- Created: Thursday, 03 November 2016 10:31
- Written by FRFI
The Close Supervision Centre (CSC) system is essentially an English version of US Supermax prison conditions, indefinite solitary confinement within the most oppressive and brutal environment found in this country. 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.
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. 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.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) has the task of reporting on all places of detention within the country. Considering the CSC is in violation of international and European law, as well as being morally reprehensible, you would expect HMIP to dedicate some time to exposing the secretive system, with the goal of achieving its abolition, or at least securing desperately needed reforms; however, since I was first allocated to the CSC in March 2010, HMIP has only once ‘inspected’ the CSC.
Although the inspectors were provided with extensive detail of the abuses which were taking place, they chose to omit all of the most serious points and gloss over those that actually made it into the report, with the consequence that life on the CSC became even more anguished. HMIP has also not even bothered to perform its mandatory ‘follow-up inspection’.
The suicide of Joanne Latham (aka Eddie Brown, aka Edward Latham) on the CSC was one direct result of the continuing deterioration, and also of the structure of the CSC itself, which causes severe mental illness and exacerbates pre-existing 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 (solitaryconfinement.org/uploads/HMCIP_CSC_Report_2015.pdf) but received nothing more than a fob-off in reply, confirming that their substandard work was intentional.
It is about time that HMIP learned that it can no longer ignore the CSC system or be allowed to prop up its existence. 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 12.30-2.30pm at HM Inspectorate of Prisons, 6th Floor, Victory House, Kingsway, London, WC2B 6EX.
All those unable to attend are encouraged to write demanding the Inspectorate address the CSC system immediately. You can write either directly or through your MP for greater impact. For other ways to show support and for more information go to www.justiceforkevan.com or join the group at www.facebook.com/justiceforkev
Kevan Thakrar A4907AE, HMP Wakefield, 5 Love Lane, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF2 9AG.
[Kev Thakrar is suffering from a miscarriage of justice having been wrongly convicted of the triple murder of three men, and although found innocent of the attempted murder of HMP Frankland prison officers during his sentence he has remained in solitary confinement within the Close Supervision Centre system since March 2010 as a political prisoner.]