Tag Archives: Brendan Barnett

John Bowden Writes From HMP Shotts

John Bowden writes about his treatment at the hands of a megalomaniac social worker and an all too acquiescent Parole Board. Further articles by John, and others about his current situation and what you can do to help, can be found here and on the Leeds ABC website.
 
In June of 2011, the Parole Board for England and Wales finally carried out its statutory obligation to review my continued imprisonment after 32 years of captivity. Its official terms of reference were clear and straightforward; to be reassured that I represented no risk or danger to the public, (the main legal criteria determining whether a life sentence prisoner is safe to be released or not), and that I could be safely managed or supervised in the community beyond prison.The circumstances of my original offence of murder were indeed brutal and terrible, although confined to a sub-culture of petty criminals and alcoholics who existed on the margins of South London working-class society. Along with two other men I was convicted of the murder of another man during a drinking session in a South London flat; ordinarily a fairly unremarkable event in that part of inner-city London. This killing stood out more because of the means by which the victim’s remains were disposed of than by the actual act of killing itself. At the time of the offence I was 25 years old, and had already spent the greater part of my life in repressive institutions and jails, and was considered the leader of the group of men who had committed the murder basically because I was considered marginally more intelligent and articulate than the other two. I was sentenced to life imprisonment, with the judge’s recommendation that I serve no less than 25 years. The other two received recommendations of 15 years, and were released almost two decades ago.Two leading forensic psychologists , one a world authority on “psychopathic personality disorders”, Professor David Cooper, interviewed and assessed me before the parole hearing last June, and submitted written and oral evidence at the hearing which essentially said that I no longer represented a risk or danger to the community and was safe to be either transferred to an open prison or be released completely. The first and most important legal criterion determining a life sentence prisoner’s release; public safety or protection, obviously justified releasing me. Overall, the general consensus of professional opinion presented at the parole hearing was that I could be released and safely managed in the community, and in fact I already had been to some degree by being allowed to work in the community for a number of years on external prison work projects and schemes. A post-release supervision plan was also presented to the parole hearing by a community based social worker, which envisaged my living a reasonably independent life in my own accommodation whilst being regularly visited and monitored by a social work team. Legally, the Parole Board would have been justified in ordering my release, but they chose not to do so.

Throughout the hearing the Parole Board panel focused insistently on my “anti-authoritarian” character and attitude, and defined it not as a result and product of my experience of prison, but as a lingering residue of a “psychopathic personality disorder”. My prison history of protest and resistance, as well as legal actions taken against serious abuses of power on the part of the prison system, was not defined or characterised as a positive conversion from hardened de-humanised criminal to politicised prisoner and human rights activist, but as simply evidence of a pathological hatred of authority and discipline, and a potential risk to the community. As far as the panel were concerned I remained a psychopath, although one probably mellowed by age and manageable by the strictest and most robust post-release supervision plan.

Rejecting the independent living post-release supervision plan presented at the hearing, the Board decided instead that if released I should be required to live in a closely-supervised hostel and allowed minimum freedom and autonomy. Although I represented no real danger to the community, my “anti-authoritarian” character was considered, by the Board, justification for imposing as much authority and control over me as possible following my release. In order to allow Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services, who would be responsible for supervising me in the community, sufficient time to arrange such a stringent post-release supervision plan, my release was denied for a further twelve months, during which time, the Board suggested, I would be transferred to an open jail and prepared for release. The Scottish Prison Service representative at the hearing agreed to arrange such a transfer at the earliest opportunity.

Following the parole hearing, two crucial things happened. First, the prison authorities reneged on the agreement to transfer me to an open jail, using two earlier absconds from prison to justify insisting that I be psychologically risk-assessed and made to complete whatever behaviour-modification programmes and courses were recommended, before consideration would be given to transferring me to open conditions. There were, of course, long waiting lists for both the assessment and programmes. And second, responsibility for formulating a post-release supervision plan was given to Brendan Barnett, a social worker employed by Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services.

