@"are there any downsdies to prison? " - erm, yes....
average weekly wage when i was there:£2/week.
i had the best job on the wing when in liverpool. this was a job from 5am to 11pm, 7 days a week. and for that i was given the pricely sum of £9! just because SOME prisons allow tvs etc doesnt mean all do. in liverpool i had 1 visit a month of 60 mins (or 2 30 min ones, but seeing as my family lived 300 miles away that isnt very useful is it?
phone cards are £2 each (well, they were). that £2 basically bought me a 5 minute conversation with my mrs.
and not all cons are in for really dodgy crimes. i got 18 months for having some pills on me. yet a few years later drs actually fully acknowledge that E was, my a magnitude, much better for you than alcohol.
now, stop reading the frikkin daily mail. all you hear there is sensationalist guff. many prisons still dont even have electricity in their cells, are routinely stolen from by prison staff and spend upto 23 hours a day in their cells.
@"who thinks it's ridiculous that prisoners get a 'spending allowance' each week?! They're in there for a reason FFS! It's getting more and more like a holiday camp -- I'm just waiting for the next T Cook brochure -- Summer 09 'Credit Crunch' breaks. AI and spending money included, guarantee that lounger will be available..." - see above that they arent all real criminals. also, how do you expect that they can call home etc? how do you think the prison community would work if they had no money to buy tobacco (ciggies are too expensive)
prisoners get a pittance for weekly allowance - and some actually work for outsourcing companies. being paid many times under the minimum wage. now, dangerous (i.e. rapists and murderers) get income support whilst in secure mental units. the yorkshire ripper managed to save up close to 50 grand in his account over the years!