Jusitce? - You Decide

 Jusitce? - You Decide Jusitce? - You Decide

Status: Finished

Genre: Non-Fiction

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Non-Fiction

Summary

I am very involved in helping people in prison and/or hurt by 'the system.' - This is the introduction

Summary

I am very involved in helping people in prison and/or hurt by 'the system.' - This is the introduction

Content

Submitted: June 05, 2012

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Content

Submitted: June 05, 2012

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A A A


 

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Introduction

For me, prison as an institution is intrinsically evil because its prime function is all about destroying the human spirit and essential good of people held there. For that reason a part of me, will always be in conflict with the prison system, and so it should be” John Bowden 2007

I am involved with those hurt by the system. These are vulnerable people who are frequently marginalised and ignored. That is what this book is essentially about. I now know more than ever why there are none so blind as those not wanting to see. It is about experience, observation, thought and feeling. The feeling has oscillated between rage, anguish and at times great sorrow yet, I say without hesitation and will repeat, the time has come for thinking and concerned people to declare “no..” This is not a denial and walk away. It is the revolutionary cry of “enough is enough”. If we are genuinely concerned regarding issues around crime there must be a change of direction. This is revolutionary in the sense that there can be no light without awareness of the darkness. The words that follow have been hard. At times they have trickled onto the page like tears yet a declaration of concern must be made. Human society faces many vital questions which we ignor at our peril. Since I began writing this work has assumed a life and

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direction of its own, that which must be said will be and that which should be here will be found here.

What is the true nature of society, (1) crime and our response to it? How do we heal the damaged self? Indeed, what exactly do we mean by this? What is the meaning and purpose of the state? Is the state not built on contradictions? What could be the nature of social reconstruction? What is the reality before us? Not only this but how can the system controlling society lead to equality, no repression and a safe, free way of life? I tell my story and consider the circumstances leading to my fitting up, ill treatment and abuse by the system and its unthinking, unfeeling adherents. I look at the question of justice itself. We consider the circumstances of my good friend and comrade John Bowden as well as the need for and meaning of protest within society as a whole where we have to say “No! Enough is enough!” Last year (2010) the streets of London erupted with riots and violence linked with government policies (and horrendous police brutality and violence where, among other things, a wheelchair disabled person known to me was dragged from his wheelchair by police) or does it cut deeper

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than that. To paraphrase ‘The Communist Manifesto’ the fact is all we have to lose is our chains and here I mean the metaphorical chains the state places on the minds of so many people.

Throughout his long and horribly brutal years in prison, John Bowden has clung tenaciously to his integrity and “all that makes me a man.” Rather than compromise he has declared in a recent letter “..fuck it, they can have my bones.”It is essential to maintain integrity especially when compromise would be easy. We look at John’s case and other people from prison later on.

Part two is called Issues and People and will consist of essays on specific prisoners and some of the key issues they face today. Among those we shall meet are Peter Hakala, John Bowden and and Ray Gilbert who has been in prison for thorty two years for a crime which I am quite sure he did not commit. There is also a section concerning my links with America’s death row and a contact of mine in Texas murdered by the state in its disgusting ritual of lethal injection. I consider paedophiles and sex offenders as well as extending a “Welcome to H.M.P. Frankland.”

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There is also an account of my time on community service. This was a period when among other things I became aware of the oppressed, disadvantaged and pained background of so many “offenders” and was left wondering who the real criminals are.

Writing the book, living the issues and the pain has not been easy by any means. At times, the work has taken on a life of its own as issues arise that I know must be included. I will not join those engaged in the much practiced english pastime of walking by on the other side and these exist in all areas of modern society. Those who feign respectability and espouse moral opprobrium of an empty and self- orientated kind. Who do you think I mean here? Who is there in your own frame of reference that fit’s that description? I am sure you will be able to pinpoint some, I most certainly can.

A significant, yet not solitary element is my own conflict with the system. I have known betrayal by enemies and the cruelty and brutality of state sponsored bullies hiding behind police uniforms. I have known abuse by those who lie and distort for corrupt and malicious ends. Yes, it does happen, we are subjugated by

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a system where results matter more than truth.

I have experienced the charade of the court system. A lynch mob mentality hides among the shadows of history yet is still sensitively perceptible. This conflict enhanced my own interest in questions linked with justice. I was too ill and stressed by ill treatment to help myself. I made an attempt on my life that almost worked. I took one hundred and forty analgesics and swallowed them down with a large glass of neat whisky something that, as a rule, I would not touch. A sinister force linked with liars and the state’s uniformed bullies had overwhelmed me. There was no planning as such, it just happened. I well remember being in the dock knowing I could not cope yet, there I made a personal vow to stand with others hurt by the system. I know the system for the monstrous evil it is. I will not join with those who walk by on the other side. This conflict has been one of the driving forces in my urge to help and support people in prison, or hurt by our sick minded and farcical justice process, in any way I can. I believe many experience deep pain and sorrow through the workings of the system. I further believe that the seriousness of this situation and its implications cannot be overstated.

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The “justice” system demonstrates a brutality, corruption and arrogance that will be its own eventual gravedigger.