Barnett considered his role to involve far more than just arranging a release plan and hostel accommodation, and decided also to write for the Parole Board a thorough personal assessment and analysis of my life before the murder offence, a forensic description of the killing itself, and what he believed were my psychological motivations both before and during my imprisonment, all of which he coloured with subversive moral opinion and obvious antipathy. His completed report to the Parole Board was a mixture of amateur psychology, distorted fact, and obvious prejudice, with an actual post-release supervision plan almost an incidental addition. He also blatantly lied in his report, claiming to find a reference in an obscure early prison social work report, that justified his outrageous subsequent claim that I was convicted of racist and homophobic hate crimes! Despite every bit of evidence to the contrary (police reports, trial transcripts, and indeed every other report and document in my file), Barnett presented as fact his ridiculous lies. Equally incredibly, when presented with his report, the Parole Board chose to remain silent, despite KNOWING that his report was seriously and inexorably flawed.

When I made a formal complaint about the lies in Bartlett’s report to his superiors at Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services, what immediately kicked-in was a concerted attempt on their part to close ranks around him, and despite all the evidence clearly ascertaining what he had wrote was untrue, reject my complaint out of hand. Truth and fact were clearly secondary to the absolute priority to defend and protect a colleague, even one so seriously and worryingly lacking in personal and professional integrity.

Barnett’s response to my complaint was vicious and single-mindedly spiteful. On the 14th May this year, he held a “multi-disciplinary meeting”, and persuaded a hostel in Edinburgh, that had agreed to accept me as part of the Parole Board inspired post-release supervision plan, to now refuse me accommodation. He also persuaded a representative from Edinburgh Housing not to provide me with accommodation. He then persuaded Scottish Prison Service Headquarters that I should be transferred back to the English prison system because I had no links or contacts in Scotland, which he knew to be completely untrue. He then persuaded a remarkably compliant Parole Board that my next parole hearing, scheduled for June this year, should be postponed until I was “psychiatrically risk assessed” by a psychiatrist of his choice.

The Board were aware, of course, that I had already been thoroughly psychologically risk-assessed before the hearing last June, and there was absolutely no justification for introducing a psychiatric dimension to my case, but they agreed to Barnett’s recommendation nevertheless. Neither did they question why Barnett, who was effectively engineering my transfer out of the Scottish system, and beyond Edinburgh Criminal Justice Service’s responsibility and obligation to supervise, should happily provide the funding for a psychiatrist of his choice to “risk-assess” me. Brendan Barnett had effectively wrecked any post-release supervision plan, and yet the Parole Board appeared content to go along with and support him.

At the parole hearing last year, the parole panel clearly set it’s face against releasing me, despite the legal criteria supporting that release, and it then insisted on a post-release supervision plan of such severity that it was virtually inevitable that an authoritarian zealot such as Barnett would emerge to abuse the power such a plan would exercise over me. Barnett has created a justification to further prolong my imprisonment, and the Parole Board seem happy with it.

Earlier this year, the outgoing Chairperson of the Parole Board, once safely distanced from responsibility, warned that the Parole Board‘s hindering and delaying the release of life sentence prisoners, of which there are over 1200 in England and Wales, would inevitably and eventually create serious unrest in the prison system. The deliberate design in preventing my release suggests a total disregard for personal or institutional consequences.

Barnett meanwhile, continues to use the system to exercise his hatred of “offenders”, supported and defended by his colleagues at Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services, and clearly within a social and political climate of increasing authoritarianism, intolerance, and hated of “offenders” and those on the margins of society, he will feel empowered to continue wrecking the lives of the powerless.

John Bowden
6729
HMP Shotts
Cantrell Road
Shotts
Scotland
ML7 4LE

Day of Action in Support of John Bowden MON 11th JUNE 2012

Day of Action in Support of John Bowden

Monday 11th June

Imprisoned since 1980, (and in fact for most of his life before that), John Bowden has been a thorn in the side of the English and Scottish prison systems for three decades. John has paid a heavy price for being a staunch defender of prisoners’ rights and a committed opponent of injustice, spending years in the most brutal conditions, and suffering numerous physical assaults and treatment that has frequently amounted to torture.

