Your donations continue to facilitate Prisoners’ Advice Service’s (PAS) work, providing legal and human rights advice and representation to those who are marginalised and neglected within the prison estate.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, we have delivered six targeted Outreach Clinics for older prisoners and prisoners with disabilities and health problems. These have been held at HMPs Pentonville, Thameside, Leyhill, and Eastwood Park. Our Caseworkers have been able to directly advise and support 63 prisoners during these clinics, providing vital direction regarding their legal and human rights.
In this period, your support has allowed us to open 26 legal cases on behalf of prisoners in the UK who are experiencing unfair treatment. Two of these directly relate to the mistreatment of prisoners suffering from a disability. We have answered over 410 phone-calls from prisoners, and around 40% of our calls tend to be from prisoners who identify as disabled or suffering from a health problem.
The following case studies elucidate on just a few of our successes, which wouldn’t have been possible without the generous contributions of donors.
Case Study 1: PAS advises an elderly prisoner who was the victim of an unprovoked attack
During one of our Outreach sessions within a prison, an older prisoner met with us and told us that he had been assaulted by a prison officer in an unprovoked attack.
He was unsure of how to make a complaint and worried that it might have repercussions on his future safety. Our PAS Advisor explained to him that he could submit a confidential access complaint to the Governor, which he did.
We also wrote a letter to the prison Governor, on his behalf, calling for the prison to investigate this alleged assault.
We were pleased to find out that justice has been served and the officer has been sacked.
Case Study 2: PAS ensures a prisoner with HIV receives his treatment
A prisoner called our advice line urgently, concerned about his health and even his life, as he had not received the daily medication he needs to treat his HIV for the past four days.
Our Caseworker immediately rang the prison and managed to get hold of someone from the Safer Custody Team, who are responsible for ensuring that prisons are safe places, including suicide prevention and self-harm management. He promised to pass on our worries to the prisoner’s Houseblock Healthcare Nurse.
He also wrote a letter directly to Healthcare stating that it was a very serious matter with potential severe consequences for prisoner D.
Happily, several days later, we received a letter from prisoner D confirming that he had received his medication.
PAS is most thankful for the generosity of GlobalGiving, and the willingness of its donors to support an often neglected cause. We rely on the kindness of donors to uphold human rights within the prison estate, and PAS wouldn’t be able to continue its vital work without such donations.