1 the National Newspaper for Prisoners & Detainees a voice for prisoners A not for profit publication / ISSN / Issue No. 190 / April 2015 / An average of 60,000 copies distributed monthly - Independently verified by the Audit Bureau of Circulations plus over 450,000 monthly online readership - Independently verified using SMARTER STATS Undercover The 2015 Big Issues Exhibition 23 Recovery is out there It s easy to think, No-one forced them to take drugs. No-one forced them to drink themselves into a stupor. I thought the same, until Amy became ill Mitch Winehouse at the launch of Recovery Stories 29 Strangeways - 25 years on British prisoners had finally had enough and the events at Strangeways showed them that now was the time to rise up and make their feelings known at Yarl s Wood Serco says its focus is Decency and Respect for the residents of Yarl s Wood. But an investigation by Channel 4 News suggests a different reality for the mostly female detainees, the majority of whom are failed asylum seekers who have committed no crime Eric McGraw Yarl s Wood - in Bedfordshire - holds nearly four hundred detainees, and is the UK s most secretive Immigration Detention Centre. The Serco-run centre has been troubled by serious accusations about the behaviour of its custody staff since it opened in Cameras have never been allowed inside; even the United Nations Special Representative for Violence Against Women was barred. But Channel 4 News has now shown footage filmed undercover inside Yarl s Wood, over a period of months, in which a guard was secretly filmed calling all the detainees animals, and saying Let them slash their wrists. Headbutt the b*tch, another guard says, I d beat her up. Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, who is also responsible for the immigration detention facilities, said in an interview with The Times that it was uncomfortable that, in the year of the eight-hundredth anniversary of Magna Carta, People are being detained on the say-so of a politician or a civil servant. He further asked, If a third of detainees are released back into the community, then why were they detained in the first place? A House of Commons Inquiry has now criticised the deeply shocking treatment of asylum seekers held in detention centres, and said that nobody should be held for more than twenty-eight days. But as of September 2014, 144 of such inmates had been in detention for between one and two years, and thirty for two years or longer. On February 24th this year, when asked how many suicides or serious attempts at self-harm there had been at the Centre in the past two years, the Home Office Minister, Lord Bates, told Parliament: The answer is, fortunately, none. However, Channel 4 News obtained figures, via the Freedom of Information Act, showing there were seventy-four separate incidents of self-harm requiring medical treatment in 2013 alone. Detainees Review page 13 cm Appeals The country s leading experts in Unhappy with your solicitor? Transfer New Head of Prison Law - Jo Davidson serious, complex and high your case now. profile appeals. Legally Aided Services Fixed Fees (from ) We are leading defendant solicitors in:- Parole Guittard Application We have represented clients on some of the most complex and high profile crime and appeals cases in recent years including: - R v Barry George (Jill Dando case), R v Levi Bellfield (Milly Dowler case) Specialising in cases before the Court of Appeal and the CCRC. POCA Years of experience in Proceeds of Crime Applications Dedicated prisoner hotline: Freephone: Manchester Office: London Office: Crime Murder/Manslaughter Large scale multi-handed conspiracies including serious fraud, murder, drugs, grooming, robbery, people trafficking, Serious sexual offences including historic sexual offences Robbery Serious assaults, torture Gang crime including firearms offences, extortion, kidnap 13 St John Street, Manchester, M3 4DQ 15 Old Bailey, London, EC4M 7EF Website: Video link: Re-call Adjudication Sentence Calculation Nationwide service Prison Law Pre-tariff Review Re-cat Reviews Representation against return to closed conditions HDC Transfers where lients atter Registered with EMAP
2 2 Mailbag If you would like to contribute to Mailbag, please send your letters (including your name, number and prison) to Mailbag, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB. Insidetime April 2015 insidetime a voice for prisoners the national newspaper for prisoners published by Inside Time Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of The New Bridge Foundation, founded in 1956 to create links between the offender and the community. Inside Time is wholly responsible for its editorial content. Comments or complaints should be directed to the Managing Editor and not to New Bridge. 