Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Legal Mystery

Healthcare staff insist that they do have the authority to issue warnings under the IEP Scheme.
Such warnings have profound effects, such as the loss of money to use the phones, a reduction in visits, and a complete loss of home leaves.
Insistent they may be, but so far they have floundered when asked to point to the Rule or PSI which gives them this power.
A massive Hat Tip to anyone who can hit the prison service website and PSO 4000 and find this mystery power. Or confirm its non-existence.

18 comments:

  1. Arghh... Just wait Ben. This is an important fight, but you can fight it better on the outside. Don't kick this hornet's nest. Not this week!

    I know it's late and I can't imagine what the waiting must be doing to you, but your parole answer must be on its way. Just hold on a little longer, deal with the NHS afterwards.

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  2. Well PS 4000 is not to be found on the Prison Service Web site!!! Obviously they dont want anyone to know what they do and how they stretch the goal posts. However it was to be found on Inside Times Website, and yes Ben I agree since when did healthcare staff have such power. However in some higher cat establishments some of these so called "angels" are actually Prison Officers but there are none at Sudbury.

    No one knows just how frustrating life is on the inside especially if they have never been there. Hang on in and as I have said previously fight for your rights and those who will be there after you have long gone.

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  3. Wigarse, Sudbury Healthcare may well be feeling vindictive because Ben has highlighted an injustice. But if they launch an attack on him with all of us watching they would surely shot themselves in the foot. I mean, it would be so obviously just spite. Anyway, they are NHS not HMP. Maybe the prison is pissed at them too!

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  4. This is now PSI 11/2011, which states in section 2.5:

    2.5 Prisoner conduct and behaviour on the wing is managed. Privilege levels are determined by patterns of behaviour, compliance with the regime or individual sentence plan targets, or significant events. Decisions are recorded and the prisoner and other stakeholders are notified.

    It also says at 2.5.4 and 2.5.5:

    2.5.4 The determination of a prisoner’s privilege level must be based on patterns of behaviour rather than a single incident (unless it is especially serious and in this instance an urgent review must take place), active engagement with the sentence planning process (where applicable), be separate from the disciplinary system, and reviewed regularly. Prisoners must be able to make prior representations. They must be recorded and any decisions notified to the prisoner. Prisoners must be informed of the local appeal process, including Request/Complaint procedures.

    2.5.5. Reasons for decisions given to prisoners need not be lengthy or detailed, but must be sufficient for the prisoner to understand what criteria he or she has failed to meet, the evidence to support this assertion, and why any representations by the prisoner (or by a member of staff) have been rejected. Establishments may decide to do this through a standard form, which also explains the local appeals procedure.

    Clearly if a single contrary healthcare worker (who is not a Prison Staff Member) has the power to drop someone from Enhanced to Standard, then the PSI is not being complied with.



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  5. Anon 9.37 - Wigarse is absolutely right. Ben needs to leave this issue (and any others) well alone. The Prison service have proved over the last few years that they are not overly bothered about Ben's representations on this blog. But the evidence (as supplied on this blog) of him continuing to pick fights and rage at perceived injustices (be they real or not) is something that cannot be ignored by those who are doing psychological assessments. The concern will be that if he takes an unbalanced approach to incidents inside prison but comes to no harm and causes no harm to others in a controlled environment, then what might he do when out. Would his uninhibited anger and rage turn to violence? Could be therefore be a threat to society. We on the outside have the benefit of being innocent before being proven guilty. Ben is in the opposite situation and needs to adapt accordingly. He has a 'life' sentence remember.

    Ben has filled his life with 'rages against the machine' - a completely understandable reaction to incarceration. But it is completely inconsistent with gaining release. If Ben's parole decision is for immediate release then Ben's raging about this issue will make little or no difference. However, if the parole board decide he has made progress but needs further time for further assessment then he is making a rod for his own back.

    All prisoners know that they need to be able to demonstrate good, passive behaviour particularly in testing circumstances. Prisoners don't con the service by behaving passively and letting things go rather than reacting to them while still being angry inside. They simply demonstrate that they have the self-control needed not to over-react or behave in counter-productive ways - in other words the ability to control their behaviour. It's not unreasonable to expect convicted murderers to demonstrate self-control before they are released when loss of control is believed to be the cause of their crime.

