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12 January 2007
US TERROR JAIL FURY.

PROTESTS outside US Consulates marked five years of the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison camp yesterday.

Around 40 demonstrators in Edinburgh, in orange boiler suits, called for the closure of the US military jail for terror suspects. Demos were also held in London, Washington, Tokyo, Rome and Israel.


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14 January 2007
JAIL VISIT LAWYER ATTACKED.

NOTORIOUS drug dealer John Gorman tried to kidnap his own lawyer at knifepoint in jail.

Gorman, jailed for 12 years after a police operation which wiped drugs worth £60million off the streets of Scotland, lunged at Bob McCormack as they sat in a visiting room.

It is believed the dealer, of Irvine, Ayrshire, wanted a hostage to demand a move from Barlinnie Jail, Glasgow, where he fears he will be killed by rival gangs.

Gorman, who was convicted of dealing heroin, cocaine and cannabis, was armed with a makeshift knife and two cable ties.

But prison officers overpowered him and solicitor-advocate McCormack was unharmed.

An insider said: "Gorman should have been checked prior to going into that meeting.

"McCormack was going in to get a statement and he just lunged at him.

"Now he is being blacklisted by just about every lawyer in the land."

McCormack said: "I was visiting a client in Barlinnie who is obviously unwell.

"I was unharmed and am no longer acting for this client."

The Scottish Prison Service confirmed the incident.


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Weaknesses in razor killer's care
Sean Oden Crone
Crone was diagnosed as schizophrenic
Weaknesses existed in the treatment of a schizophrenic who killed two friends, an independent inquiry has found.

Sean Crone, 26, of Sunderland, stabbed 25-year-old Ian Lawson 24 times and slashed the throat of Simon Richardson, 27, in October 2003.

In January 2005 Crone, who was treated by South of Tyne and Wearside Mental Health Trust, was detained indefinitely after admitting manslaughter.

The inquiry said better communication and care arrangements were needed.

Days before the deaths, Crone was referred for help to the mental health trust and was awaiting an appointment for assessment.

But in the meantime, he killed his friend Mr Lawson in a frenzied attack, knifing him through the eye and brain.

The circumstances surrounding the deaths of Ian Lawson and Simon Richardson are deeply upsetting
Steve Page, North East Strategic Health Authority

He then went to see his best friend, Mr Richardson and slashed him to death with a razor.

During his trial it emerged Crone had symptoms of mental illness dating back to his teens and was a drug user.

He was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic after being sent to Rampton Special Hospital in Nottinghamshire following his arrest.

The inquiry was ordered by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Strategic Health Authority, which at the time monitored all local health trusts.

'Clear strategy'

The inquiry, chaired by barrister Kester Armstrong, concluded that there was no direct link between the actions of the professionals involved in Crone's care and the deaths of Mr Lawson and Mr Richardson.

It concluded the deaths could not have been predicted or prevented.

But in 10 recommendations it urged more efficient exchange of clinical information between health agencies across Wearside.

It also called for "a clear strategy and procedures" for individuals who are reluctant to access and engage with services.

Steve Page, strategic head of patient safety for the North East Strategic Health Authority said: "The circumstances surrounding the deaths of Ian Lawson and Simon Richardson are deeply upsetting and our sincere sympathies are with the families of both men.

"The families have been very patient during the progress of the independent inquiry and we hope the final report goes some way towards answering questions they may have regarding the deaths of their loved ones."


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The proposal follows growing concern about the...

The proposal follows growing concern about the poor quality of people's diet - particularly those from the most deprived communities. Picture: Rob McDougall

 

How a pill a day could keep the riot squad away in Scottish prisons...

Inmates at a Scottish prison are to take part in a government-sponsored study to determine whether healthy eating can help influence behaviour.

Vitamin supplements could also be offered to people issued with antisocial behaviour orders and those given police warnings for causing problems in their community.

The proposal follows growing concern about the poor quality of people's diet - particularly those from the most deprived communities.

However, prisoners' rights groups said the money would be better spent ensuring prisoners had decent meals rather than having to supplement their vitamin intake.

Previous research has suggested that giving vitamins, minerals and fish oil supplements reduces aggression and violent attacks. Now researchers want to test if giving supplements can help in the fight against crime in general.