4 a not profit publication The Editorial Team Rachel Billington OBE Novelist and Journalist John Roberts Operations Director and Company Secretary Correspondence Board of Directors Trevor Grove - Former Editor Sunday Telegraph, Journalist, Writer and serving Magistrate. John Carter - Former international healthcare company Vice-President. Geoff Hughes - Former Governor, Belmarsh prison. Eric McGraw - Former Director, New Bridge ( ) and founder of Inside Time in John D Roberts - Former Company Chairman and Managing Director employing ex-offenders. Louise Shorter - Former producer, BBC Rough Justice programme. Alistair ah. E. Smith B.Sc F.C.A. a - Chartered Accountant, not profit Trustee and Treasurer, not profit New Bridge Foundation. 4 service Eric McGraw Author and Managing Editor Noel Smith Writer and former prisoner Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB. Accounts & Admin: Inside Time, P.O.Box 251, Hedge End, Hampshire SO30 4XJ / Subscribe 4 publication 4 a not profit organisation Editorial Assistants Lucy Forde - Former prisoner education mentor Paul Sullivan - Former prisoner Administration Assistant Sonia Miah Layout & Design Colin Matthews If you wish to reproduce or publish any of the content from in Inside Time, you should first contact us for written permission. Full terms & conditions can be found on the website. Inside Time is distributed free of charge throughout the UK prison estate. It is available to other readers via a postal subscription service. ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION CHARGES 35 for single copies to UK addresses plus 10 p.a. for each additional copy to the same address. Charities and Volunteers (UK only) 25 p.a. for a single copy Overseas Subscriptions rates will be 48 p.a. for Europe and 58 for the Rest of the World both plus 20 p.a. for each additional copy going to the same overseas address. Star Letter of the Month Congratulations and a 25 cash prize for this month s Star Letter. A Parliamentary voice for prisoners... MIKE TAYLOR - HMP ASHFIELD There are, though, some practical points to consider. Firstly, if I were to vote in a general election, then where would my constituency be? Many of us do not have a place to call home where we can lodge our vote. Some suggest the constituency where our prison is located could be our constituency; but then, some places have a high concentration of prisons (e.g. the Isles of Wight and Sheppey), and local residents may resent non-local prisoners being able to affect the local outcome. Another issue is, what if you find yourself in Chris Grayling s (or others of his ilk) constituency? He is unlikely to ever take a value added approach to prison reform; rather, he is likely to come in and remove all your books! So what about this for an idea... what if the UK prison population were to make up a Westminster Parliamentary constituency of its very own? There are around 90,000 inmates in the UK - that is the size of a single UK constituency. As we all know, prisoners are disenfranchised from the Westminster Parliamentary Interested parties (e.g. The Howard League, UKIP, Inside Time, Lib Dems...) could put up system. The merest thought of allowing us to candidates for the Westminster Parliamentary vote makes our Prime Minister, poor David constituency of, say... UK HMP, and we prisoners Cameron, physically sick. However, not all in would then vote on Election Day along with the country are as nauseous as our current the rest of the country. The MP subsequently premier - there are many first-rate people in voted into Westminster would then be charged places of power and influence who can see to bring the government to account on prison no good reason to deny prisoners the vote in issues (e.g. the continuing debacle surrounding IPPs) as outlined in their manifesto. general elections. We are, after all, still citizens of the UK, and plenty of us want to Blavo Nov 2012_Blavo Dec 2008 red border This SHADOW.qxd idea would 13/11/2012 at once calm 09:42 any Page reasonable 1 make a positive difference to the system. opposition to prisoner voting; be a progressive response to the European Court s decision to remove the UK s blanket ban on prisoner votes; enfranchise all prisoners (including lifers) because we would then have our own voice in Parliament. Our representative could remove the cynical stump of hatred being promoted by our current Prime Minister. Possibly against this idea is that currently all constituencies are geographically based; the constituency of UK HMP would be virtual (i.e. not located in one geographical area, but rather, distributed throughout the nation). I am unsure if this is currently constitutional, or has even been attempted anywhere in the world. But hey, what are we if not inventive? Let s be world leading for a change! ON YOUR SIDE Being on your side is one thing. Fighting your corner is another. We do both. Miscarriage of Justice experts Defending false allegations Crown Court advocacy CCRC applications Prison law specialists Parole applications IPP and Lifer reviews Adjudications Recalls Sentence progression We offer Legal Aid and Fixed Fees along with a nationwide service. For more information contact us using the details below. Changing the way you see lawyers Priory Place, Doncaster, DN1 1BP Led by Mark Newby Solicitor Advocate with a relentless record of quashing convictions. Prisoners: Don t Vote!... JONATHAN KING Of course, despite Government being told they are breaking the law of the