DEMAND AN END CLOSE SUPERVISION UNITS UK’S VERY OWN TORTURE CHAMBERS
Kev Thakrar called me today and I know he is always relieved to catch me at home. You see Kevan is in the Closed Supervision Centre in HMP Woodhill and the only time he is allowed of his cell is to use the phone. He is not allowed to go to the Library, exercise yard, gym and he is not allowed to talk to any other inmates. He is locked in a small cell for mostly 24 hours a day.
The CSC were set up by the good old Labour Government in 1998 “to remove the most significantly dangerous, challenging and disruptive prisoners and manage them within a small and highly supervised unit”. The system is supposedly “therapeutic not punitive” claimed Director General Richard Tilt, and the aim was to rehabilitate the ‘difficult’ prisoner and return them to the normal wing after a year or so. So why then has Kevan been in the CSE for four and a half years?
The CSE own manual states its aims are “to provide multi-disciplined risk management approach to deal with highly disruptive and high risk prisoners who have demonstrated or evidenced a propensity to demonstrate violent and/or disruptive behaviour”.
Most prisoners in the system know why Kevan Thakrar is in the CSE. It is entirely because he was brutally attacked by officers in HMP Frankland – they then took him to court claiming he had attacked them but THEY lost the case. A judge and jury decided he was not guilty and the officers lost their jobs. Kevan has been systematically tortured by the prison establishment ever since holding him in the CSE awaiting a course for post traumatic distress disorder resulting from the attack in Frankland. However, each time it becomes apparent that the therapy he is awaiting should actually be happening, they simply move him to another CSE Unit; he has been to Whitemoor, Manchester and Woodhill (twice) in the four and a half years he has been waiting for therapy.
The CSE manual also states “When a team is considering referral to the CSU they need to record whether a prisoner’s mental health could be adversely affected by placement within the CSU, which is a restrictive environment”. No shit Sherlock. CSU are nothing other than a form of torture. In which laws of this land does it state that talking to people is a crime? In which manual does it state that if a prisoner is beaten up by prisoner officers (and this happens much more frequently than people would like to think) should he/she then be tortured by being closed off from mainstream prison for their own protection! Kevan was proven INNOCENT in court, yet his property is repeatedly destroyed each time he is transferred and then the Press make a fuss that he is paid compensation because he will not back down and demands justice which he is awarded in courts.
On a visit to Kev, which I had to wait for nearly 2 years clearance for (because they said I would write about it!) Kevan was brought to a small room about 10ft by 10ft. He is not allowed to wear his own clothes and the prison tracksuit isshabby at best. All the time during this visit we were flanked by four officers listening to our every word. Four! Constant supervision? This is constant harassment and a direct affront on anyone’s human rights. Kev told me that the only way people tend to get out of CSU is they are sent to max security mental health hospitals (Broadmoor and Ashworth) because the torture of being isolated had sent them actually mad. Kevknows of about 60 inmates who have ended up in these insane asylums after spending time in the CSUs.
As long as any Prisons have these torture units at an enormous cost to the British Tax payer we can no longer claim Her Majesty’s Prisons respect human rights, and we can certainly not claim they are for rehabilition, not in Kevan’s case a least this one is clearly, undisputedly ‘punitive’.
JENGbA intend to do a protest outside HMP Woodhill in the near future with mini buses leaving from London and the North. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to have an update to attend.
Support Kevan Thakrar A4907AE by writing to him, Nick Hardwick Chief Inspector of Prisons and your MP demanding a full enquiry/closure of all CSU’s immediately.
Gloria Morrison Campaign Co-ordinator JENGbA