Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

1.The widespread misconception that all people with mental or mental health disorders are a danger to the public. 2.Hidden Cog . 3.Discrimination Failings. When will someone listen? 4. Fake inspections. 5 prison Trauma. 6.let me die.When will someone actually be honest? When will someone just say enough is enough?


The disproportionately high rate of mental disorders in prisons is related to several factors: The IPP sentence with no end date if you didn't have mental health your likely  to have as a result of the tortures sentence and the constant recall for non offences.

If you have a cognitive/ disorder that you cant help but may effect behaviour

The general intolerance of many societies to difficult or disturbing behaviour; the failure to promote treatment, care and rehabilitation, and, above all, the lack of, or poor access to, mental health services in the UK Prisons. Many people in society have been effected by mental health in one way or another and have seek support, however what if that support  punishes you  having a hard time and who are not trained  and make misconceptions of you.

The widespread misconception that all people with cognitive or mental health disorders are a danger to the public.

Many of these disorders   may be present before admission to prison, and may be further exacerbated by the stress of imprisonment. However, mental disorders may also develop during imprisonment itself as a consequence of prevailing conditions and also possibly due to torture or other human rights violations.

There are factors in many prisons that have negative effects on mental health, including:  overcrowding, various forms of violence, enforced solitude or conversely, lack of privacy, lack of meaningful activity, isolation from social networks, insecurity about future prospects (work, relationships, etc),  and inadequate health services, especially mental health services, in prisons. The increased risk of suicide in prisons (often related to depression) is, unfortunately, one common manifestation of the cumulative effects of these factors.

Prisons are sometimes used as dumping grounds for people with mental disorders: In the UK, people with severe mental disorders are inappropriately locked up in prisons simply because of the lack of mental health services. People with substance abuse disorders or people who, at least in part due to a mental disorder, have committed minor offences are often sent to prison rather than treated for their disorder. These disorders therefore continue to go unnoticed, undiagnosed and untreated.  

The terms 'Prison' and 'Prisoner' are used in this applying to all persons detained, incarcerated or imprisoned in a facility on the basis of, or allegation of, a criminal offence, whether the facility is called a prison, jail, detention centre or otherwise.

People with mental disorders are exposed to stigma and discrimination: Within most societies, people with mental disorders face marginalisation, stigma and discrimination in the social, economic and health spheres, due to widespread misconceptions related to mental disorders. This stigma and discrimination usually persists in prison, with the person often facing still further marginalisation and isolation due to imprisonment. 

Effective treatment is possible but too often the available resources are wasted: There are many effective treatments for mental disorders, but often the limited available resources are wasted in ineffective, expensive interventions and services that only reach a small proportion of those in need.  The building of separate psychiatric prison hospitals in particular is not cost-effective, because they are very expensive to run, they have a limited capacity, are associated with low release rates, and they often leave the individual with a severe and persistent stigma. Many operate outside of the health departments responsible for controlling the quality of health interventions.  Furthermore, there is no evidence that these expensive hospitals improve treatment outcomes.  Rather, these hospitals can put prisoners at risk of human rights violations.

For prisoners…. Addressing mental health needs will improve the health and quality of life of both prisoners with mental disorders and of the prison population as a whole. By promoting a greater understanding of the problems faced by those with mental disorders, stigma and discrimination can be reduced.

Ultimately, addressing the needs of people with mental disorders improves the probability that upon leaving prison they will be able to adjust to community life, which may, in turn, reduce the likelihood that they will return to prison   
For prison employees…. Prisons are often difficult and demanding working environments for all levels of staff. The presence of prisoners with unrecognised and untreated mental disorders can further complicate and negatively affect the prison environment, and place even greater demands upon the staff.  A prison that is responsive to, and promotes the mental health of prisoners, is more likely to be a workplace that promotes the overall morale and mental health of prison staff and should therefore be one of the central objectives of good prison management.
For the community… Prison health cannot be addressed in isolation from the health of the general population since there is a constant inter-change between the prison and the broader community, be it through the guards, the administration, the health professionals and the constant admission and release of prisoners. Prison health must therefore be seen as a part of public health. Addressing the mental health needs of prisoners can decrease incidents of re-offending, reduce the number of people who return to prison, help divert people with mental disorders away from prison into treatment and rehabilitation and ultimately reduce the high costs of prisons.  

The detection, prevention and proper treatment of mental disorders, together with the promotion of good mental health, should be both a part of the public health goals within prison, and central to good prison management. Even the UK with limited resources, steps can be taken that will improve the mental health of prisoners and prison staff, and these steps can be adapted to the cultural, social, political and economic context  
Divert people with mental disorders towards the mental health system: Prisons are the wrong place for many people in need of mental health treatment, since the criminal justice system emphasizes deterrence and punishment rather than treatment and care.

