Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Rules

Sprinkled amongst other posts across Christmas and the New Year will be a number of posts relating to the Prison Rules.

The Prison Rules 1999 are, to you, a few clicks away. It is their meaning, context and the way that they shape prison life which is absent from the prison service website -an information gap which begs to be addressed. I just can't resist it.

Although the Rules are dated 1999 in nearly their entirety they are a rehash of the Rules of 1964...which in themselves were a rehash of the Rules from the end of the 18th century. You will get a flavour of this historical continuity when you realise that the Rules relating to the death penalty were only expunged in 1999 - a full generation after execution was abolished In the UK. Bread and water existed as a disciplinary punishment into the 1980's.

Obviously I wouldn't indulge myself or abuse you with a mere retelling of the Rules. It is their hidden meaning which justifies my writing about them... And if I include the odd tale of my brushes with these Rules, well, the Festive Season is approaching and levity begins to creep in. And to stave off any who may be tempted to bleat about the influence of Human Rights legislation on the Rules, it is worth noting the provisions of Rule 34:

"...a prisoner shall not be permitted to communicate with any person outside the prison, or such person with him, except with the leave of the Secretary of State or as a privilege..."

That's my excuse for failing to deal with my unanswered correspondence - and I'm sticking to it!


  1. EDITOR: could we have Ben's current postal address so we can bung up the system by all sending him a chrismas card?

  2. Cirrocumulus: It's
    Ben Gunn A8761AN
    DE6 5HW

    Chuck him a tenner whilst you're at it!!

  3. You know there is a way you can get subscribers for your blog now. A friend of mine does it, but I wouldn't have a clue how you do it (I'm not very tecky myself, but you guys might be able to work it out). It gives the option of, as well as one off donations, people can make regular monthly subscriptions to the blog. My friend starts his options for subscriptions at £3.00 a month and people can choose to pay more if they want to. Just thought I'd let you know. All the best x

  4. Thanks, Sophie. Ben could certainly use the money, especially at Xmas. But does it mean people can only read the blog if they subscribe? That rules out a lot of people and I know he would not like to discriminate like that. Does anyone out there know more about this subscription idea? Ed.

  5. All people can view and comment still, but for those who are able and willing to support Ben's blog, they could do it on a regular basis as a subscriber


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