If further research confirms that supplements reduce bad behaviour in these groups, the idea could also be extended to disruptive pupils in schools, according to researchers due to speak at a conference in Glasgow tomorrow.

Professor John Stein, professor of neurophysiology at Oxford University, said he hoped to start the study involving 1,200 inmates within three months.

Inmates at three prisons - including one in Scotland - will receive either nutritional supplements or dummy pills. It is hoped the research will support the findings of a smaller study in 2002 which revealed a 40 per cent drop in violent incidents among inmates taking the extra vitamins.

The supplements will contain a mixture of vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids.

Prof Stein said: "It is quite clear to me that if this is working among prisoners, it is going to work outside as well. One of the problems is food might be worse outside prison than in.

"The sort of people we would like to target are those who have ASBOs, people who have been causing problems in their communities."

Prof Stein said studies in the US had reported an amazing response in cutting violent behaviour after offering vitamins to offenders. While people with ASBOs could not be forced to take vitamins, and the results if they did would be more difficult to monitor, he believed there would be an improvement in behaviour.

Prof Stein added: "What we need to be able to do is identify the people at risk and offer them these supplements. People's diets are getting worse.

"The 'working-class' diet is worse now than during the [Second World] War. Even then, people were given cod-liver oil, vitamin C and other supplements."

Prof Stein said he believed there was a direct correlation between rising crime and the falling quality of people's diets. "Crime in this country has gone up inexorably and what has changed in recent years apart from diet? It can't be due to genetics.

"We can talk about the breakdown in family life until we are blue in the face, but all the psychiatric and social care provided has not stopped the rate of rising crime."

He added: "We would also like to go into schools and see if giving diet supplements can cut down problem behaviour.

"The disturbances caused by these children are always put down to social and psychological problems. But I am con- vinced that improved diet would help to change that." Prof Stein is due to discuss his research at the "Diet, Behaviour and the Junk Food Generation" conference in Glasgow tomorrow, organised by the Food and Behaviour Research unit, which is based in Inverness.

Dr Alex Richardson, director of the unit and an Oxford University researcher, said: "Mood and behaviour are influenced by dietary factors which impact on the brain.

"If the right nutrients are not taken in by the body, it affects the brain's signalling ability and impact on the neurotransmitters. The problem is that modern diets are energy-dense and nutrient-poor, so the body is not getting the nutrients the brain requires to function properly. If the brain is not able to function properly, that is when we get problems with behaviour and violence."

Dr Richardson said it was necessary to carry out studies using vitamin supplements in the community if policy-makers were to be convinced of the benefits.

"It would be money well spent to find out the impact of giving these supplements to people on ASBOs and problem students," she said. "Look at the programmes we are already spending millions on. How much is the ASBO system costing?"

Figures in Scotland show 283 ASBOs were granted in 2005-6 - a surge of 38 per cent on 2004-5 and double that of the previous year.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Executive said: "We currently have no plans to give people issued with ASBOs vitamin supplements. However, we are taking forward a comprehensive programme to improve the nation's diet. We are raising school-meal standards and are banning the sale of full-sugar fizzy drinks in all Scottish schools.

"At a wider level, work is being done to tackle food inequalities and improve access to and take-up of a healthy diet in low-income communities.

Our diet and lifestyle problems cannot be tackled through government action alone - it is everyone's responsibility to eat a healthy, balanced diet and take regular exercise."

A Scottish Prisons Service spokesman said discussions about a new study using vitamin supplements on inmates in Scotland were ongoing. He added: "No decision has been taken yet. Our research and ethics committee must give careful consideration before giving the go-ahead as we need to take into account the needs of prisoners and the prison system."

Frances Crook, director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said there was plenty of evidence to prove a good diet helps concentration and physical health. But she said paying drugs companies for supplements was "counter-productive, demeaning and dangerous".

She added: "The evidence is vitamin supplements are no substitute for wholesome food and if prisoners were fed properly they would not need supplements.

"I think it is appalling. A few supplements will not help prisoners appreciate food, learn about budgeting for meals or cooking. It is a gross waste of public money. If you give people decent food it affects their behaviour. You cannot solve the problem with a pill."

SCIENTIFIC STUDIES BACK THE LINK BETWEEN FOOD AND MOOD

THE effects of diet on behaviour have been noted by scientists for decades - although it is only recently that proper research has been carried out into such links.

