A prisoner who regularly contacts JENGbA called today. He is an extremely intelligent multi-lingual foreign national inmate whose job is to help remand prisoners understand the prison on first entering. He says that the majority of these men are nearly always from black and ethnic minorities and, more worrying, many do not speak English. However, he is also asked to show dignitaries around the prison as a model of how the British Private Prisons are being run.
He was recently asked to show round a delegation from the Saudi Arabian Prison Authority and he said it was all going smoothly until one of the Saudi inspectors asked him where the conjugal visits area was. When he explained that there were no conjugal visits in any prison in the UK, the Saudi Arabian delegates were visible shocked.
In Saudi Arabian prisons and in every other prison in Europe, married men and women are allowed conjugal visits. When the British public get upset over the fact prisoners have TVs and Playstations in their cells, it is very unlikely they would accept that those married prisoners should be able to maintain a sexual relationship with their partners. However, let’s remember that a country like Saudi Arabia, which the West regards as an extremely oppressive, considers OUR prisons as inhumane.
Oddly, an article has just appeared in the Telegraph online which says "Chris Grayling to ban fertility treatment for prisoners". It seems Mr Grayling wants to prevent prisoners in the UK from accessing artificial insemination. The thought of prisoners' wives rushing to fertility clinics clutching paper cups donated by their loved ones at visiting times is perhaps too much for Mr Grayling to handle. Then there is the deeply troubling issue of women prisoners demanding equal rights to have their partners' donations brought in so they can become pregnant or even give birth while inside. Just imagine what the Daily Mail would have to say about that!
Even if the Ministry of Justice ever relented and allowed conjugal visits in UK prisons, which kind of relationships would qualify? Would it only be allowed for straight couples who were legally married? What about un-married or same sex relationships? If he tried to restrict who a prisoner could have sex with, the courts would be busy with human rights cases which he might lose.
You can see Chris Grayling's dilemma. He either denies everyone in custody the chance to procreate by natural or artificial means or he gets accused of selectively breeding only the "deserving" prisoners. Maybe that's why he hides behind moral outrage and courts public opinion that the bad people inside should be stopped from enjoying carnal pleasures or, heaven forbid, reproducing more of their own kind.