land, prisoners still cannot vote and will not be able to contribute to the upcoming General Election. Ex inmate John Hirst s worthy efforts have succeeded on every level yet our Government continues to deny that prisoners are human beings and refuses to allow them human rights. But I have been telling the tens of thousands of visitors to my website not to vote anyway, since Democracy simply doesn t work. I think it has been proven that the majority of the public, being told to vote by the media, has no intelligent grasp of the problems or the solutions and therefore puts its cross in the box ticked nice teeth, good hair, big on clichés and truisms. Those of us who have fallen foul of the media know well that it only follows the rule is it a good story? and thus prefers simplistic slogans and pithy headlines. Exaggerating details and inflating fact, sometimes even inventing fact, just like police, CPS and prosecution. But there are still ways prisoners can influence the outcome of the next General Election. We are an army, us inmates and ex inmates. If we cannot express ourselves by ticking boxes, we can make sure those we admire get elected and those we don t, are not. Just imagine. The media cannot resist a great story. So when the local paper gets a letter from HMP HORRID written by mass murderer Fred Bloggs, announcing I support local MP Charlie Duckling and my family and friends will be campaigning on his behalf in the area, they will splash the news on their front pages. Duckling supported by killer will be the headline. And when charming young ladies knock politely on doors and say we admire Duckling and feel he represents our own feelings on capital punishment and immigration and taxes and so does our friend Fred Bloggs appalled householders will instantly vote for Julie Gentle (who is actually our favoured candidate). The negative impact would be alarming. 19 John Street LONDON WC1N 2DL (24hrs) Members of the Association of Prison Lawyers Prison Law experts in: Adjudications IPP Parole Recall Lifer Reviews HDC Categorisation We also have specialists in: Crime Serious Fraud Extradition Immigration Judicial Review Housing Family Mental Health Law Employment Welfare Benefits Registered with EMAP
3 Insidetime April 2015 Mailbag If you would like to contribute to Mailbag, please send your letters (including your name, number and prison) to Mailbag, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB. 3 British prison system is an insult JOHN MACLEAN - PORTUGAL I write in response to the letter from Kenny Carter, HMP Preston, Strangeways riots - gone but not forgotten (August 2014 issue). I was involved in the Strangeways riot and suffered some of the abuse and brutality referred to. Strangeways was a powder keg waiting to explode and it was inevitable it was going to happen and that the system was totally responsible. They treated prisoners like animals and expected them to behave like people - and that never works. But after reading the letter I was disgusted at what is going on in the prison system of today. It is hard for me to believe that we fought and shed our blood for years, decades, to right these wrongs and now, 25 years later things seem to be worse than ever in the prison system. The privatisation of prisons has a lot to answer for. Obviously, shareholders in private companies want a high return on their investments but that shouldn t give the powers-that-be the right to abuse prisoners. We are all somebody s sons/daughters and should be treated with humanity. Anybody can end up in prison, it only takes one mistake to end up behind bars. Lots of people believe they could never go to prison, but if they do then they should be treated like humans and not animals. I have a farm and would not be so cruel as to treat my animals the way the prison system treats humans. I am in a maximum security prison here in Portugal where if we do not receive money from your family you would have absolutely nothing. The food is diabolical, if you gave it to a dog you would probably get bitten! But after reading the letters in Inside Time over the past 4 years I am seriously considering staying here rather than coming back to an English prison. I strongly believe that what is going on in the British prison system is an insult to my fellow soldiers of misfortune in the Strangeways riot! Noel Smith page 29 aprisoner The aprisoner service enables family, friends, solicitors and other organisations to send messages to prisoners from any computer. It s faster than 1st class post and costs less than a 2nd class stamp! Available in 98% of UK prisons. Smartphone App coming Soon! If you would like to know more call: for further details or visit: Frustration of trying to contact my MP... S KHALIL - HMP NOTTINGHAM I have been trying to contact my MP by using the prison PIN phone. I got his contact number from the internet and then filled in and handed in the required form to add him to my PIN list 4 times! With no results. I asked one of the wing staff to get in touch with the PINs clerk to find out what was happening and he was told they had contacted my MPs office and he was unavailable. Eventually