Former inmate Ben Gunn spent more than 30 years in prison, speaking to Daybreak he asked whether the Government's plans would reduce crime or "be vicious to prisoners for no particular reason?"
He said: "If we have money to spend on uniforms for the first two weeks that's 85,000 uniforms, that's not cheap, why not invest that money in work, and training, or education?"
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Bernadette McAliskey was speaking on the 50th anniversary of the first civil rights march in Co Tyrone over discrimination in housing.
The 17-year-old handed himself in to Greater Manchester Police on Friday night.
The former Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP is now a councillor in Renfrewshire.