TRANSPARENT TRANSACTIONS

by David Breakspear

As an active prison reform campaigner, I have wanted the fences and walls which surround our prisons to become metaphorically invisible. But why is this important to me?

As a former prisoner who, due to sentence and not a conviction, will always have to disclose parts of my criminal record, and who will forever have my life open to scrutiny, privacy is not an option; I had or have no choice in the matter. If I’m asked, I must tell. This despite the fact that I am not involved with the system as a ‘resident’ or ‘service-user’ anymore and no longer considered a risk to society. A reformed character, my new label? Continue Reading

THE TECHNOLOGY REVOLUTION

computer prison study 1

by David Breakspear

“ICT and digital systems in prison must support more flexible access to learning that is tailored to the needs of individual learners and enables participation in distance and other learning.”  (Coates, 2016)

People are sent to prison as punishment for a crime they are alleged to have committed. I say alleged as I am no longer confident that a finding of guilt in court is an indication of whether the alleged guilty party, is in fact, guilty; however, this is a separate debate.

Why are ICT and digital systems, and of course education, important in prison? Continue Reading

NATURE OR NURTURE

by David Breakspear

CW: mentions suicide, self-harm

In my previous article ‘Consequence of Conscience’, I mention a work titled Suicide by sociologist Émile Durkheim. In Suicide, Durkheim introduced us to the term ‘anomie’, suggesting it to be a breakdown of social norms resulting in a lack of standards and values. He also used this same term and definition to explain a reason as to why some members of society embark on a path of crime or ‘deviance’ – straying from the norm. Durkheim saw deviance as an inevitable part of life which is needed for innovation and change.Continue Reading

CONSEQUENCE OF CONSCIENCE

prison jail 1

by David Breakspear

CW: mentions suicide

Recently appointed Home Secretary Priti Patel stated in an interview that she wants criminals to “literally feel terror” at the thought of committing crime. In my opinion, to make a statement like that shows how far removed from reality some of our politicians are.

In America, a lot of the States still use the death penalty. I would say that is the ultimate consequential terror for anyone to face. In the UK, the final execution took place as recent as 1964; in fact, the death penalty in the UK was only, totally completely abolished in 1998.

If the sceptre of losing one’s own life is not enough of a consequence to stop breaking the  law, then what is the Home Secretary’s version of ‘terror’?Continue Reading

TRANSPARENT REFORM

prison wall tower reform

by David Breakspear

It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.
N. Mandela

A message I have carried whilst campaigning for reforms in our prison system has been one of making the walls of justice invisible. The walls that ensconce societies; mums, dads, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, other family members and loved ones and/or friends.

As someone that became, somewhat, institutionalised to the safety and comfort of prison, I saw those walls as keeping people out. I also saw this as a good thing. How ironic then, that here I am now, writing an article promoting transparency to those very same walls that were my protectors.Continue Reading

TOGETHER WE CAN

derek bentley uk justice

by David Breakspear

It wasn’t until February 2016 when the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, in a criminal case under the doctrine of ‘joint enterprise’ (JE), decided that intent and not just foresight would need to be proven to find a secondary suspect guilty of a crime, such as murder.

One of the most famous JE cases saw, at 9am on January 28th, 1953, 19-year-old Derek Bentley hung, at the hands of Albert Pierrepoint at HMP Wandsworth in London. Before I continue, please bear in mind that the person who “let him have it,” the one who pulled the trigger that killed the policeman Sidney Miles, Christopher Craig, was released in May 1963. Ten years after Derek was hung. Three years before Derek’s remains were removed from the prison burial ground to a family grave. Two lives were taken, one by Christopher, one by the state. Continue Reading

WHERE DO YOU STAND?