they came back to me saying that the number for his secretary was active on my PIN. I tried calling but could not get connected so I made several more applications and COMP1, but the replies were all different, just blah, blah, blah. My MPs number cannot be added as family & friends, it should be added under legals and my calls should be treated as confidential, but I don t know why the prison are complicating this matter. Why can t they just activate it as they do to other legal numbers, instead of treating it like a family & friends number by phoning him to ask if he will take calls from me? One of the answers I got on my COMP1 form was that it would be easier if I were to write to my MP instead of calling him! In fact, I wrote to him twice and got no reply. Can you tell me what I have to do to activate my MPs number? The woes of being on remand... A NEWTON - FORMER REMAND PRISONER I have recently spent 6 months on remand for arson and 2 x attempted murder. Whilst at HMP Hewell I experienced varying degrees of mental health issues which resulted in various attempts at suicide. I have a very strong family behind me who helped me through some of the bad times and without whose help I doubt I would be here today. It took the jury less than 3 hours to acquit me of all charges and even though that was a great relief it meant I then encountered even more problems, no house/being sacked from my job whilst on remand, no money and denied access from my ex partner to see my 2 youngest children. But I would like to say that no matter how bad things may get/seem there is always hope. Also I would give people the heads up that once you are released from prison that a big struggle still awaits due to lack of support in trying to sort a future out. I was released without any paperwork, no medication and not even the bus fare home. It was my first and last time in prison and at the age of 42, being accused of such vile crimes was a massive shock which I am still struggling to come to terms with. My heart goes out to the innocent men and women on remand. Registered with EMAP Contents Mailbag... pages Newsround... pages Website Comments... page Diary... pages Big Issues Exhibition... pages Comment... pages Short Story... page Education... page Inside Justice... page Miscarriages of Justice... pages Terry Waite Writes... page Wellbeing... page News from the House... pages Nick Hardwick coming to the end of his term as Chief Inspector of Prisons addresses the House of Commons Justice Select Committee.... Legal... pages Legal Q&A... pages Reading Groups... page Book Reviews... page Jailbreak... pages National Prison Radio... page 56 Views expressed in Inside Time are those of the authors and not necessarily representative of those held by Inside Time or the New Bridge Foundation.
4 Mailbag If you would like to contribute to Mailbag, please send your letters (including your name, number Insidetime April and prison) to Mailbag, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB. Why are you playing with peoples lives?... CAROLINE - PRISONER S PARTNER My partner, who is presently at HMP Woodhill, and I were put on Closed Visits three months ago for a failed and dismissed Mandatory Drug Test (MDT). Obviously HMP Woodhill Governors don t understand the meaning of dismissed or they would realize that you can t be punished for something that is dismissed, although they say it is not a punishment it s an administrative procedure. If not being able to hold your children or your partner at Christmas, both of their birthdays and Valentines isn t a punishment then what is it? This has done nothing but break family ties since my children no longer want to visit due to the conditions we are being put under. It s like the Courts saying you re not guilty but here is a life sentence anyway. It s an administrative procedure! The MDT that was dismissed was for medication that my partner had been on for 7 years before going to prison. The prison also prescribed my partner opiate-based medication. When he first went into Woodhill he was prescribed Methadone for pain relief! I am taking this one to the General Medical Council (GMC) along with other concerns about Woodhill s Healthcare Team. A doctor in Woodhill sniffed my partner and said its OK I can smell cancer and you don t have it so go away. Seriously, that s not the way to test someone. Also, prisoners are not being taken to outside hospital appointments due to staff shortages. You are playing with people s lives here! These doctors are NHS doctors and prisoners are entitled to the same healthcare as everyone else. It s a disgrace and they really need to sort it out and quick! Following this MDT back in October my partner has apparently been reviewed every month. I m confused as to how this is done and no one seems to be able to tell me. In my view a review on someone that has failed a drug test should surely involve testing them again. But not in HMP Woodhill, my partner hasn t been tested and nor has he been searched, so please explain Governor how do you carry out your reviews? My partner was never nicked for this MDT nor did he ever have an Adjudication