NO wonder a judge has asked for an investigation into conditions at Lindholme jail in South Yorkshire. For it turns out that life there is so soft that prisoners do not want to leave!
Surely part of the punishment of being sent to jail is to feel deprived and that you are missing something of life on the outside, not to be pampered with such perks as free tobacco, en-suite showers and on-tap PlayStations.
We appreciate that the rehabilitation of prisoners has to be a priority for the criminal justice system. But they should achieve this by never letting law breakers forget that they are behind bars as a punishment.
Message with great value
SOMEBODY had to say it. And it turns out to be a Sheffield lawyer who has alerted the establishment to the need to act over the growing lack of trust between the general public and the corporate world.
Sir Nigel Knowles of DLA Piper International returned to his native city to give a lecture at Sheffield University on Rebalancing the Trust in which he urged companies to improve how they communicate with the outside world.
He stressed that the corporate world was challenged by requirements and regulations for a reason and said that the way they tried to find a way to circumvent them was damaging their standing in the community.
This is an important point which has needed to be made for some time.
The yawning gap between those on either side of the corporate divide is widening...and damaging. People need to feel they can trust corporations otherwise they will simply go elsewhere whenever possible.
It is a valuable lesson and message.
Hope for future
IF you are keen to spot those green shoots of recovery, then look no further than the increased activity around office blocks in Sheffield city centre.
For Sheffield is the city of choice for a growing number of businesses who are snapping up serviced office space here.
The first nine months of 2011 saw a three-fold increase in the number of businesses taking on office space.
Generally, these are small enterprises but they are huge in symbolism. For they show that when businesses want to set down roots, they find Sheffield an accommodating location.
That is the kind of message which can only be good for the reputation of our city and holds out hope for the future.