Over the past decade though, John’s captors have been using a new tactic to keep him behind bars – the lies of prison social workers and quack ‘psychologists’. First, a few years ago, Matthew Stillman alleged that the Anarchist Black Cross were a ‘terrorist organisation’ and that John was therefore a ‘terrorist’ by implication. Brendan Barnett has now made even more ludicrous allegations against John, but such is the corruption within Edinburgh ‘Criminal Justice Services’ that John’s complaints have led to his victimisation, rather than the disciplining of Brendan ‘Pinocchio’ Barnett.

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Criminal Justice Services continue to cover up lies about John Bowden

Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services, or what used to be know as the plain Social Work Deptartment, has seriously compromised its professional integrity by defending a member of its staff who deliberately told lies in a report to the Parole Board in an attempt to sabotage my chances of release from prison. Behaving like corrupt policemen instead of traditional social workers seems now to be acceptable practice at Edinburgh Social Services.

In an official report for the Parole Board written on the 29/2/2012 Brenden Barnett, who works for Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services, made the following incredible claims about my original case in 1980. “Secondary motives for using violence described by the trial judge and acknowledged by Bowden himself suggest a pattern of behaviour that allowed for the predatory targeting of vulnerable human beings on the margins of society defined by race or sexuality”. “Bowden has suggested that his victims were easily discriminated against on the basis of race or sexuality”. “There has been no investigation of the values and beliefs that informed Bowden’s targeting of individuals, i.e. what particular characteristics deemed a person worthy of attack; ethnic background, deviant sexuality”.

There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support Barnett’s bizarre claims and in fact I was convicted in 1982, alongside two other men, of the murder of a white Caucasian heterosexual male during a drunken party in South London. If ethnicity was any sort of factor in the case it was actually represented in the defendants, two of whom were Irish and the third second-generation Irish; the victim was a native white south Londoner. Neither the police who investigated the case or the prosecution authorities or indeed trial judge had ever claimed that either racism or homophobia had played any part in the case; Barnett’s claims are a total lie, as he well knew.

Naively, I imagined that by officially complaining to Barnett’s superiors his lies would be exposed and the record put straight as far as his report to the Parole Board was concerned. Instead I was about to enter a sort of Kafkaesque nightmare.

On the 2/4/2012 I was interviewed by Jackie Peters, Manager for “Risk Management Services” and Barnett’s immediate boss, and Sheila Ritchie, a “Sex and Violent Offender Liaison Officer”, and also a colleague of Barnett’s. Both made it absolutely clear that they intended to defend and support their colleague no matter what, even if it required some twisting of the facts and a total disregard of the truth. Throughout the interview I was treated with obvious contempt and at one point I was actually asked if any of my victims (I was convicted of one murder) were black or homosexuals. Despite my constant protestations that neither race or sexual orientation played any part whatsoever in my conviction, as the official files make clear, they steadfastly determined to somehow defend and justify Barnett’s lies. I eventually realised that the interview was meaningless and their intention was simply to defend their colleague, so I told them that I would pursue my complaint beyond them and do whatever it took to expose Barnett’s lies. In their subsequent report they would describe this as a “threat” against Barnett. They also alleged I had been “angry and aggressive” towards them and tried to shift the focus from Barnett’s lies onto my behaviour during the interview, which they insinuated suggested a potential risk to both themselves and the wider community. The issue of Barnett’s lies in their report was glossed over and my complaint rejected. It’s important to remember here that we’re not dealing with some miner factual inaccuracy or a biased interpretation of established fact, a fairly common phenomenon in social work reports on prisoners; Barnett wrote blatant lies in his report, claims that had absolutely no basis in fact or reality, lies that are easily disproved by reference to the mass of information in my prison and social work file, and yet those supposedly responsible for investigating my complaint decided that Barnett had done absolutely no wrong and his report was completely acceptable. Protected by an occupational culture that views and treats “offenders” as things to be monitored, supervised and policed, authoritarian characters like Barnett believe they have total power over those under their supervision and with it the absolute right to increase their demonisation and dehumanisation, even by writing blatant lies about them.