and he hasn t even been spoken to by any member of security. A breach of the prisons own rules. All you get when you complain is we are short-staffed. Woodhill seriously needs sorting out. Charged 700 to fix a sink and toilet!... AARON MORTIMORE - HMP ONLEY I write concerning prisoners who are being grossly overcharged for damage to prison property here at HMP Onley. I was charged under Prison Rule 51, paragraph 17 - Destroys or damages any part of a prison or any other property other than his own, in accordance with PSI 31/2013. This means that funds can be deducted from a prisoner s account, but you are only supposed to be charged for what you have damaged and the labour needed to repair it. I was charged 700 for damage to a cell, this included 20% VAT at 99.91, and I was even charged for the use of silicon. The price included 11 hours labour! Yes, that s right, 11 hours to fix a sink and toilet! I could understand it if prison sinks were made of Italian marble with gold leaf filigree and a complicated piping system, but this is a prison sink! Any half-competent plumber could knock one up in around an hour, two at the most. And, in the end, my adjudication was dismissed because under PSI 47/2011, paragraph 2.16 it had taken more than 6 weeks to conclude. It is an absolute disgrace that any prison think they can get away with these charges for prison property. I am currently going through the complaints procedure and I will also take this to the Ombudsman as I wonder how many other prisoners this is happening to. Data protection crisis... J D - HMP PORTLAND How is it that prisons are designed to hold and punish law breakers yet they seem to think they are exempt from the law themselves? Only recently there was a major Data Protection crisis here. At the end of last year, tons of confidential waste was taken out of secure storage and placed behind insecure builders fencing inside the recycling workshop. Prisoners were then entrusted with sorting and shredding this paperwork which included, among other things, personal details of staff and prisoners, their bank details and so on, going back as far as the 1980 s and up to the present. This gives me personal concern because details of offences, parole reviews, release addresses, etc were also included. Which means that my records and personal details are being stored somewhere by NOMS and could be subject to the same treatment. The crisis that ensued was as a result of it emerging that personal details of staff (addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, etc) had made it back to a prisoner s cell and these details were possibly being sold to the highest bidder. The fact is that this is NOMS/ the prison s fault as this data was clearly not being held in a secure environment. This is a clear breach of the Data Protection Act I m sure I m not the only one who doesn t understand how they think they can get away with breaking the law. What sort of hypocrites are these people? Writes DIRECTORATE OF PUBLIC SECTOR PRISONS In February 2015 a public sector prison reported a potential data loss from one of its workshops. It is alleged confidential waste containing sensitive personal information about prisoners and/or staff was inappropriately stored by an external contractor in an unsecured workshop. It is further alleged persons in that area may have gained access to this information and sought to use it maliciously, illegally and/or in breach of prison rules. The presence of sensitive information has not yet been established, nor has wrongdoing by any prisoner or member of staff. The incident was reported as a potential data loss to the NOMS Information Assurance Advisors and an internal investigation has been commissioned. Whilst this investigation is ongoing it would not be appropriate to comment further save to say NOMS takes a zero tolerance approach towards the theft of personal information and will take action against any person identified as being involved in wrongdoing. We are Anonymous... RAYMOND ROWLETT - HMP LINCOLN I am a member of Anonymous and I have been for years. I have hacked into Fox News, Home Office, GCHQ and many others. I have leaked hundreds of documents as information is free. For years the general public have believed that hackers are the big, bad bogeymen who hide behind a screen stealing your money and information, but this is not true and is propaganda put out by the hypocrites in power who fear us as they know they can t hide the truth from us. Only now are we starting to be shown in a good light in the media because Anonymous has struck a major blow against ISIS online. We fight for free speech and information, and we punish those who seek to oppress it. We have always fought for this and always will. I was happy to read in the media that hundreds have flocked to our ranks now that the truth behind our intent has been revealed. You have to ask yourself if you are happy to live in a world where people are prosecuted for revealing the truth, where government is allegedly riddled with corruption and paedophile rings operate out of Parliament, killing children? Enough is enough. I will continue my