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

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The Independent Online
From Mr Stephen Plaice Sir: As someone who recently left the Prison Service (after eight years) in disgust at the advent of the asset-stripping, statistic-fudging private sector, may I offer my support to the outgoing governor of Parkhurst, John Marriott, the man who first appointed me. He represented the real way forward for the service: staff-friendly, inmate-friendly and with a thorough understanding of the balance between humanity and security that prison should be.

There will always be "great escapes" from what is, thank goodness, an imperfectible system. The Home Secretary has dismissed the very man who should have had Derek Lewis's job. He has, like George Orwell's Napoleon, banished Snowball and left Squealer torelease his lists of figures "which invariably demonstrated that everything is getting better and better". lt is not, and everyone who works or serves on Animal Farm knows it.

Yours sincerely, Stephen Plaice Brighton 11 January