As long ago as the Second World War, doctors noted an improvement in the behaviour of children given orange juice (Vitamin C) and cod-liver oil (Vitamin D) to counteract wartime food shortages.

Since then, scientists have found that the levels of many vitamins and minerals affect behaviour - a link that experts believe can be used to transform the conduct of offenders.

A lack of Vitamin B3 (niacin) can lead to nervousness, irritability, confusion, suspicion and memory problems.

Low levels of Vitamin B1 (thiamine) are known to lead to increased hostility and more aggressive behaviour, which can be moderated with supplements.

A shortage of Vitamin C and zinc can lower mood and put people on a shorter fuse.

Low levels of polyunsaturated fats (Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids) have been linked to a range of behaviour problems, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

A deficiency in folate acids, which occur in foods such as peas and spinach, has also been suggested as a cause of memory problems and behavioural disorders.

A long-term study in California found that feeding children oily fish, which is high in Omega 3, can lead to improved brain function and slash the probability of antisocial and violent behaviour later in life.

And research has found higher levels of seratonin and dopamine - "feel-good" chemicals produced in the brain - in the spinal fluid of people with higher levels of Omega 3 in their bodies.

Conversely, some studies have also shown a correlation between a poor diet high in saturated fats and sugar and violent behaviour in both children and young adults.

Other research has shown that foods high in additives like E-numbers, which include colourings, preservatives and flavourings, can adversely affect behaviour patterns.

And some studies have shown that prisoners, on average, consume much lower levels of the recommended daily intake of nutrients such as selenium, potassium, iodine, magnesium and zinc, which have all been linked to good physical and mental health.

A TO K OF BENEFITS

• Vitamin A: The suggestion that eating carrots would help you see in the dark has some truth in it. The body makes vitamin A from beta carotene, found in carrots, which helps vision in dim light, as well as boosting the immune system and helping to maintain healthy skin.

• B Vitamins: Fish is brain food, so we are told. It also contains vitamin B, which has been linked with increasing mental alertness. Other benefits include bolstering the metabolism, helping maintain muscle tone, aiding digestion and circulation.

• Vitamin C: When the sneezing starts most people reach for oranges and lemons but lots of fruits, including strawberries and kiwi fruit are rich in vitamin C. The jury's still out on its effect on the common cold, but research suggests it does boost the immune system and help fight viruses.

• Vitamin D: Known as the sunshine supplement, it is commonly believed that vitamin D helps fight depression and cheer us up. Its health benefits are said to be substantial with deficiencies linked to 17 types of cancers, strokes, heart disease and osteoporosis.

• Vitamin E: With powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers, it is commonly used in face creams.

• Vitamin K: Helps bones, teeth, nails and hair grow strong and healthy, and makes wounds heal fast.

• Folic Acid: Commonly taken by pregnant women to help development of the foetus, it has also been suggested it helps keep dementia at bay in older people.

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Comments:

1. http://www.scottwebb.co.uk / 12:57am 22 Jan 2007

If the problem is lack of vitamins....the question has to be asked......what the hell are they being fed ?

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2. Statsman / 1:16am 22 Jan 2007

"Crime in this country has gone up inexorably and what has changed in recent years apart from diet? It can't be due to genetics. We can talk about the breakdown in family life until we are blue in the face, but all the psychiatric and social care provided has not stopped the rate of rising crime." - PROF JOHN STEIN, OXFORD

Where has he disproved the 'breakdown in family life' cause? Instead of trying to look at the real causes, Professor Stein is dragging the issue down the junk science route.

Psychiatric care has been replaced with care in the community - which often ends up in no care at all. Err and what is this 'social care' he speaks of?

Of course, the first stage will be this trial in which there is probably no control group (i don't see a proposal of a placebo group here). This will provide invalid positive results which will convince dimwitted Executive ministers, who don't have a science degree between them, to invest in food supplements.

I am sick and tired of pseudoscience, junk science and bad science being used as the basis for health policy.

Thanks goodness that the article finishes in a statement of common sense: "I think it is appalling. A few supplements will not help prisoners appreciate food, learn about budgeting for meals or cooking. It is a gross waste of public money. If you give people decent food it affects their behaviour. You cannot solve the problem with a pill."

