After promising that things had changed in this old holiday resort and welcoming into its unescapable arms all the old toe-rags from north of the border plus one or two international tourists who got caught up in the spiders web of Caledonian capers that calls itself law in this kilted wonderland in which Barlinnie proudly stands at its helm, we find that all is not necessarily so. Not everything that is written on the can is what you actually get.
I will just include here what the Scottish Prison Service says in its blurb and then include an excerpt from a letter from Rusty sent to via my friend Gillian. Make up your own minds then whether its Rusty or the SPS who are speaking the truth. My money is on Rusty.
The SPS blurb
Our purpose is to maintain secure custody and good order, whilst caring for its prisoners with humanity and delivering opportunities which give the best chance to reduce re-offending.
Our vision is aimed at concentrating on five key themes:-
a.) Leadership in correctional service. We aim to ensure that the prisoners we deal with are less likely to re-offend.
b.) A prison estate that is fit for purpose. That the prison estate is fit for the 21st century – where the living conditions for prisoners and working conditions for staff will serve our goal of correctional excellence.
c.) The highest standards of service. We aim for consistently high standards, not the cheap and cheerful. We are committed to quality in everything we do. We will look everywhere for best practice.
d.) Respect for our staff. We need to ensure that our work is valued by society.
e.) Value for money for the taxpayer. We have to make effective use of our resources and we must reduce our costs. The w2hole purpose opf the move towards a focussed correctional agenda is to show the work we do can and does make a difference to the behaviour of those who have passed through our care.
From Rusty, 12 June, 2014
Support mail continues to arrive, albeit at a diminished rate, but is a morale-booster regardless of volume, with letters informing me that supporters are writing/have written to HMP BarlinnieGovernor protesting my stalled (blocked?) tag release when other Grampian transfer prisoners are having such processed and going home. But as I’ve mentioned previously, this environment is dominated by an information vacuum – doubtless by design – and with the vindictive ‘payback’ manner my case has been dealt with (same as Robert’s) since my original March 2014 arrest to February 2014 trial, sentencing and imprisonment, I would not be at all surprised if my ‘prisoner sheet’ has a black mark on it to keep me incarcerated until August 11th – and then, on that fateful Monday morning, arrange for a ‘gate arrest’ by Aberdeen police on some other trumped up/concocted charge, to drag me before another bent sheriff and have me remanded – as was Robert – to keep me out of circulation and gagged over my knowledge (encyclopaedic) of this corrupt crony cultures litany of crimes and cover-ups.
So, please write and enlighten me on the progress of the online petition and how many signatures it is gathering. What will be done with it actually? Will it be copied to the SNP hierarchy or Barlinnie Governor? Alas, the ‘information vacuum’ strikes again and I’m down to guessology on everything. A most frustrating and annoying circumstance for an investigative journalist who thrives on information and research work.
Oh, self-harm central Barlinnie has had another cell-mate murder in E Block, and a couple of nights ago another suicide in B Block. Obviously someone not too impressed with the Barlinnie customer service. Int incidents that are likely to make the front pages of the politically-correct/censured media, eh what?
Non-smokers are a rarity here – only a couple of non-smoking cells. My ‘co-pilot’ (don’t laugh – that’s the official SPS terminology) cell-mate has been released this morning (24 months served – drugs/robbery) so I’m now on my own – probably only for a few hours until the courts’ end-of-day business – then I’ll have another co-pilot. But nice to get the cell sorted out to my military-organisation standard – and quiet, too: telly off, at last.
Last co-pilot was heroin addict/on meds daily – methadone – and a compulsive/obsessive paranoid psychotic – basically a control freak – which didn’t work with me. He was only 45 – same age as my eldest son. What a human mess – no chance of rehabilitation/reform – mind set on getting boozed and some illegal ‘high’.
So – viz non-smoking – there might be a chance I’ll be on my own for a single night at least, and not have to stuff my ears with damp bog roll to cut out the 24/7 noise that reverberates around this voluminous acoustic echo chamber. Cell-door kicking/banging/screaming/shouting – you name it – run out of adjectives and verbs.
Just hope that Belinda’s blog and the protest campaign letter-writing to HMP Barlinnie Governor and the online petition all go viral and attract a storm of vehement and repeated complaints to the hierarchy here to prompt my tag release – fingers crossed. At least I have enough writing pads to keep me going until August 11th. I’ll continue to scribble, and turn the pages of Pickwick’s journal.
Oh, I put my name down for a haircut and library on the ‘please sir’ list each morning this week – so far, to little avail. Nothing new there! Cell-mate waited 3 weeks for a haircut. Waistline continues to reduce and firm up due to the ‘zero anything’ calorie diet. Ha! No fears with high cholesterol and blocked arteries on this swill that the Deputy Governor reckons he eats with relish! Hmmm – home comforts, zilch. Quality of life on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being low) = minus 3! In fact, life in Barlinnie adds up to a big zero in all aspects of a tourist guide assessment – perfectly instanced by today’s lunch: 2 rounds of bread – egg/mayo sandwiches – with ‘salad’, which consisted of 5 thin slices of cucumber – no lettuce or tomato. Obviously the Deputy Governor must have raised an eyebrow at his polystyrene plate with this ‘Oliver Twist’ ‘some more?’ manifestation (I don’t think).
Well, here in my preferred isolation (for now) I’ll cherish its transient value – or hopefully be left in non-smoking solitude for a while – or released on a tag licence.
So having read Rusty’s letter the only one of the five visions I can see them living up to is e.) about cost cutting. The lunch must have cost about five pence but I have to laugh about the word “care”.
Well Rusty has about eight weeks to go and I am sure he will survive this inhumane treatment but if you have a god send him a prayer and let us hope by some fluke he might hear you and give Rusty some comfort.