The news that the somewhat tragic elderly murderer John Massey managed to escape from Pentonville Prison by climbing the wall with an improvised rope beggars belief. This underlines that the Victorian prison is no longer fit for modern use. In 2010 local councillors called for the prison to be closed and the site used for a residential scheme. Surely now is the time to shut this out of date, troubled institution and replace it with a modern facility outside London.
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