Friday, August 13, 2010

Lying Cons!

It wasn't too long ago that one of the many disciplinary charges that could be lumbered upon us was "making a false and malicious allegation".

You can imagine how it was used... A screw assaults you; you gird your loins to make a complaint...The result was not only the original injuries but a spell in solitary for being a liar.

My view of cons who lay complaints against staff, especially serious complaints, differs widely from the view held by staff. The screws insist that they are subject to a perpetual barrage of false allegations, that staff are so professional that 99% of what is alleged must surely be a litany of malicious lies.

From my perspective, any con who lays a complaint against staff is either a blithering idiot or a brave soul. Occasionally, both. Because the retribution that staff can wreak can be overwhelming. When every part of your daily existence lies in the hands of other people, they have the ability to mess you about endlessly. This is not confined to the small things, it can include the large things. Such as finding yourself in a prison too far away for family visits and undermining any chance of parole.

Given these consequences, the idea that cons throw in allegations against staff out of sheer mischief or boredom begins to look a tad wobbly.

That particular Rule, making false allegations, was eventually withdrawn. Now the field is open and, guess what? The numbers of complaints against staff has hardly increased.

Is this because staff are suddenly as professional as they claim? Or is it because the retribution they can apply for complaining pales into insignificance compared to the official punishment?


  1. I found out about what happens to people who complain from bitter experience.

    There has been that many cruel and significant personal trespasses committed against me that I could write a very thick book about it if I had the time and inclination.

    If you disclose any of serious misdemeanors to anyone, especially people who are or consider themselves to be professionals, the first thing they do is tell you to complain.

    When on the very few occasions I have complained about things that were wrong, I have been banned from premises for example, denied treatment, and on another occasion I had to endure a witch hunt and was forced out of operating in political circles in our local area.

    The worst complaints to make are sexual misdemeanors and domestic violence, somehow or other not only are your accusations immediately doubted, but you become the protagonist in the eyes of those to whom you have made the complaint.

    It is still common practice in the law courts for women to get blamed for being raped if they had had a drink, or they were wearing a short skirt etc, the 'logic' goes that she must have asked for it. Reporting of rape is still very low and of those reported, convictions stand at around 9%.

    We are always inundated with leaflets about 'how to make a complaint', it just justifies to the management that they are answerable to clients / patients / service users, whatever, whereas in reality making a complaint can be a dangerous and hazardous thing to do.

    I have learned the hard way about not making official complaints. These institutionalized mechanisms do grind you down and wear you out. There must be a better way.

  2. I couldn't agree more with SophieJ here. In my 23 years of my nursing career I have seen it all - complaints are encouraged, but those who complain are then vilified. It seems to be a kind of a trap to identify those who are dedicated to their jobs so as to wear them down and turn them into technocrats without a voice, or in my case and a few others I know of, even try to get us struck off the register for doing exactly what our nursing code of professional conduct requires of us. I have had my fair share of fights with some idiotic GP employers, but I have also worked with highly skilled and dedicated GPs whose professional conduct and clinical skills are equal to none.

    SophieJ sums it up by saying "There must be a better way!" I strongly believe that change will only come when people expose and humilliate these rogue traders who have infiltrated all walks of life.Just like in their stock market market practice, these rogue traders encourage bad practice and taking risks in professions where good practice and risk free qualities are required.

    It will be enlightening to me and maybe many others if SophieJ and others wrote your experiences of Chaplins. Something to back up what ben is talking about.