical illness, suicide and grave self-harm. There are several instances of asphyxiation sustained by deportees through negligent the use of potentially lethal restraint methods. I know the cost of an enquiry,… Read more »