Gordon Behind Bars

Gordon Ramsey has tried to do a Jaime Oliver. What I mean is that Jamie Oliver, renowned celebrity chef and social entrepreneur began taking “down and out, no chef training, NEETs” and trained them to work in his “15” restaurants. Now there are several all over London. Gordon Ramsey’s quest was to use the thousands of men who have been locked up in the UKs over crowded prisons to work in prison run kitchen’s. His aim was to get the prisoners to learn the skills, discipline and rigidity of working in a kitchen. Many of the original 12 inmates had never held down a legal job, one of routine and formalised rules; many were professional criminals, drug dealers, burglars and heroin addicts. Some of the inevitable happened, 3 inmates dropped out or were chucked off the course, there were fights arguments and tantrums. However, the rehabilitation exercise worked, Gordon managed to secure funding, he found a distributor of his lemon treacle slices and a captive work force.

This show made me and others think of the point of prisons, yes they are punishments for people who have broken the law, but could they also be for rehabilitation and up-skilling those who have done wrong? On a social level it may make them appreciate the error of their ways, it may make them change their ways, or it may make little noticeable difference. On an economic level the prisoners are able to pay their way.

What this post is trying to say is that due to the massive over crowding in prisons and the current economic down turn; encouraging prisoners to work and not be such a drain on the public purse should be encouraged. Giving prisoners skills, motivation and work experience to enable them to navigate through society.