Those who employ Barnett and those who work alongside him in the Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services must ultimately take responsibility for his behaviour because by defending and supporting him they have seriously compromised their own integrity and are complicit in his dishonesty and abuse of power. A more senior social worker, Stephen Laird, signed off Barnett’s report and therefore gave the official seal of approval to his lies, which is why those supposedly investigating my complaint, Peters and Ritchie, felt an even greater predisposition to support Barnett, even if his lies regarding my original offence were obvious and indefensible. This is how corruption spreads within institutions like the police and Social Services; defending and supporting colleagues who have abused their power, especially over people considered something less than human and utterly powerless, creates complicity and a culture of abuse generally. The prison system and police are riddled with this culture, which is why the abuse and death of people in custody is widespread and why those directly responsible are rarely identified and prosecuted. It would seem that the “Criminal Justice Services” generally, including social workers and probation officers, are also contaminated by this culture of lying and treating “offenders” as people stripped of all basic rights; my experience with Barnett and his colleagues certainly illustrates this.

Undoubtedly at my next parole hearing Barnett will claim that by challenging the lies in his report I have also challenged his authority over me and therefore I represent a “High Risk of Re-offending” because of my adversity to being supervised by Barnett in the community. As always Public Protection will be cited and used as a justification for my continued imprisonment, when in reality I shall probably remain in jail simply because I challenged Barnett’s lies.

I have now complained to Peter Gabbitas, Director of Health and Social Dept. in Edinburgh, who has overall responsibility for Barnett and his colleagues, and he has yet to even acknowledge my letter, which suggests a disinclination on his part to recognise either my existence or that of my complaint. Incredibly it would seem that a pathological liar like Barnett has the absolute freedom to describe someone in an official report as a “racist and homophobic” serial killer without a shred of evidence, and absolutely no-one in his entire dept has the integrity or moral courage to criticise or expose him, and that apparently includes even the dept’s Director. The complete absence of any basic integrity amongst those at Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services is both scandalous and deeply worrying for those under it’s supervision.

The response of Barnett and Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services to my exposing his lies has been to ask the Scottish Prison Service to engineer my removal back to the English prison system, and on the 4/5/2012 Sharron Di Ciacca, Legal Service Manager of the Scottish Prison Service, wrote to me informing me that such a transfer would take place soon. Moving the “problem” on is of course a classic method of controlling and punishing “difficult” prisoners.

Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services should not be allowed to suppress or simply get rid of “offenders” who complain about and expose individuals like Brendan Barnett, and I ask all groups and individuals concerned about the treatment of prisoners and ex-prisoners at the hands of a corrupt social work dept like Edinburgh Criminal Justice Services to write letters or e-mails of complaint to the following addresses:

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
4 Melville Street
Edinburgh
EH3 7NS

Social Work Advice and Complaints Service
Waverley Court
Level 1/7
4 East Market Street
Edinburgh
EH8 8BG

Michelle Miller
Chief Social Worker
Grindlay Court Social Work Centre
Criminal Justice Services
2-4 Grindlay Court
Edinburgh
EH3 9AR

Peter Gabbitas, Director
Health and Social Care Dept
Waverley Court
Level 1/8
4 East Market Street
Edinburgh
EH8 8BG

John Bowden, 6729
HMP Shotts
May 2012

Sack Brenden Barnett

from: support john bowden

Militant long-term prisoner John Bowden continues not only to get shit from the prison authorities, but also from ‘social workers’ acting as their lackeys (see  http://leedsabc.org/another-attempt-to-sabotage-john-bowdens-parole-by-prison-hired-social-worker/ and  http://leedsabc.org/update-from-john-bowden-about-lies-written-by-prison-hired-social -worker-2/ ).

