« Home | Ron Jeremy tells all. » | Scum-watch: Lady Mucca returns. » | Injustice multiplied. » | This is a dead parrot. » | Britain's Abu Ghraib. » | Scum-watch: Take one hijab or two into the sauna? » | Have we found a use for Trident so soon? » | The power of nightmares. » | Scum-watch: We need Sarah's law. And the comments... » | Scum-watch: Lies, damned lies, and "soft" judges. » 

Saturday, March 17, 2007 

Crying a phony river.

Much shedding of crocodile tears in the Street of Shame over the tragic death of Sally Clark, victim of one of the worst recent miscarriages of justice in this country. The Daily Mail, which has since been conducting a witch-hunt against paediatricians who have diagnosed women as suffering from the controversial Munchausen's syndrome by proxy (the killing or harming of children by a mother in a bid to draw attention/sympathy to themselves, the most (in)famous sufferer of which is probably Beverley Allitt) cleared the front page for the news. As Postman Patel points out in an outstanding post, this is somewhat different coverage to that which followed her conviction, when the report in the Mail was headlined "Driven by drink and despair, the solicitor who killed her babies".

The sad death of a woman apparently broken by her time in prison for a crime she did not commit comes in the same week as the previously posted on failure of the Hickeys' to get back the compensation deducted from their payouts for living expenses. Additionally, a study by Baroness Corston into how women are treated by the criminal justice system recommended that existing women's prisons should be shut down (converted into prisons for men), with small local secure units being set-up in their place. If any further evidence was needed of the dire conditions in some sections of the prison system, especially those dedicated to women, the Guardian's a day inside series of interviews makes for depressing reading:

Gina Westaway, 51
Senior prison officer in the care, support and reintegration unit, HMP Styal, Cheshire

Checking our list of self-harmers was one of my first duties, and I noticed that there was a "code blue" on a female prisoner yesterday evening. She had tied a ligature round her neck, and an officer went into her room and cut it off. Self-harming is an issue in our unit - in February we had 140 incidents. The women break the plastic cutlery to cut themselves, or rip up the sheets to tie ligatures.

Incidentally, the government recently announced that the compensation paid to those who suffer miscarriages of justice will be capped at a maximum of £500,000. Apparently you can set an arbitrary, central, state dictated price on a life ruined by a false conviction. When you consider that Labour is more than happy to spend £9bn on the Olympics, which lasts for two weeks and at least £20bn on replacing a weapons system we neither need nor will use, the money paid out to those who suffer so terribly through the fault of the state seems an insult.

Labels: , , ,

Share |

Post a Comment


  • This is septicisle


    blogspot stats

     Subscribe in a reader


Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates