The following is a letter to insidetime, from issue August 2010
Over the past couple of years I’ve pursued the appeals/complaints procedure assiduously for a simple emplacement of fairness. It only leads to the conclusion that the previous Blunkett/Straw hegemony has effectively shut down practically every avenue for contesting almost all decisions, no matter how reasonable.
Prison management will quite readily overturn a positive decision for a negative one, but very rarely vice versa. We should not bother to be upset or resentful about that. It’s not personal. Prisons are predominantly negative environments, focussed on constraint, punishment and containment. It’s only to be expected that staff are orientated towards negativity in most matters, and may be obligated to positive actions often as a last resort. There will be some more positive spots in places to decry such allegations, but generally it’s a nullifying environment where appeals are viewed at confrontations.
The language used is rarely a direct NO, but more often a political swerve, especially in the tedious cases where a prisoner has a fair and valid call for their cause. This is merely a reflection of how politicians speak regularly to counter questioning, by avoiding answering the core issue. Verbal swerving has almost become an art form. There has developed a commonality in public debate for ‘doing a Ronaldo’. A ghost, shoulder-dip, quick shoe shuffle, shimmy, head twitch --- then gone. Don’t fall into a direct tackle. Avoid any straight moves because that’s how to come unstuck. Quick feint and whizz past (what a star!) If you get a Paxman – take a dive. Bank on hoodwinking any fair minded referees. This is the language that has seeped into most areas of governance. And it pervades every level from ministers to MPs to NOMS and judicial reviews. It’s very much the new language of appeals/complaints procedures.
Resorting to IMB is a somewhat amusing part of the process to try all quarters of appeal. I’ve found that some may respond with high-handed rebuttal worthy of the caricature snooty magistrate in a Dickens novel, highly elitist and dismissive. Others may see clearly a good case to be answered, and so simply don’t answer. Of course some may wish to do their best but they have no chance against a set prison negativity, and they have no power anyway, to reason with the unreasonable.
The manner by which the most senior governors dismiss appeal/complaints with ‘write to the Ombudsman then’ illustrates how much inbred contempt has seeped into that.
Comments about this letter
19/8/2010 Gordon Smith -Typical well tried and tested method ignore and it will go away. Does anyone believe in the complaints system ever being fair and equitable? The hardest,no impossible word for the prison service to say is,
Spread the word
Get Tough On Sentencing.
Prisoners right to vote – British Courts local claim
Prison Visits And Maintaining Family Ties
Current page: Adopting the political swerve.
Thank you wing staff
Wax Or Tax
Isn’t this an ‘exceptional circumstance’?
Accessibility to items
Who’s extracting the urine?
Probation hostels, sim cards & mobile phones
Call this protecting the public?
MUSLIM CHAPLAINS ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE
Politeness Costs Nothing
Investigatory Powers Tribunal
IPPs branded ‘inhumane’ and ‘grotesquely unfair’
IPP, If Your Face Fits
Roslyn Mary Runnette 1941-2010
November 2014 Headlines
A steadily increasing prison population in Europe
Links to the outside
Courts and TV
A risky business
IEP and maintaining innocence
Doing Bird - and why it’s not working
Police bail and the innocent
Repatriation to Ireland
The best years of his life
House of Lords debate about IPPs
Month by Month - November 2014
Butler Trust Awards
The Harris Review
Scotland the brave
The lonesome death of Giovanni Cocozza
Inside Drink and Drugs News
More people using drugs
Spotlight - Police and Crime Commissioners
Home Detention Curfew Scheme
From over the wall
Love is my religion
Fair trials - are they still possible
The prison lawyer and the auditor
Parole? Who, what, where and when
Jonathan King writes
New! Volume 5 of
is now available!
A collection of poems by prisoners of all backgrounds.
Availabe to buy from this site! Volume 1,2,3 and 4 are also still available and you can SAVE by purchasing bundles!
The Useful Services for Prisoners scheme from insidetime provides discounts, vouchers and other benefits from USP Group Members for Prisoners, their families and legal advisors. Click the image above to read more about it.
You can subscribe to insidetime Newspaper and get the paper each month delivered to your door!
Advertise your business or solicitors office to a highly defined target audience.
Inside Time has produced a number of books and publications you can purchase online.
All contact info for the Operations office and the Editorial Team.
Our site map page contains links to all pages on the insidetime site.
We have a number of external websites which you may be interested on our Links Page.
Everything you need to know about visiting people in prison; procedures, opening times, directions etc.
Comprehensive information about each prison regime; lock down times, facilities, healthcare etc.
*NEW* Detailed information about IRC - Immigration Removal Centres.
Various pages of information for help and support organisations and networks for those in custody as well as recently released. Also information for friends and family.
This grants and funding pdf document aims to meet the need of prisoners and ex-offenders for accurate, up to date information on the supplementary funding available to prisoners.
Information on rules & regulations used throughout the prison service.
The Glossary of Prison Related Terms explains what all the acronyms and terms stand for with prison related matters. Includes links to external sites to further explain things.
We have produced many Prison Related Fact Sheets inc. Legal Fact Sheets, Parole Fact Sheets and Other related information.
You can search our solicitor database for listings of solicitors in your area that provide the services you require.
You can search our barrister database for listings of barristers in your area that provide the services you require.
You can search our address database in many ways to retrieve contact information for all those elusive addresses you need in a hurry.
This document provides details of leading training providers who offer sound professional training.
Inside Information has produced a number of books and publications you can purchase online.
Our site map page contains links to all pages on the insideinformation site.
Use the Contact Us Feedback form to send us suggestions, plus our address and phone numbers.
insidejustice was launched in July 2010 to investigate alleged miscarriages of justice.
Full introduction is on the insidejustice homepage