Legislation can be introduced which allows for the transfer of prisoners to general hospital psychiatric facilities at all stages of the criminal proceedings (arrest, prosecution, trial, imprisonment). For people with mental disorders who have been charged with committing minor offences, the introduction of mechanisms to divert them towards mental health services before they reach prison will help to ensure that they receive the treatment they need and also contribute to reducing the prison population.

"""The imprisonment of people with mental disorders due to lack of public mental health service alternatives should be strictly prohibited by law."""

Provide prisoners with access to appropriate mental health treatment and care: Access to assessment, treatment, and (when necessary) referral of people with mental disorders, including substance abuse, should be an integral part of general health services available to all prisoners. The health services provided to prisoners should, as a minimum, be of an equivalent level to those in the community. This may be achieved by providing mental health training to prison health workers, establishing regular visits of a community mental health team to prisons, or enabling prisoners to access health services outside the prison setting.

  Those requiring more specialist care for example, can be referred to specialist mental health providers where inpatient assessment and treatment can be provided. Primary health care providers in prisons should be provided with basic training in the recognition and basic management of common mental health disorders.  Provide access to acute mental health care in psychiatric wards of general hospitals: When prisoners require acute care they should be temporarily transferred to psychiatric wards of general hospitals with appropriate security levels. In accordance with the principles of de-institutionalisation, special psychiatric prison hospitals are strongly discouraged (see above under 'The Challenge'). 

Ensure the availability of psychosocial support and rationally prescribed psychotropic medication: Prisoners – through appropriately trained health care providers - should have the same access to psychotropic medication and psychosocial support for the treatment of mental disorders as people in the general community.  
Provide training to staff: Training for hidden disability's /mental health issues should be provided to all people involved in prisons including prison administrators, prison guards and health workers. Training should enhance staff understanding of mental disorders, raise awareness on human rights, challenge stigmatizing attitudes and encourage mental health promotion for both staff and prisoners. An important element of training for all levels of prison staff should be the recognition and prevention of suicides.

In addition, prison health workers need to have more specialized skills in identifying and managing mental disorders. 

Provide information/education to prisoners and their families on mental health issues: Prisoners and their families should receive information and education on the nature of mental disorders, with a view to reducing stigma and discrimination, preventing mental disorders and promoting mental health. Information can help prisoners and their families better understand their emotional responses to imprisonment and provide practical strategies on how to minimize the negative effects on their mental health and inform them as to when and how to seek help for a mental disorder. 

Promote high standards in prison management: The mental health of all prisoners, including those with mental disorders, will be enhanced by appropriate prison management that promotes and protects human rights. Attention to areas such as sanitation, food, meaningful occupation, physical activity, prevention of discrimination and violence, and promotion of social networks are essential.  
Ensure that the needs of prisoners are included in national mental health policies and plans: National mental health policies and/or plans should encompass the mental health needs of the prison population.

Where policies and plans fail to do so it may be necessary to advocate for their inclusion. Whenever a mental health policy or plan is being developed, prisons (staff and prisoners) should be included as stakeholders in the development process.  
Promote the adoption of mental health legislation that protects human rights: All prisoners, including those with mental disorders, have the right to be treated humanely and with respect for their inherent dignity as human beings.  Furthermore, conditions of confinement in prisons must conform to international human rights standards.

Mental health legislation can be a powerful tool to protect the rights of people with a mental disorder, including prisoners, yet in many countries are protected  but the  IK mental health laws are outdated and fail to address the mental health needs of the prison population. The development of legal provisions that address these needs can help to promote the rights of prisoners, including the right to quality treatment and care, to refuse treatment, to appeal decisions of involuntary treatment, to confidentiality, to protection from discrimination and violence, and to protection from torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (including abusive use of seclusion, restraints and medication, and non-consensual scientific or medical experimentation), among others.

Legislation should provide prisoners with mental disorders with procedural protections within the criminal justice system equivalent to those granted other prisoners.  The protection, through legislation, of other basic rights of prisoners, such as acceptable living conditions, adequate food, access to the open air, meaningful activity, and contact with the family are also important and can further contribute to the promotion of good mental health.

Independent inspection mechanism such as mental health visiting boards can also be established through legislation, to inspect prisons as well as other mental health facilities in order to monitor conditions for people with mental disorders. 

Encourage inter-sectoral collaboration: Many problems and issues can be solved by bringing relevant Ministries and other actors together to discuss the needs of prisoners with mental health disorders. Different stakeholders should meet to discuss mental health in prisons and to plan an inter-sectoral response. 

