It makes me very uneasy to hear that the government is adapting some prisons for foreign prisoners. The worry is that these new prisons will create a two-tier system, with a harsher justice for those of different citizenship.
Beware the tabloid Right, who will surely advocate this two-tier system. They will ask: Why should foreigners have the same rights and standards as British citizens? The answer is that anything else will hinder integration. Send out the message that the law treats foreigners differently, then surely foreigners will treat the law differently, in return. If we ask foreigners to “integrate” when they come to Britain, the least we can do is ensure that they are “integrated” into our legal system too.
Alternatively, the two-tier system could work in the foreigners favour, with more services and a cushier ride provided for those who do not speak English. We can easily imagine the furore that would surround such a revelation. Either way, this is a policy promotes inequality, and therefore invites trouble.