EXCLUSIVE: Medway must never happen again

Medway

Everyone in prison is vulnerable. Some are more vulnerable than others. But none are more vulnerable than child prisoners. The images of abuse in G4S’s Medway children’s prison that we saw broadcast on the BBC’s Panorama programme on Monday 11th January 2016 were nothing short of barbaric. Large adult males in uniform systematically choked, battered and terrorised children supposedly in their care. The children had broken the law and been sent to Medway as punishment and hopefully for some ‘rehabilitation.’ The prison is after all officially labelled a, More...

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Final reflections on ‘The Prison that Works’ – Brandon Astor Jones

Brandon Astor Jones - 37 Years on G-Unit (Death Row) Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison

Brandon Astor Jones – 37 Years on G-Unit (Death Row) Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison In 1979 Brandon Astor Jones, 72, was convicted along with another man of More...

Is Great British Justice Sinking?

Sinking?

My husband, Nathan, tells everybody that our story was love at first sight. I’m not so sure about that. I just thought his heart was in the right place. When I met Nathan in More...

Making a Murderer

Making a Murderer

Netflix documentary on Steven Avery ‘could not be made in UK due to lack of open justice’ Making a Murderer is captivating television audiences on both sides of the Atlantic More...

Island of hope

Island of hope

Last spring Sarah Lewis from the University of Portsmouth spent six weeks undertaking research on Bastoy Prison Island – the first ecological prison in the world and home More...

Droning On: HMPs and unmanned aerial vehicles

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones, as they are more commonly known, defy gravity. They can’t quite pick a prisoner up and take him out over a fence, but their defiance More...

‘Thank you to the prisoners, and staff, who’ve helped me do my job’

Nick

Nick Hardwick, the departing Chief Inspector of Prisons with Eric McGraw, former Managing Editor of Inside Time. Nick, you’ve More...

I’m new here…

I’m new here...

Firstly, let me assure you that you are not alone. Take a look around you and you will see that prisoners are just More...

Lost pets

Have any of your readers lost a pet due to being incarcerated? Unfortunately, both I and my partner are in prison at very short notice and we had nobody who could have looked after our beloved staffie,...

No compassion

The MoJ used to rely on PSO 4700 to dictate release on compassionate grounds, which has proved highly restrictive. In the case of R v McLaughlin [2014] EWCA Crim 188, the Court of Appeal held that the...

DHL disregard consumer legislation

I came into custody in September 2015 with no money and no wristwatch. It took me some weeks to organise my first canteen and top of my shopping list was an analogue watch at £11.99 from our...

Big thanks to the Tax Man

I was recalled to prison. As I was expecting to be there for a while I contacted Paul Retout of the Tax Academy to sort out my tax returns. He sent forms straight to the prison and...

Desperate to leave England

I was convicted for importing class A drugs, and the evidence I was convicted upon was very shady. There was no direct evidence linking me to the offence. There were no text messages, phone calls or fingerprints....

Sex offenders and visits

I am writing in to see if any other prisoners have the same concerns as me. This has been my 4th stint in prison but the first time I’ve been in prison since I became a family...

Alice in Wonderland?

It never ceases to amaze me how they (probation, parole board etc.) expect you to tell them that you are better for the experience of prison. What would be a much more relevant and REAL question would...

Be grateful for what you’ve got

Refugees from Syria had no homes at Christmas. People living in poverty did not eat at Christmas. People the world over were suffering at Christmas. However, one person’s despair struck me more than any other. The plight...

Where’s our food?

I am serving 12 months and have been here at Manchester for 4 months now and I’ve noticed the situation with the food is getting worse every day. It has got to the point where we are...

Rat infestation

Here at Liverpool we have rats the size of cats and they are everywhere. The main reason is because instead of giving extra food to the prisoners it is thrown in a bin in a big cage...

Mental health not working

Due to the number of prisoners here at Stafford and the small mental health team, we are given a maximum number of sessions that we can have with Primary Mental Health before being removed from their books....

The challenge to fill time wisely

I work full-time and attend education courses. I have also applied for distance learning courses. But due to the ever-increasing staff shortages the amount of time banged up in my cell continues to grow so I look...

Bitten by a rat

I am currently a prisoner at Bullingdon and since 2015 there has been growing concern about the rat infestation of epidemic proportions here. The main cause, I should imagine, is the rubbish being thrown out of cell...

Help is there don’t be afraid to ask for it

This was my first time coming into prison so I didn’t know what to expect and the fact that I suffer from depression and anxiety didn’t help. I arrived at reception where I was asked some questions...

Prison hanging book removed

Recently I was made aware that there is a book that can be borrowed from the prison library that shows people how to hang themselves. The book is titled ‘Pierrepoint A Family of Executioners’ by Steve Fielding....

No visits – so why not Skype?

There must be many prisoners in British jails who do not receive any visits from family or friends. A big reason for this is the distance each family has to travel to see their loved one. Despite...

Helpful staff

As a disabled prisoner and diagnosed as having serious mental problems (I’m 70 years of age and have tried to commit suicide twice) I would like to say how kind the prison officers here have been to...

Translation blues

I am Polish and this is my very first time in an English prison. My English is not so great so I was happy to see that the prison provides important information about the regime and various...

Banks on Sentence – February 2016

Robert Banks, a barrister, writes Banks on Sentence. It is the second-largest selling criminal practitioner’s text book and is used by judges for sentencing more than any other. The book is classified by the Ministry of Justice as a core judicial text book. The book has an app which is for Apple iPads and Windows 8/10 tablets and computers. It costs £99 (incl. VAT). The print copy costs £106. There is also a discount available when the print copy and app are purchased together and a large discount if the current edition is bought with the edition to be published at the end of April. If you have access to a computer, you can follow Robert on Twitter, @BanksonSentence and you can receive his More...

Did you know – February 2016

l When Big Ben was first installed in 1851, the 9ft wide bell was going to be called Victoria after the Queen. But Londoners nicknamed it Big Ben and the name stuck. Metro When the original Star Wars movie hit cinemas in 1977, fans had to wait another five years before they could get their hands on a copy to watch at home – on video. While a rental version was available from 1982, you couldn’t buy a copy for another two years after that. Daily Express Bad news More...

It’s Cerrig Tan by a head!

Following a consultation with local people by the National Offender Management Service, who asked for views on the six possible names..

Serious failings identified at inquest of Highpoint prisoner

An inquest has opened on a 25 year-old prisoner who was found dead, hanging in his cell at HMP Highpoint in..

Month by Month – February 2016

Month by Month

My Search for Meaning January is a reluctant month. Many people, including me, are disinclined to start the More...

Inside Out

Inside Out Restrictions on temporary release are squandering the goodwill of charities and businesses who want to reduce reoffending Many charities and businesses..

Inside Chess – February 2016

Chess I was asked by one inmate if I personally answer every letter I receive. The answer is that although I would..

Headlines from 2015

A police officer carrying the lifeless body of 3 year-old boy, near a beach resort in Turkey, on September 2, 2015. FIFA President Sepp Blatter and FIFA itself have been..

POA Gives NOMS 28 DAYS to put its House in Order

In a letter to Michael Spurr, Chief Executive of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), the Prison Officers’ Association (POA) has issued a 28-day notice requiring NOMS ‘to address a..

‘A CHANCE TO CHANGE’

“Prison should offer individuals a chance to change their lives for the better. Yes, they’ve done some terrible things. They broke the law, they crossed the line, and no moral society..

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