Monday, July 26, 2004

End of years of despair as Holloway closes its doors

[Allegedly], infamous women's jail set for the axe in radical penal policy shift.

UK: It has housed some of Britain's most notorious women prisoners, including Moors murderer Myra Hindley, serial killer Rose West, Diana Mosley, aristocratic wife of fascist leader Oswald Mosley and, most recently, Maxine Carr, girlfriend of Soham murderer Ian Huntley.

[Great way for the ruling class Observer Newpaper to start an article on prisons and punishment for women? Why not start with serial killer, the Observer Newspaper? So they are so notorious you sell more papers? Just sensational crap.]

But now Holloway prison in north London - where Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed in Britain, was hanged in 1955 - [Sensational, why don't they hang the Observer Newspaper?], has been earmarked for closure, along with several other women's prisons, which have been hit by a spate of suicides. [?]

[Women killing themselves because of 'prison conditions' how gross is that? Worst than murder that is 'mass murder' by the ruling class and exploited by the Observer Newspaper.]

Martin Narey, the Home Office's head of correctional services, aims to move all women out of prisons such as Holloway and into new purpose-built jails that will deal with high levels of drug dependency and mental illness. More than two-thirds of women who arrive in prison need detox treatment for alcohol or drug addiction.

[So that statement makes it 'sound like' the women have the problems of committing suicide and it's not the prisons fault? And the suicides are not based on the hell hole what they are sent to?]

The closure would mark the end of an institution that has long attracted the concerns of both penal reformers and the government. In 1996 conditions at the prison prompted the then chief inspector of prisons, Sir David Ramsbotham, to walk out in disgust on his first visit.

Although the prison took steps to improve, further inquiries revealed that Holloway still fell short of standards. Last year the Prison Inspectorate raised concerns about the conditions for teenage girls and the regime was described as grossly inadequate, with little awareness of child protection procedures.

The first signs of, [the alleged], radical shift in British penal policy have already begun with the closure of the notorious women's wing at Durham prison, which has housed some of the most dangerous female prisoners.

[There we go again the women were so dangerous, what does that mean? It doesn't matter if they were screwed over by the system?]

The women will be moved to two new purpose-built private women's prisons, HMP Bronzefield at Ashford in Middlesex and Peterborough, which will house more than 800 inmates, [prisoners.]

A massive rise in the male population has already led to the closure of the female wing at HMP Winchester and Edmunds Hill, a women's prison in Suffolk will start to convert to a male prison next month. Other women's prisons targeted for closure are Brockhill in the West Midlands and Styal near Manchester, which have both had serious problems with suicide and self-harm among inmates, [prisoners. Not self-harm, but bad conditions harm!]

No timescale has been put on the closure plans because, at present, both men and women's prisons are near full capacity. But Narey believes the courts can be persuaded to jail fewer women.

He will come under fire from penal reformers, who argue that women prisoners need small residential secure units near to the homes to avoid disrupting their families. The Observer understands that Narey has categorically ruled out this option as too expensive.

Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said Narey's plans 'would simply replace one kind of warehouse with another' and that women would still be sent to prisons hundreds of miles from their homes.

'Rather than large private purpose-built jails miles from their homes and the support they need, most women who offend need drug treatment, mental health care, parenting support and legitimate ways to get out of debt,' she said.

She added that the Home Office was committed to finding imaginative alternatives to prison for women and the private building programme did not provide this.

There are around 4,500 women in Britain's prisons, a figure that has almost trebled in a decade. But the Home Office 'believes', [what does that mean?] that new sentencing guidelines and an emphasis on community sentences will persuade magistrates and juries to send fewer women to jail.

[Regadless of what the ruling class alleged, home office believes, that is just plain rubbish and propaganda, to those being 'murdered' by poor condiitons. Who would believe the home office of well to do ruling class gits anyway? The alleged, Observer!]

More female inmates, [prisoners for fuck sake], have been convicted of shoplifting than any other crime. [Stealing from rich gits.] Two-thirds of women enter prison on remand.

Home Office figures show that 40 per cent of those who are sentenced serve three months or less. Bronzefield, which is run by the private contractor UK Detention Services, opened last month. It is the first purpose-built women's prison in Britain since the Victorian Holloway was completely rebuilt in the 1970s. Built as series of low-rise house blocks, it is designed to be less intimidating, [?], than a men's jail. Peterborough, also run by UKDS, will open next year.