mission to unearth the filth in Parliament when I am released. Who else will stand up for our rights? Certainly not the CPS or Government, nor even CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) as their Director has stated - It is not cost-effective to arrest people who we know are viewing child sex images online. A flood of righteousness is coming and I call on everyone to join the cause and unite as one. We are legion, we do not forgive, we do not forget, expect us soon. Scott-Moncrieff & Associates Nationwide Prison Law Experts and Solicitors Call: Or write to: Scomo, 88 Kingsway, Holborn, London WC2B 6AA Did you know that you can receive compensation for a delayed parole review even if you did not have a realistic prospect of release/transfer to a D category prison! that the pre-tariff sift could be brought forward 4½ years before tariff expiry for ISPs who have progressed to Category C conditions and made suitable progress! This is likely to increase the prisoner s chances of release at tariff expiry. that from April 2015 local authorities will be responsible for the assessment of all adults in custody in their area and who appear to be in need of care and support, regardless of which area the individual came from or where they will be released to! that Kesar & Co Solicitors can assist you with prison law, mental health, personal injury, clinical negligence, immigration problems and other legal matters! KESAR & CO SOLICITORS 2nd Floor, Market Square, Committed to justice Bromley, BR1 1NA
5 Insidetime April 2015 If you would like to contribute to Mailbag, please send your letters (including your name, number and prison) to Mailbag, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB. Mailbag 5 Prisoners legal calls secretly intercepted... SAMSON McNAB - HMP SWALESIDE Further to my previous letter (March issue) I wish to direct your readers to the following extracts from the initial report by Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons. In my view they refute the NOMS position of NOMS takes seriously its obligations to safeguard legal and other confidential communications fatally. This is from the Interception of Communications Commissioners Office (IOCCO): Page 10, para in 2013, eight full-time IOCCO Inspectors audited 88 prisons. They found 21 instances between January 1st 2011 and October 7th 2014 where legal phone calls had been listened to without the necessary authorisation. Five of the 21 were identified by IOCCO during its inspections. The others were identified by prison staff... (The Rt Hon Sir Anthony May, Annual Report of the IOCCO, published April 2014). Page 7, para 2.4 How concerns about prisoners communications with MP s were identified: In August 2014, a prisoner wrote a letter of complaint to NOMS because he believed that calls to his lawyer were being listened to. At the end of September 2014, the prisoner repeated his complaint, giving more detail... In October 2014, NOMS Security Group commissioned a local investigation with the cooperation of British Telecom (BT). It was found that the phone system had, for about a week in 2011, been set up incorrectly to record calls to the prisoner s lawyer. In January 2013, the recording of these calls stopped as a result of a member of prison staff changing the local setting to NOT RECORD. NOMS could not establish why the setting was changed, why the original error was made or why managers had not been notified. It is clear enough to me as a prisoner that the so-called rules NOMS hide behind are in fact guidelines in their eyes, and they have the will and ability to intercept whenever they want. Legally privileged or not. NOMS have clearly broken the law. Here are some more interesting extracts from the report: Page 11, para in the other 15 cases, the telephone number was listed accurately on the computer and there was no obvious explanation for why calls to these numbers were recorded and listened to. Page 13, para One call to an MP s published constituency office number was recorded at a prison using BT technology and we were able to listen to the recording. Although the computer system indicated unable to locate recording, staff quickly found a way to access the recording and play it to us. We were told that the unable to locate recording message was a glitch and that those issues had been rectified. Page 14, para staff at a number of prisons thought that they, or someone in their establishment, could override the centrally imposed setting of not record...we found a number of instances...suggesting they may have been recorded. However, it remains unclear why these numbers were not greyed out like the others. Page 17, para 4.3 However there was a number of instances where it appeared that numbers on the global list might be susceptible to some degree of local interference. Although BT informed us that this was not possible, it is not clear why these numbers appeared in a different format to others and were clearly inaccessible in greyed out boxes. The question I would like you to put to NOMS is this... Why have you designed a system for prisoners calls (privileged or otherwise) that is so easily