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3. WeeBerty / 1:19am 22 Jan 2007

So what causes middle class crime? I refer to people like Rupert Murdoch. A lack of vitamins?

In truth a high percentage of crime is connected to too much of something as opposed to the opposite. I refer to alchol. And should we give the drugs addicts more drugs in the form of Vitamins? EH?

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4. WeeBerty / 1:21am 22 Jan 2007

What do poor people really need. Well, money!

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5. James F, Glasgow / 1:23am 22 Jan 2007

The suggestion that vitamin A helps your eyesight is actually an elaborate con. During the war, the British invented radar and installed it on fighter aircraft so that pilots could "see" at night. To confuse the enemy, they put it about that they were feeding the pilots lots of carrots to improve their eyesight.
The first casualty of war is the truth.
Vitamin A does boost the immne system though.

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6. famous 15, scotland / 1:27am 22 Jan 2007

As a world renowned criminologist I would agree with added vitamins and cod liver oil and orange juice but the greatest boon to those who would visit our society with crime is A BIG LOVING HUG. If that does not work well I just do'nt know!!!!!!!!

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7. WeeBerty / 1:33am 22 Jan 2007

Yes. lets all hug a granny basher...

So, now we know why the basher done it... he forgot to drink his orange juice at breakfast... I have never heard soo much shoite in all me life...

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8. Dick / 1:34am 22 Jan 2007

How about cyanide pills.. That would empty the prisons pretty quickly and completely eradicate re-offending.

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9. http://www.scottwebb.co.uk / 1:47am 22 Jan 2007

Comment@6 Famous 15, hi mate, the trouble with most vitamin C tablets is the comedians put aspartame and the likes in with it.........which damages the brain.
Here is a one minute trailer to a documentary called Sweet Misery......for those with the attention span of a goldfish
http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=178447157634062...

and here is a ten munite vid on the subject http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-90638994811249...

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10. http://www.scottwebb.co.uk / 1:47am 22 Jan 2007

Forgive my spelling of Minute

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11. Jock Scot / 2:37am 22 Jan 2007

Add it to the water in our reservoirs and you might be able to go out on a Friday night and no get your heid kicked in.

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12. Peter Cherbi, Edinburgh / 2:37am 22 Jan 2007

Hi Scott

I think the provider of these vitamins will probably turn out to be a donor to New Labour !

Anyway .. it makes a change from bent lawyers supplying prisoners with drugs instead .. http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=380372006

... but money could be better spent I think ...

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13. http://www.scottwebb.co.uk / 3:04am 22 Jan 2007

Comment@12 Peter, hi mate...agreed, nice link by the way

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14. sheena, at home / 3:45am 22 Jan 2007

I really will have to get out more and maybe buy a paper copy of the Scotsman and perhaps another newspaper for comparison. There are some nights when I read the 'stories' and think I am in a dream world. I begin to wonder if someone has hacked into the Scotsman site and replaced the news with weird stories produced from their fevered brain. Usually, by morning, plenty posters with common sense have made sensible comments and this reassures me.

When I read the headline here I assumed that it was bromide or some type of seditive that was being suggested and that there would be an outcry from the civil rights people. But Vitamins!!! If this theory were correct then surely prisoners with their three square meals a day, and unable to pop over the fence, like school children do to buy junk food, should be a model of good health and behaviour. What about old people, who cannot afford meals on wheels (or vitamin supplements) or those in care homes where nobody cares enough to feed those who need help. Are these elderly folk all turning aggresive and violent? If someone has vitamins to spare (and it is proved that they are safe to take) then give them to children before they develop anti social tendencies. How about bringing back free milk and orange juice in schools?

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15. Statsman / 4:17am 22 Jan 2007

BTW, this Prof. Stein is the brother of the TV chef Rick Stein.

Off topic, but interesting anyway.

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16. Guga, Rockall / 5:29am 22 Jan 2007

I agree with Sheena. Also, having lived in various third world countries at different times, I did not notice poor people on minimal, or even near starvation diets developing aggressive or violent tendencies.

Perhaps scientists should be looking at the effect of additives, particularly the E number variety, being added to processed food, to see if it is that which causes or contributes to aggressive behaviour.

Other than that, this looks very much like more junk science; and a waste of taxpayers money.