Doctors are 'failing to spot disorders such as Asperger's, dyspraxia other  ' The same failures are in the prison system. To understand or recognized behaviors of those with differences leads to longer sentences and a constant recall trap..

these constant recalls should go before a judge who can weigh up facts before enacted accept in the case of reoffending.

"Havoc caused by a pre-occupation with the word risk.  The word risk is a  contradiction by the  government that lets out worse prisoner every single day.

"Those with Dyslexia Dyspraxa Adhd Asperger's Autism or other are not getting the accommodation or support to go forward in the system moreover there are human rights violation,  this needs to be challenged as they have been unable to go forward through the system no fault of there own.

Lets first start by defining the term vulnerable of a person) in need of special care, support, or protection because of age, disability, or risk of abuse or neglect:
A person in need of special care, support or protection. For the purposes of this article we will be referring to those who have a Specific Learning Difficulty such as Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and those who have or suspected of having a Nuerodevelop mental Condition such as Asperger’s Autism.

if prisoner have to attend a  hearings, solicitor or a  psychologist in Prison this make for heavy demands on language skills – both receptive and expressive – and require an ability to process information reasonably quickly and efficiently. Reliable memory, sequencing abilities and concentration are also necessary. All these areas fall within the profiles associated with Specific Learning Difficulties.

Vulnerable people also  include young teenagers , those who have experienced trauma, those with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder ADHD, ADD, mental health needs, specific learning difficulties and deafness, as well as older people and those with physical disabilities or health conditions which may negatively affect their ability to effectively participate in the trial process.

Dyslexia identified as a disability as defined in the Equality Act 2010. Dyslexia and related Specific Learning Difficulties are the most common disability to be encountered in the Justice System. As ‘Hidden Disabilities’ they are the least understood and can give rise to significant disadvantages in  legal settings, even leading to miscarriages of justice.

Dyslexia ADHD/ADD. Signs of Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder include inattention, restlessness, impulsivity, erratic, unpredictable and inappropriate behaviour, blurting out inappropriate comments or interrupting excessively. Some people come across unintentionally as aggressive. Most fail to make effective use of feedback. Behaviour is often misinterpreted and misunderstood. There are three main difficulties called the Triad of Impairments.

The impact of specific learning difficulties Prison  setting.
The following problem areas have been reported by people with Specific Learning Difficulties who have experience of court or tribunal proceedings:

  • A build up of stress, due to long delays at the hearing
  • Impossibility of following the cut and thrust of court exchanges
  • difficulty coping with oblique, implied and compound questions
  • difficulties giving accurate answers relating to dates, times or place name
  • problems providing consistent information on sequences of actions
  • inability to find the place in a mass of documentation, as directed
  • coping with a room full of strangers in unfamiliar settings
  • maintaining concentration and focus
  • an experience of sensory overload from the lights, bustle and distractions.

In addition, concerns were expressed about how their behaviour might be perceived:

inconsistencies would imply untruthfulness; failure to grasp the point of a question could come across as evasive; lack of eye contact could be mis-interpreted as being ‘shifty’ and an over-loud voice might be regarded as aggressive. The overriding worry was that a loss of credibility would occur when they did not ‘perform’ as expected.

If you have a confirmed diagnosis or are suspected of having these conditions what is required is more specialist disability legal team aware at the earliest stages and look a possibility  having a better support . You would think that those incarcerated would want to  inform  staff of any cognative challenges or other.....   from my experience they say  that they would not go down that road since they will spend longer in prison as you are perceived as a risk. And in  fact double the time in prison than a person without a disability, fact. prisoner should not fear getting support but with

  Staff having  little or no  training to recognize or support what's the point.

 those who are making the judgment on your release may not be trained or  aware of what differcuties  a prisoner is having  cognitively  differcuties or behaviour issues which gets worse with stress  makes a person vulnerable.

To be able to fully participate in  a hearing they must make reasonable adjustments, but instead they make sure you never get out! Numbers recalled for non offences mainly rule breaks which often amounts probation  lack understanding and support,  if those was  giving the correct support they would not be recalled.

Disabled prisoner victory 12 October 2009. Victory in prisoner disability discrimination case forces Prison Service rethink on disability issues 28 January 2008. After this case they stopped thinking and did not act .

