Winchester MP takes hardline stance on prisoners' rights

Basingstoke Gazette: Mr Brine was in the minority on the committee. Mr Brine was in the minority on the committee.

WINCHESTER and Chandler’s Ford MP Steve Brine is in the middle of a highly charged debate around prisoners’ rights.

Mr Brine, who sits on a committee charged with scrutinising the Government’s draft bill on prisoners’ voting rights, has taken a hard line stance.

They published their report on Wednesday (December 18) and it will inform Parliament when it considers the issue next year.

Most members recommended that prisoners serving custodial sentences of 12 months or less, plus all prisoners in the last six months before release, should be able to vote in local, general and European elections.

But Mr Brine recommended putting two options to Parliament: the status quo, whereby prisoners serving custodial sentences cannot vote, and the option of allowing prisoners serving custodial sentences of less than 12 months, and those in the last 6 months before release, to vote.

Mr Brine said: “Whether Parliament accepts the majority or minority recommendations of this committee, it will need to consider whether it is right to extend the franchise to those denied their liberty and the right to engage in society as a result of serving a custodial sentence. Personally, I think we should uphold the current ban and have every right to do so as a piece of domestic policy.

“Parliament will also need to consider the extent to which it is content to permit the European Court of Human Rights to encroach into domestic policy areas that appear far removed from the original intentions of the drafters of the European Convention on Human Rights.”

Comments (4)

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7:24am Sun 29 Dec 13

huckit P says...

Prison must b a place of punishment. Increasing benefits make short sentences seem like a holiday break, which offers no deterrent at all. Surely if prison conditions remain less than favourable it might make would-be criminals have second thoughts.
Rehabilitation should take place during a period after the original sentence has been served, and I do not believe sentences should he halved for good behaviour.
Going soft on criminals does not work, as has been proven by the number of reoffenders.
A punishment must be exactly that - a punishment.
Prison must b a place of punishment. Increasing benefits make short sentences seem like a holiday break, which offers no deterrent at all. Surely if prison conditions remain less than favourable it might make would-be criminals have second thoughts. Rehabilitation should take place during a period after the original sentence has been served, and I do not believe sentences should he halved for good behaviour. Going soft on criminals does not work, as has been proven by the number of reoffenders. A punishment must be exactly that - a punishment. huckit P

8:41pm Sun 29 Dec 13

RNRDOCTOR says...

No. Prison is not meant to be a punishment, it is meant to be a rehabilitation, all prisoners would be allowed to vote in any democracy.
Most 'prisoners' are innocent of their 'crimes', and most of the rest do not agree with the 'law' they have 'broken' and have never agreed to being bound by them.
The concept of 'crime' is purely fictional and is based on the idea of forcing religious ideals onto other people who are not interested, for the benefit of those whose wealth is already established.
If they are not going to treat their 'prisoners' properly then they should not be allowed to abduct them in the first place!
No. Prison is not meant to be a punishment, it is meant to be a rehabilitation, all prisoners would be allowed to vote in any democracy. Most 'prisoners' are innocent of their 'crimes', and most of the rest do not agree with the 'law' they have 'broken' and have never agreed to being bound by them. The concept of 'crime' is purely fictional and is based on the idea of forcing religious ideals onto other people who are not interested, for the benefit of those whose wealth is already established. If they are not going to treat their 'prisoners' properly then they should not be allowed to abduct them in the first place! RNRDOCTOR

11:17am Mon 30 Dec 13

griffon says...

Why not bring back the stocks Mr Brine?
Why not bring back the stocks Mr Brine? griffon

11:19am Wed 1 Jan 14

winchres says...

What is the point in having a vote when you have been taken out of society because you are not fit to stay within it. Would all you people think that prison should remain a free hotel where you can get education, a fitness centre, given an en-suite room with all food and facilities provided free, living with a load of people who have the same interests feel the same if those people broke into your home and stole your possessions and left you feeling unsafe in your own home. Or killed your loved ones? Bring back the stocks, no that is too much like fun bring back the death sentence. And bring on the minus scores.
Perhaps those minus scores are coming from those held at HMS.
What is the point in having a vote when you have been taken out of society because you are not fit to stay within it. Would all you people think that prison should remain a free hotel where you can get education, a fitness centre, given an en-suite room with all food and facilities provided free, living with a load of people who have the same interests feel the same if those people broke into your home and stole your possessions and left you feeling unsafe in your own home. Or killed your loved ones? Bring back the stocks, no that is too much like fun bring back the death sentence. And bring on the minus scores. Perhaps those minus scores are coming from those held at HMS. winchres

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