11 MARCH 1966, Page 13

The Scandal of Parkhurst Jail SIR,—What on earth induced you

to publish that diatribe (couched in its anti-social prison jargon) from 'Felon'? It is certainly coming to something when convicted criminals are given space in a paper such as yours to whine about their conditions in prison. The odour of urine in Durham jail cannot stink more than 'Felon's' letter does in my nostrils. What possible good can the publication of this letter do? It will certainly give the self-styled 'Felon' a great amount of kudos in his own jail, and may well help to encourage a violent attitude in his 'colleagues' towards the prison staff. A more re- sponsible attitude on your part would have been to return 'Felon's' letter to the prison governor, or, if you wished to be generous, to drop it quietly into the w.p.b.

The very simple truth, which all do-gooder prison reformists forget, is that no one need ever go to Durham. Parkhill st. or any other prison. The criminal takes this chance quite freely when he decides to break the lass. If he is caught and finds himself in prison, he has no one to blame but him- self. Making a better world for criminals to live in does not, in my opinion, reduce crime; it merely encourages it.