By David Breakspear

“Freire’s central notion is that ‘hope’, as an idea, ‘is rooted in [our] incompleteness’ and that what makes us human is the ‘constant search’ to become more fulfilled. This is something we pursue collaboratively, and in communion with others.” (Smyth, J., Critical Pedagogy for Social Justice, 2011)

The question I ask, ‘Where do you stand?’, is in relation to our prison system. I could ask instead: “Does your perspective and belief of prison match the experience of those it holds?”Continue Reading

CORE CIVIC’S CORPORATE CULTURE OF HIDING STAFF FELONIES UPON IMMIGRANTS

By David Breakspear

Part Three of Three


In concluding this three-part series (Part One, Part Twoof documented sex crimes by Core Civic upon immigrant inmates, supported by a sworn Affidavit (by @FEDSBANE) and a further witness, The Norwich Radical now chooses to shine a light on high level Core Civic Management and their response to these crimes: to examine if their replies are consistent with their stated ethics policies, and if felonies remain unresolved.

We determine that the best way to examine the angle of Management replies is to simply quote from Donaldson’s Affidavit, since Core Civic does not contest it.

In reference to Assistant Warden Shawn Gillis from McRae Correctional Institution, who had influence over the voyeurism zoom cameras, and subsequent retaliation upon Donaldson for so reporting, Donaldson writes:

“Assistant Warden and PREA Coordinator Shawn Gillis was also removed from McRae, but then promoted to Warden of Adams County Correctional Center in Mississippi. This resembles THE CATHOLIC SHUFFLE, where deviant priests were reshuffled to other locations to make debased problems go away. But the latest news is that under Warden Gillis, the BOP contract at Adams CCC has been forfeit. The problem with Gillis persists.”

Could it be there is an effort at Core Civic to actually hide and reshuffle those caught committing sex felonies against immigrants?

In Donaldson’s Affidavit, he further states:

“At no time were official INVESTIGATION PROTOCOLS followed regarding my sexual harassment grievance, but the precise opposite was the practice. See:

http://www.corecivic.com/the-prison-rape-elimination-act-of-2003-prea

Additionally, the following Corporate Management at Core Civic with specific responsibilities in areas discussed in this Affidavit have refused to communicate with me in any way whatsoever, in order to correct the cited abuses and ethics violations:

  • Eric Pierson – PREA Boss at Core Civic in charge of stated investigation protocols:

http://www.corecivic.com/the-prison-rape-elimination-act-of-2003-prea

  • Scott Craddock Corporate Ethics and Compliance Officer

https://www.corecivic.com/hubfs/_files/Code%20Of%20Conduct%20(CoreCivic).pd

  • Damon Hininger CEO of Core Civic (and all those listed in the link below)

http://www.corecivic.com/about/executive-leadership

  • Cameron Hopewell Managing Director, Investor Relations

http://ir.corecivic.com/contact-ir

  • Amanda Gilchrist, Public Affairs Director

http://www.corecivic.com/newsroom

The organised silence and suppression to cover up these Core Civic crimes are highly coordinated, and provoke 18 USC 371 Conspiracy statutes (Exhibit One).

It never mattered what evidence or witnesses I could provide. My report of sexual harassment against Core Civic leadership was arranged to be rendered stillborn upon arrival. It was doomed & cursed by design; it never had a chance.

Core Civic knew I had exposed their sex crimes, and have committed still more crimes in their efforts to cover it up.

Since Core Civic thwarted my right to report crimes at every turn, their actions may qualify oversight from 18 U.S. Code § 241 Conspiracy against rights &  18 U.S. Code § 242 Deprivation of rights under color of law & 18 U.S. Code § 1510 Obstruction of criminal investigations & 18 U.S. Code § 1505 Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees, as the grievance proceeding herein are overseen by the Bureau of Prisons.

As retaliation against my person for reporting crime is at issue, further statutes may have a jealous interest in this case, such as: 18 U.S. Code § 1512 Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant & 18 U.S. Code § 1513 Retaliating against a witness, victim, or an informant.

Despite cited public policies representing that matters herein raised are to be ethically resolved with transparency, Core Civic orphans quoted ethics nonetheless, with misleading abandon:

http://www.corecivic.com/about/corporate-ethics

https://www.corecivic.com/hubfs/_files/Code%20Of%20Conduct%20(CoreCivic).pdf

https://www.corecivic.com/hubfs/_files/CoreCivic%20Human%20Rights%20policy%20statement.pdf

http://ir.corecivic.com/

http://www.corecivic.com/hubfs/_files/2018-ESGReport.pdf

http://www.corecivic.com/about/social-responsibility

None of these Core Civic publicly listed PROTOCOLS FOR PREA VIOLATIONS were followed in the present case:

https://www.corecivic.com/hubfs/_files/PREA/CCA-14-02.pdf?t=1539962057757

In fact, after my grievance of sexual harassment was placed in 2017 and the subsequent companywide cover-up; Damon Hininger, the CEO of Core Civic, did on February 11th 2019 also receive an email from me detailing the evidence. Damon then sold $439,683.19 in Core Civic stock, based on non-public information which had matured since 2017:

