Iain Dale is Leading Britain's Conversation.
22 October 2017, 16:10
The staffing situation in prisons is now so bad in the eyes of this convict that he feels sorry for prison staff.
An extra £3 million is going to be spent improving security at prisons in England and Wales.
Guards will be given body-worn cameras and police-style handcuffs following a rise in violence.
A former inmate told Maajid Nawaz, after being in different prisons in the 80s, 90s and 00s, he now feels sorry for prison staff.
He said: "It's the cuts. I've seen ti deteriorate unbelievably, the calibre of prison staff they recruit. There's rehabilitation anymore.
"There used to be a little bit, now it's stopped. The influx of spice is unbelievable.
"You're never going to stop drugs getting into prison, but it's a different mentality.
"When I was in prison in the 80s if you had an addiction to hard drugs you were put in a cell for two weeks and went cold turkey - you screamed the place down and no one gave a monkeys. Now you get methadone and subutex.
"In the mid 80s, when all the riots were going on, 80 per cent of the prison staff were ex-Army. And you can tell that just by looking at them.
"And they were hard. They were hard men but they were fair men.
"If we went back to that sort of regime, where uniform was enforced, every prison rule was enforced, I actually feel genuinely sorry for the prison officers."
Watch the whole damning conversation at the top of this page.