Recall washing machine
Hundreds  of IPP prisoners with these differences are faced with the plight of RECALL and of the vulnerable parents unable to pay the cost appeal since there is "no legal aid" .and now it differcult to access legal aid  additional for ending the licence!!!
Those with hidden disability or more than one disability have frequent difficulties with time keeping , misunderstanding ,getting the date and time wrong, turn up on wrong day get the tine wrong, missing appointments but continual being recalled for silly reasons. more leeway needs given for those with differences s AND training for all staff working with those who have nor-logical difficulties. Parole officers seem to work a system if your face fit or they like you I don't see a "fare system " in place that accommodates those who have neurological disability 25% leeway as a result of difficulties they have. yes im aware it a long processes   before you can be recalled but neurological differences  don't go away they are repetitive, has there been  fairness it clearly shows not. Often you may not be aware a person has a disability and my teachers in a sevay said they would not be able to recognise a person with a hidden disability and they work with children all day. 
  • Fairer system for all, one way does not work for all 
  • Recall to go before a judge. Magistrate who can independently weigh up facts before enacted(accept in the case of a further obvious offence.  
  • A licence can be challenged once in the community make access to legal aid easer for all .
  • specialist solicitors for those with disability and  specialist support for each probation office.
People with a learning challenges  are individuals first and foremost and each has a right to be treated as an equal citizen…courts or prison must take all steps possible to ensure that people with a learning challeges are able to actively participate in decisions affecting their lives.

Too narrow a focus the prisons accompanying failure to address his’ needs arising from their disability which might impact adversely on the length of sentence.
Prisons must also take steps to ensure there are no barriers to justice within the process itself. That staff must recognise those with learning disabilities need extra time with solicitors so that everything can be carefully explained to them…The process necessarily has to be slowed down to give such parents a better chance to understand and participate.

All parts of the Family justice system should take care as to the language and vocabulary that is utilised

The hearing judge or other should conduct a case management hearing to identify his difficulties and what reasonable adjustments he needs and who will assist him in parole. Failure to make reasonable adjust leading to a longer sentence. Failure to deal with his cognitive deficits and vulnerabilities. It has been widely know  those with disabilities spend double the time in prison and more and this practice must end. A solicitors  must be able to assist client but  often many solicitors are failing them or not advising correctly. solicitors to are expected to make reasonable adjustments to remove barriers for people with disabilities.

""""The basic principle is that if you come under the category of vulnerable when in prison you are entitled to a fair hearing. Article 6 of the human rights act is the right to a fair hearing. The right to a fair trial is fundamental to the rule of law and to democracy itself.""""

You are entitled to reasonable adjustments so that you are able to fully participate during the hearing.
You are entitled to a registered intermediary to assist you throughout the hearing. poor memory poor processing visual-spatial organization, receptive and expressive language, phonology, attention, Hearing impairmen auditory processing disorders known as brain deafness different from a hearing deafness, complex process—picking up sound and attaching meaning to it.

You have to have normal intelligence to have Dyslexia below is handicap so they are kept back from those who misunderstand as those with dyslexia can came across as been evasive and this in see written in the physiologist resorts staff and in hearing displaying they are not experienced enough or able to spot that its not being evasive there trying to recall this is p[art of the disability poor memory to recall in time  without looking as though your bee evasive.

Court hearings make heavy demands on language skills – both receptive and expressive – and require an ability to process information reasonably quickly and efficiently. Reliable memory, sequencing abilities and concentration are also necessary. All these areas fall within the profiles associated with Specific Learning Difficulties.

 impact of specific learning difficulties in a Probation setting or visiting a physiologist 

In addition, concerns were expressed about how their behaviour might be perceived: inconsistencies would imply untruthfulness; failure to grasp the point of a question could come across as evasive; lack of eye contact could be mis-interpreted as being ‘shifty’ and an over-loud voice might be regarded as aggressive. The overriding worry was that a loss of credibility would occur when they did not ‘perform’ as expected.

 Devastating  failings
It is a well documented  those with  disabilities spend double the time in prison than then there counter parts and you have to ask yourself why?  it is not an  excuse to say i have little or know  knowledge of a those disability when you are not qualified in making  reports that are effect others life's and outcome. 

 First you must have understand  are they  discriminating but not having the want know what accommodations to give them and are failing them going forward. i have received hundreds of emails from family of those with and without differences  being held for 10... years denied  accommodation these examples needs a full investigation.

Despair, caused by the fact that thousands of vulnerable people have post date  denied access to legal aid and find its not easy to access legal aid  leaving them open to abuse and injustice. Despair, knowing differcuties accessing  will discriminate against many, many more. Finally, despair and panic because of the lasting damage such measures were likely to leave behind.

Reverse recalls to go before a judge who can weigh up facts before enacted accept in the case of re offending. This will be a fairer system for all. probation often recalls those with disabilities such  as Asperger Autism repeated behaviour that they cant help and those with dyslexia and dypraxia nor-logical problems forgetting the day and inconstancies  repeated failing they cant help.