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17. Mcsnagpile, Vietnam / 5:36am 22 Jan 2007

What is really being said here? is the overcrowded prisons and poor services for rehabilitation producing a violent element within the prisons. Are we talking about violent prisoners or prisoners becoming violent within a sick prison environment?? I would say it is unlikely that vitamins will have an effect on a hardened violent criminal. Institutions have already proved that in some cases there is a violent gene. Although many people from severely deprived childhoods become violent criminals, most do not. There are many extremely violent upwardly mobile people who use their psychopathic tendencies to create misery in the work place, as they claw their way up the ladder. These people unfortunately, are usually well nourished. We perhaps should invent a new drug-- Soma.

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18. Timothy Charles Wingate, OTTAWA CANADA / 5:43am 22 Jan 2007

The addition of vitamins and supplements to what apparently is vile swill being served to prisoners SOUNDS like a good idea.

Since the diet of the majority of prisoners before they enter the penal system is atrocious fast-food washed down with plenty of beer one can only hope that this experiment will work or that the food served in jails and prisons improves. Maybe prisoners can get to think straight after abusing their bodies with substandard, under-vitaminised, nutrient-depleted foodstuffs - mainly fast-food, fish and chips from chippies, and too much beer and other intoxicating liquids.

Almost forgot the illicit drugs that are swallowed to allow the beer to go down easier.

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19. Harriet / 5:52am 22 Jan 2007

Many prisoners are eating properly for the first time in their lives when they go into prison, despite the weekly budget for their food being only about £11.60. They also rate the food surprisingly highly!

But amongst the population of youngsters at Polmont in particular, the effects of lifelong dietary abuse - what else can one call it - are not yet irreversible.

So a "double-blind" trial would be useful. It has demonstrated in England that behavior in the group thus "supplemented" improved dramatically along with concentration and thus an ability to learn.

It also pays for itself by contributing to a reduction in re-conviction rates. As it costs £36,000 a year to keep the convicts in gaol ... .. .

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20. Pete39, Tassy / 6:26am 22 Jan 2007

Keep them moving. Good healthy excercise building railways, clearing rubbish, moving mountains. Excercise and good food is the secret. Get rid of all the nastier attitudes in their minds by good honest sweat. Plus give them a vitamin pill if you think it will do any good.


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Reply with quote  #65 

 
James Green (right) being led from Gloucester Crown Court
James Green has a severe personality disorder
The brother of a Cheltenham man with a severe personality disorder is to ask the government to change the law which classes his condition as untreatable.

Last year James Green, 24, was arrested for making threats to kill and was sent to Gloucester prison.

He was kept in jail as there is no known treatment for his condition.

Daniel Green is due to meet Health Services Minister Rosie Winterton to ask for the Mental Health Act to be amended allowing him to be treated.

James' family said he started hearing voices when he was 14-years-old.

He's gone to the end and back
Daniel Green
He has since tried to set fire to himself at his parent's home and has been diagnosed with Severe Personality Disorder (SPD).

The Mental Health Act 1983 only allows people to be committed to hospital where psychiatrists believe the person is treatable.

As SPD is considered untreatable, James falls outside the remit for mental health sectioning.

Self harm

After James was released from prison in October 2006, his brother Daniel called for a change in the law to allow his brother to receive treatment.

Speaking on Monday, Mr Green said: "Every law is open to a court's interpretation - that's where we've had problems, because no two people have read the Mental Health Act in the same way and understood it in the same way.

"The government needs to look at this case and to amend the Act to allow people with James' condition to receive treatment.

"He's gone to the end and back really, they've (doctors) had to resuscitate him in the past, but he's constantly self harming and attempting suicide," said Mr Green.

James is currently being treated at Kneesworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire.


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Reply with quote  #66 

http://www.insidetime.org/main.htm


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Reply with quote  #67 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/staffordshire/6315531.stm

 

well am not surprised to hear about this ' it's the same private company that runs kilmarnock jail

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Quote:
Originally Posted by berlin

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/staffordshire/6315531.stm

 

well am not surprised to hear about this ' it's the same private company that runs kilmarnock jail

Exactly Berlin


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Inside prison
Inside prison
Prisoners to get right to vote

Votes for prisoners video report in Windows Media format

A Government Law Officer has told the Court of Session today that votes for prisoners are on the way. The Advocate General Lord Davidson conceded the point as three judges ruled that the Scottish Elections in May are incompatible with Human Rights legisaltion because they deny prisoners the right to vote. 

