Ex-Cardiff Prisoner Slams Welsh Prison Service in New Book
Michael O'Brien spent eleven years in prison for a crime he didn't commit – the so-called Cardiff Newsagent Murder. In order to clear his name, he studied law whilst under lock and key, and worked tirelessly to ensure that his conviction was finally quashed in December 1999.
'Prisons Exposed' gives an in-depth analysis of the prison system as Michael O'Brien recounts the time he spent in jail. The experiences of other prisoners as well as prison and probation officers are also accounted for with detailed examples of beatings, cover ups, racism and mistreatment of prisoners in Wales.
The author outlines the very many weaknesses within the prison system, calls for more devolution for law and prison services, and argues that the prison reform needs to be much higher on the current political agenda.
“I hope that my book will bring about some serious discussion on reform of the prison system which is long overdue,” says Michael O'Brien. “I can recall prior to the 2010 general election David Cameron saying 'vote for change'. Does this extend to the prisoners and the prison system? Winston Churchill once stated in 1910 that we can judge a society by the way we treat our prisoners. My own experiences and what I have witnessed first-hand of how prisoners are treated, leave a lot to be desired and go completely against the sentiments of Winston Churchill - and, more notably, Prison Service Policy."
“One former prisoner, who is suing the prison, said 'In places like Whitmoor, it becomes apparent that prison officers don't mix with black people. For some reason they see us as some kind of threat and regularly stereotype black people.' It appears the only black people they regularly have contact with are prisoners. This prisoner explains that while he was at Whitmoor Prison, he was put in a strip cell. Officers then started hurling racist remarks about him and his mother. He felt frightened that they could seriously harm him and realised he couldn't do anything if the did."
"Welsh Prisoners and their families get a very rough deal in relation to the prison system. More often than not, Welsh prisoners with lengthy sentences are shipped out to English prisons away from their loved ones."
The book is dedicated to Michael O'Brien's son, Dylan Michael James O'Brien, who sadly passed away 15/06/12 aged 2 years 4 months.
add me to Y Lolfa's e-list