 ‘IPP is affecting mental health’
Emotionally and psychologically the IPP sentence is a form of torture. A study was once carried out on  one prisoner who had been held indefinitely without charge or trial at HMP Belmarsh’s infamous prison-within-a-prison, Upon Thames’ as it is known. The study found that it was the indeterminate nature of their incarceration which drove many insane, and some to take their own lives.Discrimination is part and parcel of IPP  the above.
Senior Coroner raises concerns about the unmet mental health needs of prisoners serving IPP sentence,.and has asked the Prisons Minister to take action to prevent future deaths.Coroner Peter Dean heard the inquest into the death of Steven Trudgill, a 23 year old who died at HMP Highpoint. The inquest concluded on 24 May 2016, after two and a half weeks of evidence. Steven was found hanging in his cell by a prison officer...
IPP sentences are not reserved for the most heinous of offences – they apply to people convicted of robbery, threats to kill and ABH as well as other more serious sexual and violent offences. The unique feature of the sentence is that it is not just imposed for what someone has done in the past but for what they might do in the future. The majority of those still stuck in the system are the “difficult” – angry, inarticulate, addicted or learning disabled who have not been able to navigate the path to their release. They are usually young men or at least were when they got their sentence. Many have lost hope. The majority are not what most people would regard as dangerous.

The uncertainties of risk assessment

Disability discrimination
Disabled prisoner victory 12 October 2009. Victory in prisoner disability discrimination case forces Prison Service rethink on disability issues 28 January 2008.

/katherineGleeson Founder of Dyslexia group increase awareness and understanding


Hidden cog in the wheels of justice

Frank* had an unsual way of talking. A young man with severe autism and a very limited means of verbal communication, he disclosed to a teacher something that had happened to him. He needed a highly specialist approach to facilitate him to communicate his thoughts and explain things. Frank drew pictures to show what had happened to him, adding simple words to convey actions, feelings and things that had been said to him. His communication differences meant that he needed very particular support in order to do this, and I worked with the police officer who interviewed him to establish if the claims of abuse required prosecution. It’s safe to say that it took lots of careful, autism-friendly, planning to help Frank prepare to do this, and it’s also, I think, true that his communication difficulties are such that his voice wouldn’t have been heard within the criminal justice system until quite recently.
I work as a registered intermediary. Most people haven’t heard of us. We’re a hidden cog in the wheels of justice. A relatively new profession, we work with the police and courts as communication specialists to ensure adults with communication difficulties or very young children give the best evidence possible to police and in court. We don’t tell people what to say or to take sides. We may help courts to interpret an eye-blink machine, or encourage police officers to use post-it notes to help people put events into the order they happened, or suggest paper gingerbread men as a prop for a very young child to provide evidence in a sexual abuse case, giving them a way to show just where they were touched. As impartial specialists, registered intermediaries make sure everyone has a voice in our justice system, whatever their age, health or communication difficulties.

Victim’s Commissioner report

This week (17 January 2018) the Victims’ Commissioner published a report, A Voice for the Voiceless, shining a light on the work of communication specialists in the justice system. Baroness Newlove’s review points to our potential to create change for good in courts and at police interviews. She speaks passionately, and from a strong evidence base of our ability to facilitate a voice to those like Frank, previously assumed silent. The report also demands radical changes to the service. A call for the creation of more communication specialist posts, the establishment of a supportive structure for us to work within and better provision for very young children who are increasingly required to give police interviews. All things myself and colleagues have been crying out for- for some time now.
The youngest known child who has so far given evidence to police and which resulted in a guilty plea was a child of two years old. Very young- but still able to say what happened, with the right support.  The legal system is full of mystery and jargon at the best of times. When it’s a toddler in police interview and things need to be done in a different way. Or with an adult with say, a stroke or head injury or suffering post traumatic stress disorder, it is essential the lawyers, judge, and police officers adapt their way of talking. I’ve been a Speech and Language Therapist for many years. My specialism is autism and communication breakdown. In police investigations I advise on language and grammar, questioning style, I sit next to someone as they explain in court what has happened. In a legal system full of mystery and jargon, my entire focus is to ensure understanding and clarity on all sides.

Defendants often face the same challenges as witnesses

Many of the people I work with have had a rough ride. They can find themselves as a defendant one day, a complainant the next. They might have grown up in confused households, where it was unclear what the boundaries for safe or lawful behaviour were. Over the years, I’ve learnt that defendants very often face the same challenges as witnesses. In my opinion the kind of support being called for by the new report for victims and witnesses should also apply for vulnerable defendants. I also can’t help thinking of children and adults going through the family courts, or people with autism and other disabilities, struggling to get their voice heard and needs recognized with the DWP. The scope for Registered Intermediaries to support equal access to justice is vast.