exploited by staff, law enforcement and, most probably, the intelligence services, enabling potentially unlawful interceptions to take place? Furthermore, are these the...provisions for voluntary or ad hoc disclosure... in other words, breaching RIPA 2000 and doing it illegally and in secret? Still slopping-out nearly 17 years after the government tell us its ended!... HAROLD MORRIS - HMP COLDINGLEY Having arrived at HMP Coldingley 4 weeks ago I am in total shock to find that in 2015 within this so-called civilised country there still exists a prison without any in-cell toilet or sanitation! Here at Coldingley there are no toilets and no running water in any cells at all. For those who remember the term slop-out, well it still happens here! Instead of a toilet and sink, you get a potty or piss bucket. I really believed that the days of slopping-out were behind us in history, particularly as there was a government announcement in 1998 telling us that it was over. Not here, it isn t! I thought all the old prisons had been adapted and modernised to have the 3 basics - power supply, toilet & basin and running water. The first night of my arrival I felt my stomach twitch and pressed my bell at 10.00pm, the door was finally opened at The real point is this, with a lack of any sanitation comes a whole number of hygiene problems, such as diarrhoea and bowel disorders. We have a computer waiting system that lets us out one at a time for up to 8 minutes, but only at certain times. This is not acceptable in the 21st century! Editorial note: there are 20 prisons left in the UK that still have no in-cell sanitation owing to the size of the original cells and there are no plans to redress this as the expense would be astronomical. What are they seeing?... A WILTSHIRE - HMP MOORLAND The last time I was in prison was in 1974, so I do understand there are rules that must be followed. I am doing an NVQ in art and design as I have always been interested in art and love to draw. But it seems that staff here are seeing some sort of danger in my art. An example is that I drew a picture from a CD cover by the band Guns & Roses which is a picture of a bullet, two Colt 45s with roses wrapped around the guns. Then I was told that I cannot display it on my wall because of the guns! I mean, what do they think, that someone might magically bring the drawing to life and shoot their way out of prison? I do not know what must be in the heads of these people. This is not the only example of the perverted thinking I have come up against from prison staff over my art, but I think it illustrates (excuse the pun) the problem of over-vigilant prison staff who do not seem to understand art. Some trainee psychologist should try their hand at analysing prison staff; they seem to have odd and troubled minds. WRONGLY CONVICTED IS YOUR SENTENCE TOO LONG? CALL OUR DEDICATED APPEALS TEAM IS US AVAILABLE TO ADVISE YOU NATIONWIDE (Emergency 24 hr Number) Suite 25, Suffolk House, George Street, Croydon, Surrey, CR0 1PE SPECIALISTS IN CRIMINAL DEFENCE LEGAL AID MAY BE AVAILABLE (subject to specific criteria set down by the Legal Aid Agency) MATRIX LEGAL SERVICES SOLICITORS AGENTS & FORENSIC ACCOUNTANTS SPECIALIST CONSULTANTS IN CONFISCATION & PoCA We are a specialist team of lawyers and forensic accountants providing you with pro-active advice on Confiscation and PoCA We will fight your corner and secure the best result for you We provide advice on Variations and Certificates of Inadequacy We have specialist experience in analysing and revising the prosecution benefit calculations We have a team of forensic accountants, specialist barristers and committed lawyers who will work directly with you We are able to assist your current solicitors to achieve the best outcome for you If you need advice or specialist representation on any of the above matters, contact one of our team at: Matrix Legal Services Pryn Court, The Millfields, Plymouth, PL1 3JB Offices in London, Cardiff, Plymouth and Southampton 10 Bexley Square Salford M3 6BZ In spite of the Legal Aid Cuts you still have rights. We can help! For the services that are no longer funded by legal aid we offer fair and affordable fixed fee options. Fixed fees apply to the many important prison law issues prisoners face including: Re-catergorisation Applications/Appeals for early release on HDC Sentence Planning for Indeterminate & Determinate sentence prisoners Governors Disciplinary Proceedings Closed Visits Whatever you are fighting for the MBC team are here to help you - every step of the way! GOLD PACKAGE VAT SILVER PACKAGE VAT You will be assigned a dedicated prison lawyer to guide you through each step in the process of your particular issue. We will deal with the relevant agencies and submit detailed representations. This will include face to face prison visits within the Greater Manchester area. For all other areas additional travel costs will apply. For those with a more limited budget this package still includes the full advice and support. The only real difference is that there will be no visit. All instructions and advice must be obtained via telephone or in writing.