Prison Claims Reach £20m In Compensation Every Year. Should This Be Allowed?


As debates rise as to whether prisoners should be allowed to claim compensation for personal injury, unfair detention and damaged property, many mixed responses come to the surface. Last year alone, £20million was given out in response to 5,000 claims, equating to £53,000 per day.

Overall, £8m was given out to prisoners. This included compensation for personal injuries, medical negligence and human rights cases. Many argue that taxpayers money should not be given to criminals because they do not deserve it.

However prisoners are still human beings, which is why some people maintain that just because they are in prison should not mean they lose their rights, because it should not be acceptable for anyone to be assaulted or have property damaged etc – regardless of their environment or circumstance. Others believe the right to compensation should be dependent upon their crimes.

Nonetheless, campaigners have now called for tougher action to cut the cost of compensation bills. Dia Chakravarty, political director of Taxpaters’ Alliance, stated that the problem is either authorities who are failing to treat prisoners with the standards that are legally required, or compensation is being awarded too easily.

In total, 4,978 claims were settled last year, which is more than 13 claims every day and an average payout of £7,232 per person. Another £784,000 was awarded to families of prisoners who had died in custody.

What do you think, should prisons withhold the same human rights as others, or should they lose all access to compensation if hurt or mistreated at the hands of another?

Michael Lewin


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