LETTERS : Marriott has been made a scapegoat while the real culprits fl ee

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The Independent Online
From Mr Dick Glover Sir: John Marriott was either capable and competent in his erstwhile role as governor of Parkhurst prison, or he was not. If he was not, this should have been discovered and dealt with through normal management review processes. That he has been summarily dismissed following an escape is neither encouraging to the public nor to employees within the prison system (especially other governors).

I think it likely that other prison governors will now be considering how they may make it clear that they have pointed out deficiencies in their security systems - in writing of course - and that they cannot guarantee security until all these deficiencies are remedied. In other words, if they have any concern about security of employment, they will make sure that they cannot be personally held to blame for the next break-out - and there will surely be one somewhere soon.

This is yet another example of an extremely confrontational style of management. The message being given is that you are good at your job, and respected in your profession, yet make a mistake and you are finished. You are better off being bad at your joband lucky. I doubt if we will get a better-run prison service as a consequence of this series of incidents and decisions.

We seem to be developing further and further into a "blame-based" culture. Everyone makes mistakes, we are all human. What we should be focusing on is learning from mistakes, and this we can only do by being allowed to admit to them. This confrontation

process, unchecked, can only go in one direction - harsher and harsher confrontation. Yours faithfully, Dick Glover Weston Colville, Cambridge 11 January