Many who know me are, and will be astonished that this tension is in my life at all. These pages will astonish them more. They may well also be concerned and even critical of me for asking the questions kind of that I am. People will be surprised that I should wish to help and stand beside people in prison. Journey through these waiting pages with their shadows, depths and serious questions. This requires a willingness to stop and think, this all I ask. During my encounters with the agencies of “justice”, through contact with those hurt by it and in my researches, I have come to see and feel how much is wrong and must be challenged.

My initial contacts were as a tutor helping people in prison to study. These students sometimes shared regarding themselves and their circumstances. I am still involved in this way though on a reduced scale. I also began corresponding with people in prison wishing to help in any way I could. The initial response from others was “Well, they’re prisoners they would say that wouldn’t they?” My

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problems with the “justice” system infact have a long history. My M.A. Dissertation was entitled ‘In Search of Justice.’

Then, there was the conflict which showed me even more how sick and wrong the system is and the depths to which it will stoop to attack those questioning it. I believe that any credible sense of justice will be located by working together to ensure the harmony of the whole rather than the interest of the stronger. This must be harmony of the whole by the whole rather than the vindictive oppression by an unelected control crazy, elitist caucus from the privileged classes. Do we need institutionalised authority structures, as we know them?

Is it not worth thinking about? To achieve we must rediscover our ability to think rather than tick over like mindless automatons merely doing as we are told. What does ‘justice’ convey to you? When you hear the word consider not only what you think but what do you feel? Is it a description, a definition, or will an understanding of justice will contain both these elements?

 

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Perhaps there is a feeling of safety as you link justice with your idea of fairness and the right way of doing things. On the other hand, do you feel anxiety being unsure why the question is being asked. Do you connect it with ideas about wrong doers being punished feeling this is getting one’s just deserts? Does crime equal punishment if so exactly why? One should think and be careful with this one before screaming back “Yes George, of course it does!” Is justice the same as revenge? Is ‘retributive justice’ actually commensurate with revenge and one could go on and on. Often enquiries of this kind elicit vacant looks together with

some apprehension, as one has never given these matters much thought. The expectation to do so now may be threatening. One may be thinking “As long as I’m alright its none of my business” and yet, if they come for me today will they come for you tomorrow? This is, to say the least, a real probability.

There is often a wish to change the subject. Frequently there is deafening silence. In these pages, we enter that silence and explore its real meaning.

 

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Perhaps we will disturb that silence. Let us certainly hope so. We will allow ourselves to think and to feel. I will be sharing something of how I came to be involved and concerned regarding the plight of those ensnared by the “justice” system and will remain so for the rest of my life. That is my wish and personal dedication. Yes, I have been in conflict with the system and been fitted up by local police acting in concert with others; I refer to H.B. she knows who she is as do others including her pernicious associates.

I know that even now “our Hazel” enjoys the favour of local police and judiciary and the intense corruption of the local “system” is quite disconcerting. Some have suggested that my concerns amount to‘sour grapes. ‘

As well as being extremely offensive this is the functioning of shallow and limited mind. What I find sour is the expectation that I should accept without question victimisation, lies, fitting up and awareness of the pain of others all in the name of the State and the blind who do not want see. In an interesting and thought provoking letter Mr. Sean Higgins reminds us that “Ignorance is not bliss

 

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its just ignorance” Sean suffered greatly during his time in prison including several serious assaults by prison officers.

As Sean (now out of prison) is incarcerated in H.M.P. Cardiff on the segregation unit 109 days before his release, Sean observes “It brings a whole new meaning to the policy of ‘resettlement’ huh? Ha! I must laugh or I’d cry George”

I also find “sour” the implication that I would turn a short sighted eye to the ongoing cruelty I am aware of regarding vulnerable others. Where there is oppression, bullying and evil there must be resistance and an urge to fight back. I would see this as a natural law and its frequent absence in modern Britain is profoundly disturbing. Sean has also told me and I quote with his ongoing permission –

I am outraged though I must admit unsurprised reading of your own (i.e. my

experience) at the hand of state sponsored bullies.....For you or I to unfold

our experiences of a brutal, corrupt and ultimately racist system of authority.

 

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The irony being that it is Joe Bloggs who finances and empowers the very same corrupt system that would destroy him at any time.”

The fight I never started began some time ago. It will go on. The nature of the conflict means that nothing can stop it. There is too much muck staining the corridors of power. All the while people suffer and wounded under the heel of a corrupt and vicious system and my prisoners are not free neither am I free.

Please consider as you read that that prisons do not need reforming they need closing. This is not the way and it never has been. We must tear down walls of many kinds.

Between the conception of justice and its expression, there is a shadow. Between punishment for doing it and not doing it again there is a shadow. Before seeing light, we must acknowledge darkness.

  1. In his seminal work A History of British Serial Killing David Wilson is very relevant when he argues that - “Britain needs to learn that serial killers exploit factured communities, where some lives are viewed as more valuable than others and where people increasingly have to struggle to survive...they exploit the policies of govenments that no longer value the young or the old and prioritise the rich over the poor.”

 

 


 


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