Prisoners were treated as ‘residents’ in jail despite requests from Dominic Raab that staff stop using the terminology ‘awakened’.
HMP Moorland in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, put up a sign directing ‘residents’ or prison prisoners to the facilities despite an instruction from the Justice Secretary that inmates should no longer be called out by also “politically correct” terms.
The language that has also seen offenders referred to as ‘clients’ or ‘service users’ has been part of efforts by prison authorities to avoid ‘labeling’ people as offenders in order to help them out of their lives of crime. .
Other prisons have renamed cells to “rooms”, prison blocks to “communities”, detention cells to “waiting rooms” on the grounds that deprivation of liberty is sufficient punishment and to aid rehabilitation offenders.
Woke terms ‘undermine public trust’
However, guidelines issued in April by Mr Raab to prison wardens and their staff made it clear that they should stop using woke terms for offenders, as it undermined public confidence that they were punished for their crimes.
Instead, the justice secretary told them that inmates should be called “prisoners” or “offenders” rather than “residents”, “clients” or “service users”. Also, the cells are not to be labeled “rooms”, as they are called in two of the newest and largest prisons in England and Wales.
On Wednesday, the prison service admitted the term should not have been used and had been removed.
“We are very clear that this term should not be used and have ordered that all communications follow strict rules. The sign was painted without the knowledge of prison officials and has been removed,” said a spokesperson.
‘What else is missing?’
Ian Acheson, former prison warden and former government adviser on extremism in prisons, said: “HMP Moorland are holding high-risk, high-risk sex offenders deemed by a recent inspection to be failing to manage them in completely safe.
“I have been told this sign has been up for six weeks. If the ‘leaders’ of the prison, who I consider to be senior staff and the Governor, have not been visible enough to notice this sign after a month and a half in one of the prison houses. Block what else is missing?”
HMP Moorland also raised eyebrows by displaying a 12ft high map of the prison on a main driveway, including a ‘you are here’ sign.
“It’s a bit controversial when you lock people up in secure conditions that you try to prevent from escaping,” an insider said. “Obvious risks include the ability to coordinate drugs thrown into prison/delivered by drone.”