Sunday, August 21, 2011


Generations of prisoners yawned at the revelation by the Inspectors that Wandsworth nick is a cesspit.  This isn't news to us, it's been known for decades.

When will people out there notice that the common factor shared by all degrading prisons is the power of the Prison Officers Association?  The stronger the POA, the weaker the Governor, the worse the conditions and treatment.

That this common knowledge has failed to reach the outside world is anther excellant reason why prisoners should blog.


  1. The officers need to be a mix of experienced staff and new blood with a fresh outlook. Establishments that have 70% of officers with vast amounts of experience know all the loopholes!

  2. Whereas I don't dispute the observation of prisoners about a strong POA and poor conditions for prisoners, (although it is a bit of a head twist for me), perhaps this could be dug a bit deeper into? For example I have heard that there are many people from managerial sections in the POA and that they also hold office in it, this will have a bearing not only on the composition of the POA, but also its outlook.

    A way to test and break the strong link between the two would be to invite members of the POA to have a separate and joint membership with the AOP ... I am serious, they would still remain separate bodies, but also come together, I don't believe that a solution to the problem outlined in Ben's post lies in confrontation however strongly some prisoners feel this to be the case. It is time for co-operation and the AOP would have to be the bigger and more gracious party.

    I agree also that there are some very strongly opinionated prisoners out there, ones who write really interesting comments, articles and letters for 'Inside Time' and they would make excellent bloggers. Why not go for it?

    Mentioning no names of course, but SB immediately springs to mind for some reason, although I think he is an ex prisoner, he would still make a good blogger on the subject and debates around crime, prisons etc ( sorry if I've put you under the spot light here S ) but I do think it is something worth considering.

  3. Sophie J.

    I agree with you. In my view, SB is one of the few people who, not only has the experience to inform,- but actually puts in the time, effort and discipline to do so.

  4. I don't care how bad the conditions or treatment are. You're not there for a holiday or to be pampered like a little princess.

    The people in prisons are there because they are scum. They are there because they've made life for the innocent public worse often in horrible ways.

    With that in mind, I couldn't give a fuck if prisoners had nothing to eat or drink besides what juices they can suck out of rats and pigeons. Murderers have no justification for whining about how they're treated by the same people they've showed such contempt for.

  5. Interesting that the most mean spirited contributors here seem to be those who have no idea...

    Prisoners are not all the same, murderers are not all the same, the circumstances of every crime are different. You are putting someone who shoots a security guard in the course of a robbery on the same footing as a battered spouse who kills their partner after years of abuse! No right thinking person could think those are the same.

    This is a civilised society, we have a duty of care to prisoners and there can be no better measure of a society than how they treat their prisoners.

    Will, grow up and stick your faulty assumptions where the sun doesn't shine, they'll do far less harm there than spewed all over this blog.

  6. Being mean spirited towards convicts : what a crime.

    "we have a duty of care to prisoners" - Why? The only duty the state should have towards prisoners is that they are kept away from decent people. They've put themselves into the situation they find themselves in, why on earth should we look after nicely them at our expense?

    Hideki, show where the fault lies in my 'assumptions', and then demonstrate what harm having a differing opinion could possibly cause.

  7. Hideki, don't feel the trolls my friend. It only makes them worse. If however, you ignore them like the gremlins on the adult literacy ads from a few years ago, they might just explode in a shower of their own bile ;)

  8. @ Gaina, you are so funny, I love your comment above.

    I learned to not 'feed trolls' as they say after quite a while in blogland. It one day occured to me that my knowledge is not the same as their ignorance, and so it is not worth wasting any time or effort on them whatsoever.

  9. Oh Lord, now its the POA's fault add them to the list of people Ben hates, he will be blaming the milkman next, the swines!

  10. Anon, above. It is not about hate. The purpose of this blog is to offer a snapshot of prison life from the perspective of a prisoner, and to generate debate. It does what is says on the tin. That a string of "Anons" have recently popped up with unenlightened and sometimes, frankly, spiteful comments about the writer is perhaps inevitable. Throw eggs at Ben if you must, but please be mindful of the fact that personal abuse will not be tolerated and some comments have been a bit near the mark recently. I rarely delete comments but obvious troll/spam stuff may find itself in the bin. Some blogs insist on an identity from those wishing to leave comments, and this one may have to go that way. But it is Ben's blog, not mine, and tomorrow when I visit him I'll ask him what he would like to do. Ed.

  11. Yes Ed.

    In my view, The 'Anons' are the exact same calibre as those screws that think they have a right to abuse those the're charged with protecting.

    We all know that the majority of prison officers are the kind of people who have always hankered after a job in a uniform (and couldn't get on the buses!) in the vain hope it would make them more interesting.

    In the same way, the 'Anons' (who feel the need to get personal) are the type of creatures who's inadequacies mean that when they manage to crawl out from under the rock, they find the only way of adding any excitement and colour to their drab, grey lives is by abusing those who are without the means of defending themselves.

  12. 'Those on the outside, generally, do not care,'

    Those on the outside, generally, do not 'know'.

  13. Speak for yourself Euro Millions

  14. Is there any sign of me getting my lawnmower back by Tuesday?


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