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1070985/000120919119014990/xslF345X03/doc4.xml

Damon Hininger has since blocked my ability to question him on unresolved Core Civic sexual harassment issues on Twitter, and rejects my emails, with the hypocrisy of his own cited ethics pronouncements, claiming that under his leadership Core Civic are… “governing ourselves at high standards of ethics and transparency…real-time public transparency keeps us accountable — to ourselves, our partners and our stakeholders — and improves our ability to better the public good.” See:

http://www.corecivic.com/news/corecivics-first-ever-esg-report-shows-more-progress-toward-unprecedented-reentry-goals

https://www.corecivic.com/hubfs/_files/Code%20Of%20Conduct%20(CoreCivic).pdf

Any claim of Core Civic’s high ethics and transparency is consciously misleading, and knowingly false.”

Either Corey Donaldson has committed a felony by perjuring himself in his Affidavit, or Core Civic proper and Management are guilty of felonies. The only question that remains now is if American law enforcement care enough about felonies on immigrants to decide where the felonies lay.

Brian Martin of the University of Wollongong in Australia, is an expert in the field of whistleblowing and has written extensively on the subject.

In my interview with Brian, he declared that, “Whistle-blowers regularly report that official channels (regulators, appeal procedures, courts, etc.) are unhelpful. They give the appearance of providing protection and justice (and thus reassure the public that all’s well) but not the substance.

Featured image credit: Anthony Garand


The Norwich Radical is non-profit and run by volunteers. All funds raised help cover the maintenance costs of our website, as well as contributing towards future projects and events. Please consider making a small contribution and fund a better media future.

PRIVATISE(D)EVASTATION

1

By David Breakspear

Cw: suicide, self-harm

“The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

Once again, we witness more self-inflicted deaths in custody routinely followed by lessons not being learned, recommendations being ignored, and worst of all — even in cases where an inquest jury has delivered a unanimous decision on a failure to provide an individual with a duty of care — no action being taken against those who failed to provide the care that loved ones and families of those in prison have a right to expect.Continue Reading

SLOWLY, SLOWLY: CORRUPTION IN US (AND UK) PRISONS

1

By David Breakspear

I was recently asked to be a guest speaker on an American live radio show to talk about the collateral damage of injustice and corruption in US prisons. The show is aired from Colorado Springs, so in order to be able to talk about local issues, as I usually cover correctional facilities in Florida, I set about researching prisons in Colorado – which also led me to Louisiana – and I came across a company formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) that changed their name to Core Civic in October 2016 during ongoing scrutiny of the private prison industry in the US.Continue Reading

R AND R

By David Breakspear

A slightly misleading title. It should be RJ and R, but it just didn’t have the same ring.

So, what is RJ and R? Restorative Justice and Rehabilitation.

Why am I taking a closer look at these?

Continue Reading

FILL THE FOUNDATIONS

1

by David Breakspear

CW: suicide

Immediately prior to my last period of incarceration, I had hit what I thought was rock bottom and was left with two choices: in life, things are either growing or they are dying. I cannot lie and say that my first choice was not the latter.

However, writing this piece is proof that I changed my perspective.Continue Reading

AND JUSTICE FOR ALL?

By Gunnar Eigener

CW: sexual assault, rape

Crime is a constant in society. The effects seep into many different aspects, from devaluing houses on a street to scaring off tourists from a whole country. While we are accustomed to people getting away with burglaries, assaults and even murders, we are taught to believe that those who commit the gravest crimes will be punished.Continue Reading

RATS TO RICHES

by David Breakspear

CW: suicide

“Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time!”. In terms of reform and progress within our penal system, the proverb is about as much use as eating soup with a fork. For a start, how would you know?

