One month on from the introduction of the latest cuts to legal aid, I must be the only prisoner in the system that actually thinks it might be good for prisoners.
For years prison law solicitors have been divided into two camps. Those who are genuinely in the profession because they want to make a difference, and those who only seem to care about the money, and avoid doing any actual work at all costs. The trouble is, prisoners have no way of knowing which are which until it’s too late.
For years I’ve thought that the only real solution is for prisoners to learn how to represent themselves. Prison conditions didn’t improve through the nineties because of solicitors, it was because a large number of prisoners (predominantly convicted IRA members) learnt how to use the system to change the system, and set to work making the world around them that little bit more bearable. Continue reading →