This will be my final post on this blog. In the three years since I started Prison UK: An Insider’s View it has had a global audience that I could never had anticipated when I tentatively started writing on prison issues. I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts and experiences about our prison system, as well as my views on what needs to be done to address the crisis.
Prison UK started its life as a more permanent record of my comments on prison issues that first appeared on The Guardian’s online pages. These attracted interest and I felt that there was a genuine curiosity among many members of the public about what goes on inside our prisons.
It also became clear that there wasn’t much first-hand information available to people who might be facing a custodial sentence. Family members and friends of prisoners also wanted to ask questions or to gain an insight into the lives that their loved ones might be experiencing behind bars. I did my best to fill in some of the gaps, as well as sharing my personal experiences.
The blog also attracted many hundreds of comments and questions, which I – and others – tried to address. I also learned a great deal from many of these contributors who wanted to share their prison experiences, either as a prisoner or as a family member or as a member of staff. We exchanged many ideas on a wide range of subjects and I would like to thank you all for your contributions.
As some of you may be aware other events have recently overshadowed me and my work, so I have decided to cease blogging on this site. I shall also be withdrawing for any further involvement in prison issues, including comments to the media. My focus in future will be on my family and on pursuing my appeal against conviction so that I can finally clear my name.
As I said recently to one well-wisher it does feel that I’m finally being released from prison myself. I’ve lived and breathed prison issues since 2012, including standing up for other prisoners when I was still inside. As I’ve made clear in earlier posts this advocacy did not make me popular with the prison authorities.
I have decided to leave the posts up as a historical record of what I hope has been a worthwhile project. However, new comments will not be posted or replied to. I am very definitely moving on.