Blog entry 30th July 2021
Since my last blog I have responded to the Court of Appeal summary. The next step will be an unrepresented hearing based upon all the submitted documents. The result of this hearing will decide whether or not my application for appeal receives a full hearing or not
At the end of this month I will attend my first parole hearing. As a Cat-A lifer who stoicly maintains my innocence I am going in to this with no expectations whatsoever. my solicitor, who is probably the best in his field, has put together representation that I cannot fault, but I am realistic about the probable outcome.
Whilst the real world has seen the removal of most Covid restrictions, nothing has changed in HMP Wakefield. If anything things seem to be going backwards. The detrimental effects to the mental health of prisoners here is obvious, yet prison management do not seem bothered at all. Any issue or raised concern is automatically blamed and excused by the words 'due to Covid'. The tale of "the boy who cried wolf" springs to mind.
No doubt most people outside of prison will be of the opinion that as prisoners we deserve the rough end of the stick. What is forgotten is that the current treatment of prisoners, being justified by prison authorities by the pandemic, is defined as cruel and inhumane by Human Rights Commission definitions. These are regimes that will cause long-term mental health issues for prisoners who will eventually be released back into public life.
There is no agenda or plan by the Government to assess or address the psychological damage caused to tens of thousands of prisoners since highly restrictive prison regimes came into effect over a year ago. If there were it would mean that the Government and prison service are admitting culpability to whole scale human rights abuse. Instead, it is better for their public image to deny that their regimes handling of prison regimes during Covid have caused any problems and release prisoners who have been psychologically damaged by the prison system back into every day life.