Criminals lose not only their right to liberty but also their right to vote. But that may not

Inside prison
Inside prison
be the case for much longer.  William Smith who served a five year sentence for being in possession of controlled drugs had his application to be included on the electoral role refused. 

Today three judges at the Court of Session ruled a blanket ban on prisoners voting was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. The Westminster Government is currently considering the legal implications of the Convention. 

Lord Abernethy told the court: "'We fully understand why the Government does not at this stage wish to rush forward with amending legislation but the fact remains that the Scottish
Inside prison
Inside prison
Parliamentary election in May 2007 will take place in a manner which is not Convention-compliant."

The Advocate General Lord Davidson told the court the Government did not propose to retain a blanket ban on the right of convicted prisoners to vote. In short votes for prisoners are on the way to make elections legally watertight.

In theory this paves the way for a legal challenge to stop the Holyrood poll in May. In practice that is unlikely to happen. What will happen is a flood of applications from prisoners demanding they have the right to vote in future.


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Dr Rowan Williams
Dr Williams says the system is "chaotic and ineffectual"
The Archbishop of Canterbury is expected to criticise Britain's "obsession" with prisons, as inmate numbers reach record levels.

Dr Rowan Williams will hint that many minor offences, including some kinds of theft, should not lead to jail.

He will also warn against plans to extend privatisation in the prisons and probation sector.

The system often appears "chaotic and ineffectual", while more "clarity and honesty" are needed, he will say.

'Choking'

Some inmates are being housed overnight in police stations and court cells after the jail population hit 80,000 in England and Wales.

Delivering the Prison Reform Trust annual lecture, Dr Williams will say the "custodial obsession, the creation of more and more offences with a custodial tariff, simply chokes the prison system and compounds all the failures in responsibility for prisoners."

He will add: "It is not surprising if we have a penal system that too often appears chaotic and ineffectual.

"Nor will I elaborate on the cost to taxpayers of an ineffectual and overloaded system, and the wider cost in patterns of reoffending because of the inadequacy and unevenness of responsibility-building services in such a context."

Clarity and honesty

Any alternative system has to avoid repeating a "zero-sum deadlock", he will say.

Dr Williams will add: "We need clarity and honesty about what offences can and cannot be appropriately dealt with under the non-custodial and reparative model."

He will call for politicians and others to think "very carefully about the tariff for many kinds of theft, for economic crimes more generally, for a good deal in the area of petty vandalism and drug offences".

Short-term sentences for such crimes are simply a "vicious circle" for those who did not react to the stigma of a jail term, he will argue.

Dr Williams is also expected to say: "Community justice needs to be separated from any suggestion of franchising or privatising the operation of the law.

"The idea that offender management should be put out to tender is one that could sit very comfortably with some sorts of talk about community justice if we are not careful."


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Staff at Saughton prison in Edinburgh have...

Staff at Saughton prison in Edinburgh have agreed to walk out if the 3,000 members of a prison officers union reject a pay offer. Picture: Paul Chappells

 

Angry prison officers threaten wildcat walkout over wages. 

The Scotsman has learned staff at Saughton prison in Edinburgh have agreed to walk out - with officers in Barlinnie, Scotland's biggest jail, ready to follow - if the 3,000 members of a prison officers union reject a pay offer.

Prison officers are furious at the terms of the offer, which would see a rise of 2 per cent for the lowest-paid staff, who earn about £12,000, along with a 1.1 per cent one-off payment, while management would receive increases of between 5 and 31 per cent.

The offer is subject to a ballot of members of the Prison Officers Association Scotland (POAS). The union is recommending the offer is rejected, but is not supporting the proposed strike as it would be unlawful and in contravention of an industrial relations agreement.

If the ballot, which ends next Friday, results in a No vote, as expected, then the dispute will proceed to arbitration, the results of which are binding on both sides. But yesterday about 150 staff at Saughton voted to reject arbitration and instead walk out on Monday, 12 February.

Insiders predict that at least 250 of the prison's 400 staff will strike. Staff also warn the strike is likely to spread, with prison officers at Barlinnie, in Glasgow, which houses more than 1,400 prisoners, including some of Scotland's most violent offenders, supporting the move.

