The Men Who Got it Right:
Solitary Confinement Regimes for Children
Just a very brief post to remind people to look out for the independent report of the Howard League for Penal Reform – published at 2.00 pm, this Friday.
And in particular – start checking out Simon’s blog. (link on the list on the right.)
I will be doing a more substantive post later this evening – which is of particular interest – given yesterday’s key-stone cops farrago of unevidenced, spin-doctor written cobblers from Warcup & Gradwell.
I will do a detailed posting on the Howard League report once it’s published.
In the mean time – let’s have some fun. Let’s refresh our memory of the Jersey oligarchy spin which will – and has been – levelled against the report – and how key parts of it will be ignored, or down-played.
The Howard League accepted an invitation from me to come and do their stuff in an investigation into Jersey’s whole youth justice and child custody system.
Issuing a formal, Ministerial invitation to them was one of the last-ditch acts I was able to undertake before the oligarchy sacked me as Health & Social Services Minister.
Like pretty much every single other aspect of the Jersey Child Abuse Disaster – what it is the establishment say on the surface – and what they do and say behind closed doors – are frequently two very different things.
Publicly – the investigation by the Howard League was welcomed – albeit through gritted teeth.
But – behind the scenes the Jersey oligarchy was fearful and terrified.
My understanding is that the report – as was its purpose – takes a broad look at the youth justice & child custody issues of Jersey.
I’ve no doubt they will have had found some examples of very good practice, which they commend.
For example – I’d be very surprised if they didn’t endorse the “parish hall enquiry” system of Jersey – which I’ve always supported as it’s an effective means of responding to troubled children and youths – but in a way which keeps them out of the actual court system.
But – deeply problematically for the Jersey oligarchy – way back in last spring – Simon Bellwood had been sacked – basically for whistle-blowing against the obviously unlawful and abusive solitary confinement regimes. He came to me – I believed him – so they sacked me too.
Throughout that entire episode – from July 2007 – to pretty much the present day – people like Frank Walker, Bill Ogley, Philip Ozouf, Mike Pollard, Marnie Baudians, Jimmy Perchard, Ben Shenton, Phil Dennet, Madeline Davies, Mario Lundy, Mike Vibert, Joe Kennedy – etc – have all rabidly and unremittingly asserted that Bellwood and I were wrong – that there was no problem with the so-called Grand Prix policy, and similar regimes – and that all these Jersey oligarchy people were right.
The establishment put all their chips on the gamble, “no problem with the solitary confinement regimes – all perfectly legal and proper” – and they’ve blown it.
My understanding is that the Howard League report concludes that the regimes which were defended by Walker, Ogley, Ozouf, Pollard & Co were “illegal”.
And, axiomatically, what me and Bellwood were saying was right.
And – what is even more devastating for the establishment is that they cannot claim ignorance.
An initial, four page, legal assessment was prepared at my request by Chris Calendar of the Howard League – in which he explained the simply criminality of such polices as Grand Prix.
He did this last year – before I’d even been sacked. I passed on this opinion to Frank and the rest of the Ministers – who all took not one scrap of notice of it – instead preferring to assist certain civil servants in their oppressions of people like Bellwood & me.
I’m given to understand that that initial, four page legal assessment, is included as an appendix to the main report.
How much more damning do you need?
The entire Jersey cabinet – and 90% of the senior civil servants – conspiring to cover up a manifestly unlawful and abusive child custody practice – which was taking place up until the end of 2006 – and oppressing those who tried to speak out against it and stop it.
Were it not for the fact the elections are imminent – the Jersey Council of Ministers would have to resign en mass over this.
And – comically – but in a kind of tragic way – we see some of these self-same politicians now banging on about the need for better checks and balances.
It, apparently, escaping their attention that that is precisely what I’d identified as THE gross failure with Jersey’s public administration early last year – but, for saying so, simply got oppressed by these very same people – who now attempt to lay claim to the concept that Jersey needs better checks and balances.
You couldn’t make it up.
Check out Simon and my blogs tomorrow, after publication.