Prisons in brief

FRFI censorship

FRFI subscribers in prison continue to face Prison Service interference. This takes many forms, from the blatant refusal by Full Sutton to allow prisoners the last issue on the grounds that one, unspecified, article threatens good order and discipline, to the introduction of unnecessary, bureaucratic application processes which prisoners must go through to receive the paper. We take all these attempts at censorship very seriously and will always contest such interference.

No more legal aid for prisoners

On 5 September the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) published its response to the so-called consultation on ‘Transforming Legal Aid’, part of which detailed further cuts to legal aid for prison law; the previous Labour government already having reduced such provision to a minimum. Despite receiving literally thousands of responses opposing further reductions, the MOJ announced that it will go ahead with all the proposed cuts (see FRFI 233 – ‘Grayling steps up populist attack on prisoners’ rights’) plus a few more for good measure. There will now be no more legal aid for Parole Board hearings for indeterminate sentence prisoners when the panel is not considering releasing them but instead is deciding whether they should be moved from closed to open prisons. These cuts are due to be implemented by the end of the year; however various legal challenges are currently being planned by prison law charities. We will report further on any developments.        

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 235 October/November 2013

 

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