I first started blogging at the start of December 2013 and it took about a month for me to get into the swing of it and for the site to get off the ground. Now, after my first full year, I’m fascinated by how it has changed me and my life.
I was just reading a piece in the Guardian’s Weekend magazine about an NHS whistle-blower and it set me thinking. Why do we see so many whistle-blowers from a wide range of jobs and backgrounds but so very few whistle-blowers in the prison service?
Over the past year I have read apology after apology from the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, both in personal letters and in letters sent by them to Inside Time, for the delays that have been seen in them investigating prisoners’ complaints. They do nothing but make excuses about how short-staffed they have been and how many complaints they have had to deal with whilst promising that it will get better. Yet this doesn’t seem to be the case at all.
Some of you may have seen that the High Court ruled last month that the Ministry of Justice’s blanket ban on prisoners having books sent from friends and family was unlawful. The judge even said that it was “strange” to class books as a privilege.
A while back one of the lads in here (who has only been locked up fairly recently) wrote to his bank to ask them to please send his statements to him here rather than at his home address. Now obviously no-one would want their bank to simply accede to such requests without carrying out the relevant checks, but the response they sent was simply bizarre.
Recently the Chief Inspector of Probation came under investigation when it emerged that his wife is the Deputy Managing Director of Sodexo Justice Services, who have been awarded the largest number of private probation contracts in England and Wales. It got me thinking about how much nepotism I see in prisons too.