 …..the friendly judge and people with their itchy wigs

So what’s a typical day like? In court, I’ll meet both defence and prosecution barristers to match their questions to the needs of a witness, and talk to the judge to explain what is needed.  I sit with the child (having got them comfy in their chair, explaining how the ‘Livelink’ works and introducing them to the friendly judge and people with their itchy wigs). If I’m with an adult with autism I watch them like a hawk, alert to any clues they haven’t understood. If they have misunderstood, I tell the Judge, and we try again.
Many kids and people with learning disabilities are surprisingly clear communicators. Like Frank. It was suggested to him in court that these things never happened.  He told the judge, ‘It did you know. That man must have just forgotten, may be he doesn’t remember because he’s old.’ 

‘I don’t think I could have done it on my own’

On a good day, I feel like I have facilitated something that might not have otherwise have happened. It’s a team approach, and great to get encouragement and feedback from the police officers I work with (‘the CPS wouldn’t have taken this case forward if it wasn’t for your report’), the barristers (‘you’ve made it so much clearer’), the Judges (‘thank you for your deft touch in a very tricky situation’) — as well as the children, adults and their families I work with (‘I don’t think I could have done it on my own’).
The culture has changed in courts and police interviews.  In the nine years I’ve worked in the system, it’s becoming standard for lawyers to share their questions with me, often making questions clearer or more direct according to my suggestions. With the Judge’s agreement, I can make some very practical changes; for example, if I know what will be asked, I can prepare people with autism with a tick-list of questions, so they know how much longer they have to concentrate for. It makes it possible to use diagrams and pictures so that people can point to what part of the body was touched, making it very obvious what happened. This is how the once voiceless can give their best evidence. It’s not about putting words into people’s mouths, it’s about impartially enabling them to express themselves, how they wish to.
The difficult days are stinkers and utterly frustrating. The Ministry of Justice hosts and co-ordinates the scheme, but they have insufficient funding to organize, oversee and develop it. There just aren’t enough communication specialists to go round — we take about 6000 cases a year but around 250 go unmatched every year. I’ve been offered five cases this week that I can’t take.  I’ve driven to Swansea (twice) and then to Devon (once) to support people, despite living in Somerset, and I’m off to London after that. Even worse is when delays, adjournments and miscommunications (defendant not brought from prison for his trial, whilst a witness with autism has been carefully introduced to the courtroom over several weeks beforehand) get in the way.

….left alone to deal with the emotional impact

Practically, I only get paid for the hours I work, and so a series of cancellations can be disastrous. Even worse, for me, is when I hear of people leaving the profession because they felt exposed and unsupported in a role where you are very much on your own. Unlike police or barristers, we don’t go back to a shared office and can be left to deal alone with the emotional impacts of evidence (small children witnessing murder or abuse, grown men made to work as modern day slaves and manipulated for their benefits and bodies).

The Voice for Voiceless report by Baroness Newlove is a welcome acknowledgement of our work to promote equal access to justice for the vulnerable. Now we need to see the recommendations put into action.

 Esther Rumble has worked as a Registered Intermediary for nine years. She is a member ofIntermediaries for Justice.* Frank, not his real name.Big rise in in deaths of offenders on probation

Current Probation system is not evidence -based

Only one in 100 prisoners who made an allegation of discrimination against prison staff had their case upheld by the prison. By contrast, three in four staff (76%) reports of alleged discrimination by a prisoner were upheld.

That was the key finding of an in-depth research report by the Zahid Mubarek Trust and the Prison Reform Trust published last April (2 April 2017).
These depressing findings are confirmed by a new  Learning Lessons Bulletin published earlier this week (17 January 2018) by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO): Complaints about Discrimination which is based on a sample of 208 complaints received between January 2012 and July 2017.
Elizabeth Moody, the Acting Ombudsman said that inadequate investigations of alleged discrimination in jails "risk is undermining prisoners’ confidence in the complaints process. An analysis of more than 200 complaints handled by the PPO over "five years showed that:
all too often discrimination complaints are not investigated promptly.
This is particularly troubling given David Lammy’s recent report which demonstrated clearly not only that BAME individuals are over-represented in prison but also that they are not treated fairly while inside. A reminder of some of his key findings:

  • 25% of the adult prison population are from BAME communities
  • 3% of the general population are Black but 12% of prisoners and 21% of children in custody are Black
  • 11% BAME prisoners spend 10 hours out of cell on a week day compared to 16% white prisoners
  • 6% prison officers come from BAME backgrounds compared to 26% prisoners and 14% general population


Of the personal characteristics protected by the Equality Act, the most common complaints investigated by the PPO alleged discrimination on the basis of religion, followed by disability, race, gender, nationality, sexuality, and then age.
Some of the key issues identified by the PPO in the course of their investigations were:
  • Lack of resources and priority given to investigating equalities concerns. Equalities staff were moved, complaints were lost.