    I would just ask everyone who reads this blog to respect the fact that Ben faces a difficult dilemna and act accordingly. One one hand his life has been given some purpose and meaning by taking on issues and in the last few years, highlighting them on this blog. But equally his continued incarceration has been the result of him continuing to fight. Don't encourage him to fight! - I so doing you contribute to him having to stay inside longer. It's that simple.

    The approach now must be exactly as Wigarse puts it 'This is an important fight, but you can fight it better on the outside'.

    Ben. Forget fighting battles now. Concentrate entirely on proving you are 100%, entirely passive and tolerant. Don't give anyone excuses for keeping you inside because of your behaviour. Remember there are others who have put their entire lives on hold or taken big chunks out of their lives for you. You owe them also.

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    1. Clearly Ben feels he has the right to fight and I support him in that personal choice he has already made.

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    2. Your are deluding yourself to think you are his supporter if you encourage him to fight. The sooner he gets out, the sooner he has the chance to put his experience to some use and have some opportunity to help change things. Inside he can do nothing but rage and extend his incarceration. Conversely if you wish to keep him inside and the system unreformed then you should encourage him and pretend to be his supporter but it's a cruel and sad thing to do. It's he who loses out on the opportunity of some life - not you.

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    3. There is a saying that goes like this: "To thine own self be true". I very much like and stick with that one. No-one has the right or in fact the ability to change another, we can only help and encourage eachother to be ourselves. Its Ben choice to take up arms in the struggle and I am sure he is quite capable of weighing up the pro's and con's of the situation and what he is choosing to do. There is no need to get so stressed out about it all. It is Ben's life, no-one elses.

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    4. My reply seems to have disappeared. Maybe it can be retrieved and resent?

      I won't repeat the reply I made, although I hope that it does get found and resent, but just say in addition, to anonymous 11.35;it might be better to contact Ben directly with your concerns about his release rather than display it on his blog and make it into a public debate like this.

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    5. Thanks for your response. I am making these points publicly, quite deliberately.

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  6. I think Ben would be better to wait until he is on the outside and then take his case to one of the various prison reform charities as a way to pursue it. The staff are breaching the law in any case by not providing him with the rule they are using to discipline him as it breaches their obligations under the Human Rights Act. This is because it is a quasi Judicial process that requires there to be an ability to appeal and a justification for the decision. Without knowing what law you are punished under you cannot appeal and the decision is not justified.

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  7. Wigarse and others are right. This is all getting 'a bit messy', and I think everyone (including Ben) needs to take a step back, until a decision regarding his Parole has been decided.

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  8. I am a middle aged woman who the only contact with prisoners or prisoners has been through this blog which I have followed from almost the start. I have learned loads from Ben's musings and the accompanying comments, thank you all. I agree with Wigarse Ben, please keep your head down, you mouth shut and your pen sheathed until you are on the outside.

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  9. From: Prisoners Advice Service – Information Sheet
    Incentives and Earned Privilege Scheme (IEPS)

    “Who decides my IEPS level and how often?
    PSI 11/2011 says that decisions about privilege level must be open, fair and consistent; procedures and the findings must be recorded and involve at least two members of staff. Views must be sought from across the establishment, including education and workshop staff, reports from any relevant treatment programmes and any other staff who have close dealings with the prisoner. The decision must be endorsed by a manager. “

    Thus it seems that a healthcare worker may be able to supply a report as someone who has close dealings with a prisoner; but the decision about the IEPS Level should be made by two people. The Information Sheet goes on to explain the right of the prisoner to representation before the IEPS level is set and how to complain if the prisoner thinks s/he has been unfairly downgraded.

    Sensible advice: Do you want to be right or do you want to be effective? It may be right to complain, but if you’re close to release, it may be effective to bide your time.

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  10. I have ben informed that Prisoner Ben has got his parole after 33 years!

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    1. Fantastic news!

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    2. Ditto above. Just don't stumble at the last hurdle mate.

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  11. Still waiting to exhale....

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