Police from 5 counties and hundreds of riot-trained Prison Officers had to be bussed into Lincoln jail to contain an uprising by inmates. The uprising began at 7.50pm on the 24th October and took until the 4.20am the next day before state control was resumed. So what triggered the uprising ? The government are blaming a small group militant prisoners, Martin Narey, the director general of the prison service ; "Like most local prisons, Lincoln prison is overcrowded, but I think this was a carefully planned attempt by a small number of prisoners.....I don’t believe overcrowding is the cause and it is certainly not a justification for this.."
However this view differs sharply from that of the Prison Officers and experts in the field. Duncan Keys, assistant secretary of the Prison Officers’ Association ; "We believe that severe overcrowding and insufficient staffing levels has caused friction at the prison." Nacro, the crime reduction charity, has pointed out that remand prisoners are under "high levels of stress". Lincoln Jail is 40% remand. Uprisings have already occurred at Belmarsh prison, Rochester prison and at the privately-run Ashfield jail. Warnings of the growing threat of violence have been made by the Lord Chief Justice, the Prison Governors’ Association, the Prison Officers’ Association and various penal reform groups.
The fact is that the jail system is not working ; it’s not reducing crime, it’s not ’rehabilitating’ prisoners and it’s not making society a safer place. The only thing it is succeeding at is providing captive sweetshop labour and profit-related opportunities.
Prisoner Support Bristol Anarchist Black Cross
address PS Bristol ABC, Box 42, 82 Colston St,
Bristol BS1 5BB