Unfortunately, we do need prisons. Ever since Eve – reportedly – ate the forbidden fruit from the garden of Eden, crime has been in existence in human narratives. Crime, either directly or indirectly, affects us all; victims of crime or the family/loved ones/friends of the victim, perpetrator of crime, or, yet again, the family/friends/loved ones of the perpetrators. You may even pay higher insurance premiums due to crime. Crime affects all, therefore, crime is the responsibility of all, especially the prison system.Continue Reading

THE UK’S INSTITUTIONAL RACISM

by Gunnar Eigener

Institutional racism has, for many years, been the more unpleasant side of societies throughout the world. Black and other minority communities have long been oppressed by predominately white police departments. Crimes within these communities have rarely received the attention that equivalent crimes in white neighbourhoods have. Civil rights marches have been going on for years, social media tracks the violence of police forces, and the alternative media exposes the racist actions of institutions and establishment figures. But has anything really changed? Have we made any progress that truly shows a change in perception? Sadly, it doesn’t seem so.Continue Reading

A DUNCE’S GUIDE TO CONFEDERATE AND ART CRITICISM

by Richard Worth

Often my articles here in the Arts section follow a similar pattern; I observe what I think is a poor defence or poor criticism of a subject, give my contrary reasoning and cast some shade, then tried to conclude with what I think is a better approach to art in general. The overall meta-thesis tends to be “artists and audiences need to be smarter and less sensitive”.

Whilst I do have fun writing such pieces, I feel that my critical pattern is par for the course for liberalism in general. There is an overwhelming feeling of being against something rather than for something. Politically I can reason myself around this. If I’m against inequality in the workplace, I’m de facto for equality. With the arts though it can make me feel like a grumpy old curmudgeon who hates everything and writes from a place of negativity and harsh criticism; To remedy that I wanted to write about something that I was excited about. I failed.

Not only is it a great crime drama with a nunchuck-wielding lead named Dashiell Bad Horse, but the show will have an almost entirely Native American cast and give a voice and representation to the issue of a people marginalised and mistreated in their own land.

What I wanted to write about is the upcoming television adaptation of Jason Aaron and R.M. Guéra comics series Scalped. I love Scalped. It’s a gritty western-crime-noir about an undercover F.B.I. agent on Prairie Rose Indian Reservation. It’s brutal, tense and amazing. Its depiction of life on the “rez” and the struggles of Native Americans feel raw and honest and uncomfortable. I’m not the type of guy who gets super excited for either comic book adaptations or TV series, but this is different. Not only is it a great crime drama with a nunchuck-wielding lead named Dashiell Bad Horse, but the show will have an almost entirely Native American cast and give a voice and representation to the issue of a people marginalised and mistreated in their own land.

Continue Reading

50 YEARS – HOW FAR HAVE WE REALLY COME?

1

by Alex Powell

CW: mentions homophobia and homophobic abuse

Last week marked 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act 1967 entered into law, in the first step towards the decriminalisation of homosexuality. There’s been a great deal of coverage of this milestone in British media, including some brilliant, informative TV programming (I highly recommend the BBC’s drama ‘Against the Law’). But it is Owen Jones’s recent Guardian column ‘Hatred of LGBTQ people still infects society. It’s no time to celebrate’ that seems to have been most prominent. Jones’ arguments are certainly justified, but commentary like his risks misrepresenting the situation that now faces LGBT+ people in this country. It’s not all bad.

Continue Reading

REVIEW: LAS CHICAS DEL CABLE

by Carmina Masoliver

CW: discussion of domestic violence

An eight episode series, Las Chicas del Cable (The Cable Girls) begins with a woman killing her friend’s husband – part self-defence, part accident – also shooting her friend. It’s a drama full of love stories, as well as crime and mystery, yet domestic violence is a major theme that runs through the series. Set in 1928 in Madrid, it shows the impossibility of leaving an abusive relationship in a patriarchal society, where even the law protects men who are abusers.Continue Reading

THOUGHTS FROM THE FENCES – YARL’S WOOD & THE IMPORTANCE OF IMMIGRANT RIGHTS

by Lotty Clare

Content warning: mentions violence against women, abuse, rape, self-harm, suicide, racism, harassment, homophobia.

