Thursday, July 5, 2012
How Corrupt Staff Can Help The Favoured Few
Obviously, the prisoners who benefit from staff corruption are the few who either have real money or the ability to facilitate these staff activities in some way. A quid pro quo is the bedrock of these relationships. This is a common thread across all types of prison. The nature of the corrupt benefits, the "favours" given or taken are more varied according to the nature of the prison.
In Closed prisons, for example, where it can be very difficult to transport illegal items into the prison, then staff involvement in the provision of mobile phones and drugs will be the most significant aspect of corrupt activity. In Open prison, where the perimeter is no barrier, then this activity would be superfluous. The details of corruption, then, differ greatly within the prison estate. Obviously, given my present circumstances, my focus is upon Open prison.
With a par fence as the perimeter and hundreds of men moving into the community each day then the issue of staff themselves directly engaging in smuggling is moot. We are quite capable of obtaining our own phones and drugs, thank you very much. Corruption falls of necessity into other areas.
The allocation of a single cell; a decent job; a good work placement in the community; being protected from punishments; tip offs about searches; protecting drug dealers; ignoring mobile phones...the range of potentially corrupt activities is extremely broad, only limited by the parameters of the regime and the imagination and greed of all involved.
Every prison has some corrupt staff, even if it is only one or two. What I have noticed in Open is that the relationship between corrupt staff is very different from that in Closed prisons. In the latter, the corrupt staff may not be aware of each other’s existence. But in Open, where the staff pool is very small and stable over lengthy periods of time, the opportunity exists for corrupt networks of staff to form. And using their friendly influence over other staff, they have the ability to warp the experiences of their favoured - or disfavoured - prisoners without having to involve themselves directly in any decision making process.
Investigating such corruption is expensive, lengthy and resource intensive. Add in the fact that the prison service rarely has the interest to tackle such corruption then the odds of it being uncovered are extremely slim. This is a recipe for a prison with a rotten core.
Labels: HMP Sudbury