Regular Indymedia readers may recall that a few years ago the System used stooge social worker Mathew Stillman to smear the Anarchist Black Cross as a “terrorist organisation” with whom John was in contact. Eventually Stillman was totally discredited, but now another State lackey, Brenden Barnett, is doing their dirty work for them.

John’s official complaint against Barnett has only brought further repression. There is a need for a sustained campaign to expose Barnett’s lies and to expose the fact that two years after the Parole Board recommended John Bowden be moved to an open prison, he continues to be held in a Scottish high security jail, and for no other reason than his political writings exposing injustice and repression in British prisons.

Please read John’s articles on this latest situation (see link above) and take some time to at least write to Michelle Miller, Chief Social Worker, Grindlay Court Social Work Centre, Criminal Justice Services, 2-4 Grindlay Court, Edinburgh, EH3 9AR.

For just £2.16 postage you could even send a card like the one pictured above, which Leeds ABC posted on Saturday 21st April.
You can also write to John Bowden at:

John Bowden – 6729, HMP Shotts, Cantrell Road, Shotts, Scotland, ML7 4LE.

Update From John Bowden About Lies Written In A Report By Prison Hired Social Worker – April 2012

Update From John Bowden About Lies Written In A Report By Prison Hired Social Worker

Brendon Barnett, a criminal justice social worker in Edinburgh, has so compromised himself by writing blatant lies in a report to the parole board to try and sabotage my release that his employers should seriously consider his suitability as a social work professional.

Social Work Advice and Complaints Service in Edinburgh are currently investigating my complaint that in a report submitted to the parole board in February Barnett wrote what he knew to be total lies and did so without any concern that his lies would inevitably be found out. This suggests either a serious personality disorder on Barnett’s part or a belief that whatever he wrote the system would support him and never hold him properly
accountable. It will therefore be interesting to see how my complaint is treated by the social work complaints service and how the system deals with someone who thinks it’s completely acceptable to use their position to destroy the lives of people considered too marginalised, powerless and stigmatised to defend themselves.

In response to an article that I wrote exposing the lies in Barnett’s report, Barnett submitted a second report to the parole board obviously motivated by a determination to inflict greater punishment for my having the temerity to speak out. In his second report submitted on the 22nd March he accuses me of being ‘very selective’ in my use of quotes from his first report and ‘manipulative’ in my ‘editing’ of them. He claimed that I wrote and distributed the article as a ‘crude attempt to intimidate and cow’ him. He also made reference to a warning or threat in his first report that my continuing to use the internet as a means of exposing dishonest reporting by social workers should be considered by the parole board as sufficient reason to deny my release.

In terms of my reason for writing and distributing the article about the lies in Barnett’s first report, my actual motive was to try and highlight a pattern of behaviour on the part of prison-based psychologists and social workers that compromises their professional integrity by blurring the boundaries between an often vindictive prison system and the supposed professional independence of ‘criminal justice workers’ like Barnett. Although not formally employed by the prison system Barnett clearly had contact with and was influenced by senior prison staff whilst writing his first report and obviously believed he now shared with them such total power over me that I would be completely defenceless
to his lies; in fact what he actually succeeded in doing was undermining the basic integrity of his report and illustrating how so-called criminal justice professionals like social workers and probation officers are often used by prison staff to legitimise the otherwise blatant victimization of prisoners. Either way, my essential motive in writing and distributing my article was to bring attention to a clear abuse of power by Barnett and also to an obvious and repetitive pattern of lies in social work reports written on me for the parole board. In fact, Barnett’s lies, although uniquely unbelievable, fit a consistent pattern of dishonesty and lies in reports submitted to the parole board since at least 2007. The motive is clear: to prevent my release by any means necessary.