Last Saturday, a group of UEA students and Norwich residents travelled to a protest at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire. This protest was the fifth Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary (MFJ) has organised to shut down detention centres. As I approached the building, hidden inside an industrial estate, surrounded by fields, in the middle of nowhere, it was just as intimidating and depressing as 6 months ago when I went to Yarl’s Wood for the first time. It looks like a prison, except that it is ‘worse than prison, because you have no rights’, as former detainee Aisha Shua put it. Some women are in Yarl’s Wood because their visa expired, others because their asylum claim was unsuccessful. They have committed no crime. And yet they can be detained there indefinitely.

Continue Reading

GRAFFITI IS A CRIME

by James Anthony

On the face of it, rural train stations don’t feel as though they should be particularly thought provoking places, and they’re probably the last place you’d look to find an inspiring piece of community art. ‘Community art’ in this sense may be bending the meaning of the term a little too far for some – what I saw outside Wymondham train station the other evening were simply thinly scrawled words spray painted onto an old grey wall.

The words were ‘graffiti is a crime’.

An amusing phrase to go alongside the obvious activity – but as I walked past debating whether or not I could be bothered to take a picture or bring it up in pub conversation later, it got me thinking more and more about how graffiti is viewed in society. I don’t condone defacing clearly private property; I believe graffiti is an art form that needs to be given space.Continue Reading

RACIAL PLURALISM IN THE OLYMPICS

by Julian Canlas

The 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil, has resulted in a lot of firsts. Nine countries are celebrating their first ever gold medal, including first-time entrant Kosovo, whose sovereignty the Olympics committee recognised only two years ago. The Refugee Olympic Team (ROT) was also formed to ‘bring global attention to the magnitude of the refugee crisis’. Despite not having won any medals, their significance lies in their representation. The ROT acts as a symbol of hope to those who have been forcefully displaced from their home country that the dreams of these displaced athletes will happen despite all the unfair hardships, injustices and atrocities they have experienced.

Continue Reading

FIVE WAYS TO MAKE THE GREEN PARTY BETTER

by Alan Borgars

We, the people of Britain, currently face a difficult and uncertain future, especially in light of the recent decision to vote to leave the EU by a margin of 3.78%, or just over one million votes. The United Kingdom still suffers from a self-serving, cold-hearted, money-loving government whose main intent is to keep themselves in power indefinitely by any means they can and continually oppress everyone who is not rich and powerful.Continue Reading

RODRIGO DUTERTE: PRO LGBT, PROLETARIAT DICTATORSHIP

3

by Julian Ignacio Canlas

‘I don’t care if I go to hell as long as the people I serve will live in paradise.’
Rodrigo Duterte

Disclaimer: mentions rape

Rodrigo Duterte’s personal politics is defined by a confusing blend of liberal and authoritarian beliefs. His politics have certainly elicited a wide variety of reactions, capturing the imagination of even the Western media outlets through racist depictions of international politics — or not. Even more varied and stranger are his supporters, ranging from religious leaders to the LGBT community, to sex workers and farmers. So how exactly did the new president of the Philippines, dubbed ‘The Punisher’, manage to enthrall the masses?

Continue Reading

UN PEACEKEEPING’S SEXUAL ABUSE PROBLEM, PART I

by Zoe Harding

TW: Sexual assault, rape, genocide.

Founded in 1948, the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations is intended to ‘help countries torn by conflict to create the conditions for lasting peace.’ Their role is not as direct military intervention during conflicts; instead, they observe ongoing peace processes and stop ceasefires and peace treaties from collapsing back into armed conflict, while also working to help refugees and the displaced. Peacekeepers aren’t just soldiers- they also employ aid workers, diplomats, medics, engineers and negotiators. They’re the ‘world’s army’, with their distinctive blue helmets and white-painted vehicles, and in their prime they’ve stood up to global superpowers and stabilised seemingly irredeemable trouble spots.

Despite very public failures like the disastrous Somalia mission and the failed attempts to prevent genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda, the United Nations continues to operate peacekeeping missions around the world. They work to protect and improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the world – those living in some of the world’s worst war zones.

Unfortunately, that’s the problem.

Continue Reading