  • Prison staff often responded by denying there had been any discrimination rather than investigating and responding to a complaint.

  • Little training or guidance for equalities officers.

  • The discrimination aspect of complaints was often ignored by prison staff. For example, a profoundly deaf prisoner’s hearing aid was lost during a prison transfer but his complaint was treated as if it was a simple lost property issue despite the fact that he had to survive prison life without his hearing aid for over a year.

  • The PPO found that prison staff who investigate discrimination complaints “often lack the training and confidence to address equalities issues effectively, and that prisons often fail to collect the equalities data needed to carry out a meaningful investigation. This risks undermining prisoners’ confidence in the effectiveness and legitimacy of the complaints process.”


The bulletin identified four areas where HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) can improve the handling of discrimination complaints:
  • Resources. In most prisons, responsibility for complaints about discrimination lies with a designated Equalities Officer. However, equalities staff often tell the PPO the hours allocated to their roles have been cut as a result of a reallocation of resources within the prison. This means Equalities Officers frequently have to do the same important job with significantly less time and fewer resources. As a result, the administration of discrimination complaints can suffer.

  • Inadequate training. The bulletin notes that “we see too many cases where it is clear that managers do not understand the issues and lack confidence in responding to complaints about discrimination.”

  • Failure to address discrimination issues. “One common theme we find…is the failure to engage with and directly address issues of discrimination. In some cases, managers respond to complaints about discrimination by simply asserting there has been no discrimination, without any attempt to investigate or to address the complaint.”

  • Inadequate “big picture” information. In many cases not enough data is gathered on the personal characteristics of prisoners and key services (such as prisoner employment) to assess whether a complaint is justified or not. For example, the PPO could not investigate a complaint that only white British prisoners got the most desirable jobs in a prison because the prison did not record the characteristics of those who got such jobs.

Prisoners and discrimination

Fake inspections

I sometimes wonder what it is like in the world that Prison Inspectors inhabit.
We have just been inspected here at Rochester by HMCIP, and for the week that they were here there were an awful lot of changes to our normal routine. For a start, myself, a gym orderly and part-time IT student, and other full-time workers were magically transformed into full-time art students for a course that was actually closed just before the inspectors arrived.
In fact, when the nice lady from OFSTED arrived every course was suddenly and magically filled. What a coincidence!
The whole prison was spotless, although I must admit that the cleaners do a good job here anyway, but this was gleaming. I am a bit concerned about the inspectors though, they must think every prison smells of new paint because just before they reached any department the inmates had just about finished painting as fast as their paintbrushes would let them!
I even had an optician and dentist’s appointment in the SAME WEEK! Even a few of the staff managed to work smiles onto their usually sour and angry faces just in time for the inspection. So, god bless you inspectors for making prisons the way they should be, even if it is only for the week that you are here.

 HMP Rye Hill
I write in response to a mailbag ‘Wrong indictment’ (November issue) by Mrs Kim Rafferty. She states that her conviction is ‘unlawful’, due to having wrong dates on the indictment rendering the Court’s decision defective. This may well be the case as lots of prisoners have similar issues. If, like Mrs Rafferty, other prisoners are not in the position to pay privately for legal representation, that is not necessarily the end of the road.
There may potentially be a small light at the end of the tunnel. You will have to do a lot of the work yourself, then present it to an organisation which takes on pro-bono cases. They are the Bar Pro Bono Unit, National Pro Bono Centre, 48 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1JF. There are barristers who will take on cases for free, but not all cases.