By Martin Bright, [MI5,6?] posted 26 July 04

My Sarah was smart and talented - Why did she die in jail?

LONDON: Sarah Campbell was just 18 when she killed herself [? committed suicide,] one of seven women to die in jail this year. Our correspondent asks why so many women kill themselves in prison [? commit suicide in prison.]


UK Miscarriages: Loss of innocence
Can anyone comprehend what it is like to spend years in prison for a crime you didn't commit? Eric Allison tracked down those still haunted by the experience - the victims of miscarriages of justice, and their families.

Prison service 'on brink of a race crisis'
Britain's jails are plagued by a culture of racism among a hard core of officers and have been rocked by allegations that black prisoners have been made to fight white inmates, [prisoners], for the amusement of warders, according to the union chief in charge of 33,500 officers.

How detox and self-help brought suicide jail back from the brink
UK: Six suicides in 12 months made Styal prison notorious and the Prisons Ombudsman criticised the prison and its staff for serious failures. But things are changing.

Restorative Justice Practices
Restorative Justice Practices of Native American, First Nation and Other Indigenous People of North America: Part One BY LAURA MIRSKY.This is part one in a series of articles about restorative justice practices of Native American, First Nation and other indigenous people of North America.

UK: The injustice of jail
UK: Give or take Alcatraz, few prisons have a grimmer reputation than Holloway. The former chief inspector, David Ramsbotham, once declared it too disgusting to assess. Others have called the jail's cockroach-infested blocks the worst in the country. Holloway, its image pitched somewhere between Dante's Inferno and the penitentiary wing of Fawlty Towers, has never seemed a candidate for a good slammer award.

Belmarsh prisoners consider suicide, says freed man
UK: The first of the Muslim prisoners released from Belmarsh high security prison after being held on suspicion of terrorism, [scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East], has [said], his fellow prisoners are suffering such 'severe mental problems' that they constantly consider suicide.

Revolving door: Criminal Law System
UK: They are just the opposite of master criminals. Indeed, in the words of Nick Davies in his latest three-part Guardian series on the criminal justice system, [? criminal law system], their criminal careers reflect "the same muddled inadequacy as they handle the rest of their lives". They were nearly all born and raised in chaos.

How the Prison Service Works
1.Abuse and torture inmates at HMP Wormwood Scrubs
2.Take years to admit a regime of violence and torture.
3.Settle 46 claims, paying 1.7 million to prisoners.
5.Carry on as before.
4.Keep 11 of the 14 prison officers responsible in their jobs.

Prisoners must get right to vote, says court
UK: The government will be forced to lift a ban on prisoners voting dating back to 1870 after the European court of human rights ruled yesterday it breached a lifer's human rights.

Cherie calls for women to be kept out of jail
UK: Cherie Booth today launches an impassioned attack on the jailing of women, warning of a 'cycle of poverty and crime' spiralling down the generations unless more female criminals are spared prison.

Blunkett charges miscarriage of justice victims 'food and lodgings'
UK: WHAT do you give someone who's been proved innocent after spending the best part of their life behind bars, wrongfully convicted of a crime they didn't commit? An apology, maybe? Counselling? Champagne?Compensation?

Prison needle cleansing programme
The Department of Health and the Prison Service appeared to be at odds last night over a needle cleansing programme designed to protect prisoners from blood-borne infections such as HIV and hepatitis.

England tops the EU in imprisonment
England and Wales jail more offenders per capita than any other European, Union country, according to new figures. The imprisonment rate of 141 per 100,000 makes the countries the prison capital of Europe for the second year running.

Don't put mothers behind bars
If we are to arrest the soaring prison suicide rate among women, we need to look at alternative punishment.

UK Prison Abuse: Guards Holding Nooses
'We will kill you. We will get away with it... we've done it before' Prisoners tell of hanging threats by officers holding nooses.

K K K in the UK
In the documentary it is alleged an officer dressed in a Ku Klux Klan mask at a training centre in north-west England. An undercover reporter from the BBC also claimed to have taped racist comments by some officers.

Suicides and unrest have soared, admits Home Office
UK:The already overcrowded prison population is set to go on rising and will top 80,000 within the next three years, a senior Home Office civil servant warned yesterday.

My Sarah was smart and talented - Why did she die in jail?
LONDON: Sarah Campbell was just 18 when she killed herself [? committed suicide,] one of seven women to die in jail this year. Our correspondent asks why so many women kill themselves in prison [? commit suicide in prison.]