Barnett claims that in my article exposing his lies I was selective in my choice of quotes from his first report and manipulative in my editing of them. In fact, I lifted the quotes verbatim from his report and selected those that were obviously untrue in the extreme, such as the claim that I was convicted of hate crimes against ethnic minorities and gay people. In a typical example of this he wrote, “Bowden has not only used a political analysis of his own history but also those of his victims suggesting they were individuals easily discriminated against on the basis of race or sexuality”. This is EXACTLY what Barnett wrote free of any manipulation or editing by me. He also wrote, “Bowden has suggested that his victims were easily discriminated against on the basis or race or sexuality” and “There has been no investigation of the values and beliefs that informed Bowden’s targeting of individuals, i.e. what particular characteristics deemed a person worthy of attack: ethnic background, deviant sexuality”. Despite a mountain of official reports and evidence relating to my life before prison and the circumstances of my ‘offending behaviour’, which Barnett would have been familiar with, he decided to introduce a racist and homophobic dimension to my case that has absolutely no basis in fact or reality. The question therefore has to be asked why?

Prison-based social workers often exaggerate, distort and misrepresent facts when writing reports for the parole board, but rarely are naked lies written in reports that are examined by a judicial body  like the parole board. In 2007 a prison-based social worker, Matthew Stillman, wrote a report for the parole board preparing to consider my release in which he described a prisoner support group, Anarchist Black Cross, as a ‘terrorist organisation’ and my connection with it as sufficient reason to deny my release. Stillman, a right-wing American, claimed that ABC’s politics were ‘Terroristic’ in his opinion, though would subsequently also claim that he was encouraged by senior prison staff to use the term ‘terrorist’ in his report to the parole board. Political definitions, no matter how distorted,  are however completely different to blatant lies, there are only two explanations for Barnett writing  such outrageous lies in his report to the parole board, either plain incompetence [difficult to believe when one considers his otherwise forensic eye for detail in the report] or straight forward malevolence. Either explanation is almost secondary to the imperative that he should be sacked or removed from a job where he is able to inflict serious damage on people’s live.

John Bowden – HMP Shotts – April 2012

Another Attempt To Sabotage John Bowden’s Parole By Prison Hired Social Worker

Another Attempt To Sabotage John Bowden’s Parole By Prison Hired Social Worker March 2012

The changed role of probation officers, and in Scotland social workers, from ‘client centered’ liberal professionals into ‘criminal justice workers’ focused essentially on ‘public protection’ and ‘managing risk’ has in many cases led to serious abuses of power as what were once considered vocations of social conscience have been transformed into little more than the revenge of the middle class.

Nowhere more is this so than in the case of prison-based social workers and criminal justice probational/supervision officers who are little more than appendages of repressive state power and act as a legitimizing and respectable cover for that power.

The collaboration of prison hired social workers in the victimization of prisoners labelled ‘control problems’ was exemplified by Matthew Stillman, a social worker employed by Perth and Kinross Council in Scotland, who in 2007 whilst on placement at Castle Huntley open prison in Dundee wrote a social work report for the Parole Board in which he described the Anarchist Black Cross support group (ABC) as a ‘terrorist organisation’ and my support of it as sufficient reason to deny my release after 30 years in jail. As a direct consequence of Stillman’s report I was removed from Castle Huntley open jail where I was preparing for release and returned to maximum security conditions. Following a public campaign by the ABC and an internal investigation by Perth and Kinross Council, Stillman’s claim was exposed as a deliberate lie and he was quietly moved to another job. Stillman would subsequently claim that senior management as Castle Huntley jail had encouraged him to make the terrorist claim in his report. What the episode actually illustrated was the malleability of ‘criminal justice professionals’ by a vindictive prison management and how willing such ‘professionals’ compromise their integrity in the interests of career and power.

