Monday, February 25, 2008

The success story of a local open prison

Sunday's papers carried the story of G-TRIO, the Cessna 172 which crashed in a garden at Lyminge at the weekend, shortly after take off from Rochester. However, the story continues today with the news that the aircraft carried as its passenger an inmate from Blantyre House open prison in Goudhurst.

Whatever the reasons for a day-release prisoner flying around over Kent, whatever the poor judgement shown by the pilot leading to the crash, let's hope we don't see any fingers of blame pointing at the prison.

I recall visiting Blantyre and being really impressed by the culture, by the officers, and by the inmates, who were only too aware how lucky they were to be spending the last eighteen months of their sentence at this facility.

I later called in a work team from Blantyre to decorate the youth hut at Henwood Recreation Ground in Pembury. They were cheerful, friendly, hard working and the locals who met them had nothing but admiration.

So let's try to separate two stories - one involves the activities of a day release prisoner; the other is the success story of a local open prison.

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