Tag Archives: close supervision centre

18th November, protest against Close Supervision Centres at the HM Inspectorate of Prisons, London

The Close Supervision Centre (CSC) system is the English version of American supermax prison conditions, indefinite solitary confinement within the most oppressive and brutal environment found in this country, which can appropriately be called torture camps. Psychological warfare is used upon its victims on a constant basis, with frequent physical attacks supplementing the arbitrary punishment. As only around 50 prisoners fall victim to the CSC at any one time its existence is largely unknown even amongst the general prison population, so it is not surprising that the wider public are so poorly informed that almost no-one protests that taxes are being spent to torment vulnerable captives who are also British citizens. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of prisons (HMIP) is tasked with the role of reporting on all places of detention within the country, with a decreasing level of funding for the prison system whilst prisoner numbers continue to rise it is inevitable that more and more failings and inadequacies will be identified by them. Considering the CSC is the violation of international and European law, as well as being morally reprehensible for both its design and implementation, you would expect HMIP to dedicate its times exposing the secretive system with the goal of achieving its abolition but at least securing desperately needed reforms. When the entire prison system can be seen to be declining in the level of treatment it provides, it is obvious that those already at the harsh end will suffer the most. HMIP chooses to pretend that the CSC does not exist rather than tackle the deplorable, less attention is paid to the worst part of the prison system than any other which is simply inexcusable. Since I was first allocated to the CSC in March 2010, HMIP have only once ‘inspected’ the CSC. Although they were provided with extensive detail of the abuses which were taking place, they chose to omit all of the most serious and gloss over those that actually made it into the report. HMIP effectively endorsed the torture regime which had the obvious consequence of life on the CSC becoming more anguished, and have not even bothered to perform their mandatory follow-up ‘inspection’ to see the effects of their actions. The suicide of Joanne Latham (AKA Eddie Brown, AKA Edward Latham) on the CSC has been one of the direct results of the continuing deterioration, but also of the structure of the CSC itself which causes severe mental illness and exacerbates preexisting medical issues amongst its residents so much so that around 50% end up damaged to the extent it becomes necessary for them to be removed from prison to one of the high secure mental health hospitals (Broadmoor, Brampton, Ashworth). I sent a detailed complaint to HMIP after reading their cover-up report (http://solitaryconfinement.org/uploads/HMCIP_CSC_Report_2015.pdf) but received nothing more than a fob off in reply evidencing that their substandard work was intentional. Although this was done as a parting gesture from the departing Chief Inspector presumably to secure another governmental employment, the incumbent Chief Inspector along with the rest of his office have done absolutely nothing about it.

It is about time that HMIP learned they can no longer ignore the CSC system or be allowed to prop-up its existence with corrupt reports, the CSC has been in operation since 1998 and must be condemned as the abomination it is. To achieve this end, I am calling on every person with some level of compassion and humanity for their fellow man and all those disgusted at what their taxes are funding to attend a demonstration protest outside the offices of HMIP. This has been organised to take place on:

Friday 18th November 2016 from 12.30pm – 2.30pm at HM Inspectorate of Prisons, 6th Floor, Victory House, Kingsway, London, WC2B 6EX,

and all those unable to attend are encouraged to write demanding they address the CSC system immediately either directly or through their MP for greater impact. Support can also be shown as well as more being found out about the horror of the CSC by visiting the website WWW.JUSTICEFORKEVAN.COM, joining the group at www.facebook.com/justiceforkev, signing the petition on www.change-org/p/justice-for-kevan, or by writing to:

Kevan Thakrar A4907AE,
HMP Wakefield,
5 Love Lane,
Wakefield,
West Yorkshire,
WF2 9AG.