This was again illustrated in February of this year before another scheduled parole hearing to consider my release when the Parole Board asked a community based social worker in Edinburgh, Brendon Barnett, to prepare a post release supervision plan report. Told by the prison authorities that I was refusing to co-operate with an assessment for psychology based behaviour modification programmes, Barnett wrote a report clearly intended to influence the parole board to deny my release indefinitely. Like Stillman, he also wrote lies in his report, but this time the lies really did defy belief.

When claiming to describe my original offence in 1980 and my ‘patterns of behaviour’ at the time of the offence, Barnett wrote in his report: “His victims were individuals easily discriminated against on the basis of race and sexuality”. “There was a pattern of behaviour that allowed for the predatory targeting of vulnerable human beings defined by race or sexuality”. “Individuals were deemed worthy of attack on the basis of ethnic background and deviant sexuality”. “There has been no investigation of the values and beliefs that informed Bowden’s targeting of individuals, i.e. what particular characteristics deemed a person worth of attack: ethnic background, deviant sexuality?” Incredibly, without any reference to official records, i.e. police reports or trial transcripts, Barnett committed his outrageous lies to a report intended for the Parole Board, a body thoroughly conversant with the facts of my original offence.

The actual facts are these. In November 1980, during a drunken party at a flat in South London, Donald Ryan, a white Caucasian, heterosexual man was killed by 3 other white Caucasian, heterosexual men, one of whom was me. The police who investigated the case, the prosecution authorities and trial judge who tried the case, have never claimed or suggested there was a racist or homophobic dimension to the case, and why would they? Barnett’s claims were a complete invention. In the preamble to his report Barnett claimed that all his information was derived from ‘core documents’ and ‘source material'; this was also a lie.  An explanation as to Barnett’s motives in writing such reckless lies is possibly provided by other parts of his report. Under a heading he terms “Compliance” he writes: “Bowden’s time in custody has been characterised as a sustained and deliberate war of attrition with the prison service. It is reported that earlier in his sentence he often began riots, dirty protests and hunger strikes. As his sentence progressed Bowden developed a strategy of intellectual analysis of the system he is subject to. He appears to conceptualize his activities in the light of a particular ideological awareness and as part of a wider struggle”. He then provides the Parole Board with website references for various articles I’ve written criticising the prison system and cites Stillman’s report as a reference source. He concludes this part of his report with – “Bowden questions the whole validity of the prison system and the honesty, professionalism and impartiality of those charged with his assessment and supervision”.

The core motive for Barnett’s lies are clearly revenge for Stillman, and this is made explicit in a paragraph of the report entitled “Professional Boundaries”. Under this he writes: “Bowden is known to have aired grievances on the internet with regard to particular professionals involved in the assessment of his level of risk. He appears to have authored articles that have been forwarded to various websites naming professionals involved in the parole process, suggesting readers contact them directly. He has suggested a named social worker’s “right wing views” (Stillman) influenced his assessment of Bowden”. He then issues a clear threat: “Should he repeat these actions (publicising the names of social workers) this could be deemed a rejection of the conditions of release”. What Barnett is actually saying is that should I dare to expose and publicise his outrageous lies then I risk imprisonment until death.

Brendon Barnett is supposedly a social worker employed by the Criminal Justice Services in Edinburgh who last year was instructed by his employers to prepare a post release supervision plan for me and present it’s features in a report for the Parole Board. Instead he abused his position by collaborating with the prison system to prejudice the parole process and sabotage my release. Rather stupidly, instead of basing his disgusting allegations on historical fact and official record, he obviously regurgitated lies from Micheal Mansfield’s “Memoirs Of A Radical Lawyer”, that Mansfield himself has now publicly admitted were completely untrue. Brendon Barnett should be sacked.

Please write letters of complaint to:

Michelle Miller Chief Social Worker Officer
Grindlay Court Social Work Centre
Criminal Justice Services
2-4 Grindlay Court
Edinburgh
EH3 9AR
Fax: 0131 2298628    
 
Please send letters of support to: 
John Bowden 6729
HMP Shotts
Canthill Road
Shotts
Lanarkshire
Scotland
ML7 4LE