Grendon Underwood. A psychotherapeutic prison
The British Prison Service mission statement has two parts: first, to "keep in custody those committed by the courts"; second, to "look after them with humanity and help them to lead more law-abiding lives after release". Tradi tionally, this mission statement is interpreted as capturing two conflicting aims of the imprisonment: the task of security and custody and that of rehabilitation. In terms of political policy, there is a pendulum-like swing between the emphasis on these two tasks. The collapse of the rehabilitative ideal in the late 1970s led to more custodial regimes and was arguably a con tributory factor to riots in the 1980s. The importance of rehabili tation was re-emphasized by Lord Justice Woolf's report on the Strangeways riots, which was followed by important develop ments in sentence planning and the management of prisoners serving life sentences. Following the Whitemoor escapes, the pendulum swung back with the Woodcock and Learmont re ports, and security and the prevention of escapes became the most important task.