 Prison Trauma

Ian anybody explain why the MoJ is so reluctant to acknowledge that there is an increasing number of prisoners suffering from PTSD due to experiences in British prisons?
With violence and drug-use on the increase, sentences becoming longer for indeterminately sentenced prisoners, the number of recalls escalating, longer hours locked in cells with restricted access to work and education, limited opportunities to find a space on offending behaviour courses, an increase in prison suicides and incidents of self-harm, restricted access to telephone contact with families – it appears that the MoJ is unwilling to accept that it is prisons that are making people mentally ill, and, in some cases, contributing to prisoners becoming so distressed that they take their own lives.
I suspect that any public statement saying that prison does not work if reducing long-term crime is the goal, it would be undermined by sections of the tabloid media and right-wing politicians.
I am afraid that Britain’s withdrawal from the EU and the European Court of Human Rights will allow our government free reign to continue to run British prisons into the ground. On a more positive note, things really cannot get much worse at the moment, and our government never took much notice of many ECHR rulings anyway. Except when it suited their agenda.
Let me Die
am serving a discretionary life sentence and have a lot of the same issues as IPPs. Despite a 9-year tariff given by the judge, I have now served over 29-years, 2-years longer than Nelson Mandela. Serving the 9-year tariff was difficult enough, but the additional 20-years is making me mentally ill.
I have attempted to take my life many times and in various ways over the years and many staff tell me that I am probably seen by the MoJ as ‘un-releasable.’ In a country that supposedly prides itself on its humanity, you would not treat a dog in the way I have been treated.
You may think I’m full of self-pity, and you would be right. But the only alternative at this late stage is to be full of hate, bitterness, spite and anger. There are many lifers in the system who will never be released, especially those who are seen as ‘in denial’. I think that a humane society should offer prisoners like me the choice of continued imprisonment after our tariffs have been served, or execution by lethal injection or some other means.
I have been in touch with many solicitors regarding my wish to be executed by the state rather than being left to rot in a violent, oppressive and damned prison system. But nobody wants to take on my case. Imprisonment without release is cruel. Euthanasia, for those who opt for it, would be an act of kindness and a humane method of dealing with prisoners who will die behind bars anyway. I’ll be the first volunteer.


Vilkinson My brother was sentenced to a 2year 9 month IPP in 2006 at age 18 for index offence . He has now been in jail for nearly 12 years, they have had him on false charges which were all found not guilty but still used to cat-a him and refuse to let him leave. He was in D-cat and they have now again Cat-A him to woodhill saying that he is not mentally ready to re enter society? He done all courses, was an enhanced prisoner for over 8 years. Now he’s a grown man and still inside prison. It’s not just him that’s a victim, , all our family and now his wife also. I try not to think about it because it makes me so mad and angry and I hate feeling negative but I just want my brother to come home.

McCourt So here we are 2018 and still the injustice goes on .
My son sentenced in July 2007 to a 2yr 6 month IPP was last July told by the parole board they were going to release him subject to a management plan being put in place . December 2017 they said they were happy with the plan put forward and granted him his release . We were delighted and were hoping he would be home for Christmas . That wasn't to be we are waiting for a place in a hostel to become available . Yesterday my son...s probation officer called me to sat the earliest vacancy in a hostel will be may 2018 .
So by the time he gets released , he will have served 11and a half years 9 years over his tariff . my Son is in a closed prison , but officially released .
Its crazy cruel and disgusting .
This government should be ashamed of itself. The way it has treated all the ipp prisoners is appalling .

khan They need to release all of the other ipps as I swear how can this happen when he is in A cat jail. And highly a risk to public and the rest haven't even done a crimes like him to be honest they really have f... Up this time 

Lewis I think its disgusting that this is happening even when a IPP prisoner is released there are still big restrictions on them which still sometimes is like being in prison , this IPP was abolished but still everything applies to them regarding recalls and blanket bans and everything else that goes along with this vile sentence , who ever thought it up certainly didn't think it through it was meant for hundreds of the worst offences yet thousands were handed it , its about time all post tariff were released.
Avalon Having met Nick Hardwick in person I found him to be a very concerned person about the IPP issue. The system is just not prividing the courses which are necessary to meet the unrealistic targets set by probation for prisoners
Milton I'm glad you said that it worried me he might just be another playing lip service. In view of the PB releasing John Worboys direct from a cat A prison after having we're told not 12 months earlier refused him cat D conditions I find it hard to understand how they can refuse release to any overtariff IPP.....especially those who have had to progress through the system to cat c/d. to even be considered for release

Katherine IPP prisoner,s are wait up to a year in there cell  though they have been given a release  the previous years and the reason availability in hotels. Other IPP Prisoner are being deferred there dates ?
It really makes me angry why  prison inspectors failed in there duties  and we must-see some drastic changes and investigated  to find out why!
We have another IPP prisoner this week for an non offence recalled for a rule break .More are going back in then there coming out it seems something and this is not acceptable.

specialist Legal help for everyone

 Act as expert witnesses in employment tribunals or other cases in which a dyslexic person is involved as either plaintiff or defendant.

Human Rights Breaches

Unlawful Detention Compensation

No comments:

Post a Comment


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.