Protest against Close Supervision Centre system: 21st July

A secret world exists within the high security prison estate in England, known as the Close Supervision Centre (CSC) system. The dehumanisation of CSC prisoners begins at a very early stage, in the official justification for the creation of the CSC system, which focuses on the need to contain a new breed of unmanageable and unpredictable risks. It continues with the creation of classificatory categories of ‘dangerousness’ which objectify prisoners and make more of the category and less of the human in them, and it is reinforced by the tightly controlled and highly regulated routines.In addition to isolation and extremely restricted movements, prisoners’ in-cell belongings are carefully regulated and subjected to relentless scrutiny and inspection. Prisoners remain in CSC units for years, decades even, made frustrated, angry and bored by their experiences with few avenues to vent their anger and with almost no opportunities to advance through the system. All perceived acts of disobedience or non-compliance by CSC prisoners, even of the most petty kind, are responded to brutally by gangs of prison officers clad in full riot gear who show no mercy when demonstrating their authority and power, sanctioned by Prison Service management at the highest levels. Rather than controlling violence, as it officially aims to do, this hyper-controlled environment breeds it.Having now spent six years subject to the unofficial punishment of allocation to the CSC myself, it is clear that without real pressure to force the required change nothing but more negative and oppressive measures will be added.

Please lend your support for the abolition of the CSC system by attending the protest demonstration: 21 July between 12.30pm and 2.30pm outside the offices of the Prison Ombudsman and Independent Monitoring Board,  Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HS.

Kevan Thakrar
A4907AE
Close Supervision Centre,
HMP Wakefield,
5 Love Lane,
Wakefield WF2 9AG
http://www.justiceforkevan.com
Facebook: JusticeForKev

ABC Prisoner Art UK Tour

Click on image to download full resolution poster

 

TOUR DATES

SEPTEMBER 2012: London – Colorama #2
OCTOBER 2012: London – Freedom Bookshop (London ABC)
NOVEMBER 2012: Cardiff – Red & Black Umbrella (Cardiff ABC)
DECEMBER 2012: Nottingham – Sumac Centre (Autonomous Nottingham)
JANUARY 2013: Bradford – 1 in 12
FEBRUARY 2013: Liverpool – Next to Nowhere
MARCH 2013: Brighton – Cowley Club (Brighton ABC)
APRIL 2013: Plymouth – Venue TBC
MAY 2013: Bristol – Emporium (Bristol ABC)
JUNE 2013: Belfast – Warzone Collective
JULY 2013: Dublin – Seomra Spraoi

PRESS RELEASE

After a debut viewing at Kebele Social Centre in Bristol, the Anarchist Black Cross Prisoner Art Exhibition in September 2012 began it’s UK tour; visiting 13 venues in 10 cities across England, Wales and Ireland over 11 months. The exhibition features over 30 pieces, as well as poetry, from current and past radical prisoners including – Phil Africa, Peter Collins, Lucy Edkins, David Gilbert, Alvaro Luna Hernandez Hier and Thomas Meyer-Falk. The tour aims to show the artistic and poetic talent of those behind bars, as well as highlighting the political cases of the prisoners themselves. Additionally the exhibition features a wealth of sketches and writings from a Close Supervision Centre (CSC) prisoner, yet to be revealed.

Commenting on the art exhibition in July 2012, Ben Gunn a recently released lifer who spent 33 years inside said; “In attempting to see into the darkest corners of the states activities, we are privileged to have the spotlight provided by prison artists… Struggling to obtain their bare tools for creativity they tower above their captivity to reveal their unique perspective – I hope that their art invites you to think – and be moved to ACT.”

Since the beginning of the 20th Century the Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) has been on the frontline supporting and showing solidarity for those imprisoned for struggling for freedom and liberty. The organisation has by many states been deemed illegal, “terrorist” and many members have been tortured, killed, arrested, imprisoned, and fled persecution. ABC in the early years took part in the 1905 Russian Revolution (where six members were imprisoned), organised defensive units under the anarchist Black Army in Ukraine, fought against the Bolsheviks regime a decade later, and aided anarchists fleeing fascism during the Spanish Civil War and Second World War in the 1930’s.

After it’s revival in 1967 in England to aid prisoners of the Spanish resistance, ABC eventually grew into a global network of anarchist prisoner support groups; organising international days of solidarity, letter writing nights, prison demos, financial aid for prisoners, art shows, supporting struggles inside (and on top) of the prisons, and much more.

With this tour we therefore distance ourselves from mainstream, state-funded prisoner art shows, such as the exhibition launched in London by Koestler Trust this month, campaigning instead for abolition of the prison industry and all states. Or as social prisoner John Bowden puts it: “There are frontlines of class struggle thoughout the whole of society, violent interfaces where the poor and their oppressors confront each other, and prison represents one of the most overt and undisguised frontlines of class struggle that exists.” – Solidarity without prejudice article, 2009. Continue reading