LETTER: Picket line visit

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I visited the picket line at HMP Lewes. There were about 100, confident, feeding themselves from a chuck wagon organised by one of their branch officers.

Good chat. Spoke to three officers and congratulated them taking the action. Speak of the attack is everywhere but rare instances of coming out. Them and railways.

They repeated the same as I’d heard on Radio 4 that morning.

The talks two weeks ago do not answer their fears of violence on the job – both to prison staff and inmates.

I said they faced an ongoing contradiction that because of lack of staff they locked too many prisoners in their cells for too long the violence explodes when the doors are released. Not lock up and with the dire lack of staff violence is ever present.

Total agreement. Left £10 as a token of support, applauded other 97 on my departure past them and then finally waved support a few minutes later from the top deck of my bus to Brighton.

Colin Frost-Herbert

Abinger Place, Lewes