UK: Prison installs footbaths

UK: Prison installs footbaths

Figures obtained from the Ministry of Justice under the Freedom of Information Act show that the money was spent on two footbaths, a "squat" toilet and a shower area at Canterbury Prison in Kent, which only holds foreign nationals awaiting deportation and has 92 Muslim inmates.

Footbaths are often used by Muslims as they are required to wash their feet before prayer. However, the area is not exclusive to Muslims and can be used by all inmates.

The expenditure was condemned by the TaxPayers' Alliance.

Matthew Elliott, chief executive, said: "It's ridiculous that we are spending so much money on prisoners who should have been deported, rather than kept here as a burden on innocent taxpayers.

"Making basic provision for people's needs is one thing, but there is no reason at all why there should be special toilets installed. If prison doesn't have the perfect toilet facilities for you, then you shouldn't have committed a crime, it isn't meant to be nice."

Canterbury Prison is the first in the country to fulfil the unique roll of holding only foreign national prisoners.

The Prison Independent Monitoring Board's annual report published in July, showed inmates represent 66 different nationalities, speak 33 different languages and practice 17 different religions.

Amy Bushell, of the board, said: "In the prison's overall refurbishment programme budget, the cost of the installation was relatively small.

"People who chose to use such facilities cover many nationalities, cultures and religions. We would've been greatly disturbed if these had been provided for just one group alone, as it would have excluded other individuals from using them."

The board also stressed no complaints have been received of non-Muslims being denied access to the area.


Source: The Telegraph

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