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Monday, 4 July 2011

"After Today's Speculations - Perchard May Be First To Pay For His Keep"

Senator Jim Perchard is asking the Home Affairs Minister to consider charging inmates for their time behind bars in a bid to save millions of pounds a year.

He says that in this age of austerity the States should be recouping all the income they can - and so prisoners should be means tested.

But critics say this is not done anywhere in Europe and that it breaches human rights.

Banging up criminals is an expensive business. It costs £58 thousand a year to keep a prisoner behind bars in Jersey.

And when you think there are 197 inmates at La Moye - that is a running cost of around £11 million a year.

Senator Perchard said: "We don't want to bankrupt any prisoner or sell their only few possessions. The idea is to charge those who are able to pay and that's why means testing could be undertaken or should be undertaken and they would be charged on an ability to pay basis."

Critics say it is punishment enough to have your freedom taken away and that if the government wants to save money through the criminal justice system, there are other ways to do it.

Deputy Roy Le Herissier said: "I'd like much more strongly to look at alternatives to prison, are we overusing the prison? Secondly I'd be more energetic about getting the proceeds of crime making sure we tap people up there and thirdly I'd like to see where people are paid for real work and they have to pay the equivalent of board and lodgings for being in prison."

The Home Affairs Minister has firmly rejected the idea. He says there is no precedent for it in Europe and that it breaches civil liberties.

Ian Le Marquand said: "There'd be serious problems from a human rights point of view because this would be viewed as a double penalty and also because it would be requiring people to pay for something they didn't want to pay for. It also causes further problems for families who already may've suffered collateral damage as I like to call it by the imprisonment of the main breadwinner."


  1. Oh Jimmy you are getting so desperate.

  2. He might as well just implement a harsher law against being Jimmy Perchard. He will not find support in this from wealthy people who are in danger of criminal exposure, and that is a lot of the establishment. Why would they want to pay out more for their crimes? This is really amusing. Thanks for posting it.

  3. jimmy you Ass!

  4. Most of the people in prison don't have any money! And having spent a number of weeks visiting a loved one, I can tell you that family and the prisoner have suffered enough! prison is not always the answer!

  5. Jimmy,

    Err, has it occurred to you that the majority of people in La Moye are in there because they haven't got any money? Consequently they had to turn to crime as they were unable to earn money in what would be called the "normal" way due to one reason or another.

    Not all guests there are of the calibre of Curtis Warren. Oh, the States failed in getting his money too. Hmm, it isn't going very well, is it?

    The Beano is not the Rag

  6. The Home Affairs minister is, as usual, wrong.

    There is actually precedent for charging people for their stay in prison right here in Jersey. Read the account of Julia Westaway's imprisonment in 1861 - basically her brother, who had her imprisoned for an unpaid debt, refused to pay keep - so she and her sister were reduced to bread and water from normal prison rations. Perhaps that's what JP had in mind?

    Mind, that's being a tad kind: it does assume that JP can actually read words of more than one syllable...

  7. It is not going well for them at all, but how funny would it be if this measure passed, and prisoners paid based only on their financial means? The corrupt elite would be footing the bill for their own incarceration, instead of the poor inmates who have nothing. Of course, the problem is those elite criminals are already very skilled at hiding their hoards of money.

  8. Jersey has only recently and very reluctantly stopped allowing people to be jailed for debt if their creditor paid for the imprisonment. The wealthy Seigneur of St John was one of the final victims - so it was not just poor plebs who were locked up in this barbaric way.
    It was a Human Rights obligation (UNCCPR I think from memory)that sunk the practice and there are plenty more where that came from.
    Back in the good old days, it was not at all unusual for prisoners in jails to run up such bills for their keep that they died there - long after their criminal punishments had been served.
    Of course, the scheme to send prisoners back to their home countries is motivated mostly by Ozouf's desire to save money at La Moye but the fact is that if the prison population becomes too small then it is not possible to provide all the various facilities that are needed. Economically speaking, Jersey needs more prisoners not fewer. Pontin's holiday camp might be a good place to build a whole new prison complex as part of a diversification plan. Jersey could become the Devils Island of the 21st century. There is money in prisoners.

  9. Beware of this snyde bloke who is now turning on his own as he screwed up and is desperate for power...anyone craven for power is a threat to the public. a turncoat I would not trust ever.