Prison Bills

Sunday Herald: We locked you up in jail for 25 years and you were innocent all along? That’ll be £80,000 please

WHAT do you give someone who̢۪s been proved innocent after spending the best part of their life behind bars, wrongfully convicted of a crime they didn̢۪t commit?
An apology, maybe? Counselling? Champagne? Compensation? Well, if you̢۪re David Blunkett, the Labour Home Secretary, the choice is simple: you give them a big, fat bill for the cost of board and lodgings for the time they spent freeloading at Her Majesty̢۪s Pleasure in British prisons.

On Tuesday, Blunkett will fight in the Royal Courts of Justice in London for the right to charge victims of miscarriages of justice more than £3000 for every year they spent in jail while wrongly convicted. The logic is that the innocent man shouldn’t have been in prison eating free porridge and sleeping for nothing under regulation grey blankets.

Blunkett’s fight has been described as “outrageousâ€, “morally repugnant†and the “sickest of sick jokesâ€, but his spokesmen in the Home Office say it’s a completely “reasonable course of action†as the innocent men and women would have spent the money anyway on food and lodgings if they weren’t in prison. The government deems the claw-back ‘Saved Living Expenses’.


Via memeorandum

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Flint says:

    Well, I’d turn around and present them with a counter bill for lost potential wages, plus interest. Also another bill for emotional damage suffered by being wrongly imprisoned.

    Let’s not forget, this is the Labour (i.e. Democrat) led British government suggesting this.

  2. Miguel says:

    The Europeans are becoming more and more crazy. I’m sad, because I used to behold Europe as a very civilized and advanced continent, but now it seems to be heading the wrong way with all its culture, technology and whatnot. I really hope they will awaken sooner than later to the harsh reality of the XXI century, like the huge fight between Islam and the rest of the world.

  3. Jay Solo says:

    That is so wrong. I have always thought wrongly imprisoned people deserved massive compensation for theft of the portion of their life involved, if nothing else, starting with earning potential that was lost as a result.

  4. kenny says:

    They do get compensation. What’s happening is that these expenses are being deducted from the total compensation when it’s being calculated.
    So for instance in the case in question the innocent man was awarded 960,000 pounds (around 1.7 million dollars) but had money deducted from that of around 3000 pounds for each year for meals etc.