Inside Woodhill CSC

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons (HMCIP) visited HMP Woodhill in January 2012. This unannounced inspection also focused in part on Woodhill’s notorious Close Supervision Centre. As could probably be expected, for around ten days a magic transformation occurred whereby all staff were on their best behaviour. The same day that HMCIP left the prison, all that changed back. Prisoners at Woodhill CSC now face more restrictions than they have for years, with less support from mental health teams than ever. Promises to remedy this have proven to be nothing more than an attempt to delay the prisoners from realising what is happening.

A prison officer working in the Woodhill CSC has recently resigned rather than face disciplinary action for a string of assaults on prisoners. The self-confessed steroid addict, who was seen on CCTV punching a prisoner in the face for complaining about him to the Independent Monitoring Board, is not to face prosecution as Thames Valley police refuse to investigate.

The HMCIP report is due to be published very soon. Let’s hope they have not been made to accept the most flagrant violations through bureaucratic spin because they have never fully grasped what was demanded of them and were not sufficiently interested to notice what was happening, and have instead managed to maintain some integrity with a report that pushes for positive change.

Woodhill prisoner

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism 226 April/May 2012

 

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