One prison officer said: "There was real anger at the meeting. When this [wildcat strike] goes ahead, there will be a queue of Reliance vans at the gates because they won't be able to collect anyone for court. If John Reid, [the Home Secretary], thought he had problems down in England, there will be even more up here."

The prison officer added: "The last time we went on strike ... visits were cancelled [and] prisoners were locked in cells all day."

Commenting on the bigger offer for management, another prison officer said: "This is just rubbing our faces in it."

Derek Turner, secretary of the SPOA, said: "We are less than happy with the outcome of the pay talks. But this proposed strike would be flying in the face of both the law and current union policies."

The last strike to hit Scotland's jails was in April 2001. Prisoners were held in police cells because there was no-one to deal with them at the jails, while courts were thrown into chaos because no-one was available to transport people from the jails.

The wildcat strike was resolved after one day of action. But had the walkout been protracted, the Scottish Executive would have been forced to call in the army to control prisons.

The prison service says the higher pay offer for management has been set, at least in part, to address an historical anomaly, which saw some staff given no increase when the last deal was struck three years ago.

A Scottish Prison Service spokesman said: "We would hope that people do not take that action. We have contingency plans to deal with such a consequences, but I am not in a position to say what they are."

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HEROIN addict Steven Halliday, 23, from Dumfries, assaulted and robbed a shop assistant of £202, hours after telling his mother he wanted to go to jail so he could get off drugs. He was remanded at the High Court in Glasgow, and will be sentenced later.

Comments:

1. Horrible Cankers, Dont know its too dark in here...whirs ma fags.... / 10:43am 2 Feb 2007

Really?.....then why do people go into prison and come out heroin addicts?

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Prisons 'need manslaughter law'...
 
Prison
Ministers fear prison governors would be prosecuted, reports say.
Jails should not be exempt from new laws on corporate manslaughter, the ex-chief inspector of prisons for England and Wales Lord Ramsbotham says.

Peers are expected to try to extend the legislation to cover deaths in prison.

But unconfirmed reports suggest ministers have threatened to axe the Corporate Manslaughter Bill rather than expose governors to prosecution.

Lord Ramsbotham told BBC Radio 4's Today that would be an "extraordinary kind of political blackmail".

'Unworthy'

He said a "responsible" home secretary should "want cases where management or the duty of care in something for which he was responsible had failed to be brought into the open and the person responsible for that failure to be disciplined".

He added: "To say we are going to pull the bill if that is insisted on seems to me the most extraordinary kind of political blackmail which I would have thought unworthy of a home secretary."

Ministers have argued deaths in jails can already be adequately investigated by public inquiries, inquests and internal inquiries.

But Lord Ramsbotham said that only one public inquiry had been held into a death in custody, while the results of internal investigations were not made public and inquests were only required to find the cause of death.

He rejected claims that use of the corporate manslaughter law would mean government policy being scrutinised in the courts.

Lord Ramsbotham said: "We are saying - exactly the same as the rest of the bill - that this is about a failure in management or a failure in duty of care.

"It is nothing to do with government policy or resources at all."

Laws to punish companies whose negligence kills employees or customers are set to be introduced, after being included in the Queen's Speech last November.

The corporate manslaughter bill was carried over from the last parliamentary session.


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13 February 2007
KILLER DEAD.

A LONER who killed a hillwalker in a bungled rape bid has died in jail.

Donald McMillan, 45, was found dead on Sunday.

He was serving life at Edinburgh's Saughton Prison for suffocating Helen Torbet, 62, at his parent's guesthouse in Wester Ross in 1993.

A prison spokesman said: "Police and next of kin have been informed and a fatal accident inquiry will be held in due course."


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16 February 2007
PRISON 'DOES NOT WORK'

COUNCIL chiefs want to help persistent offenders by keeping them out of jail.

Breaking The Cycle, a report published yesterday, suggests that jailing people who regularly break the law does not work.

Instead, it said that those who repeatedly commit low-level crimes should get "intensive" rehabilitation.

One proposal is for criminals to attend three meetings with support staff each day for at least a year. Other plans include setting up a support centre and improving employment prospects.

The report was ordered by Edinburgh City Council's community services scrutiny panel.

Panel convener Marilyne MacLaren said: "Prison alone isn't working and we need a more complementary balance between sanctions and rehabilitation."


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