Exclusive report by The BRISTOLIAN on Horfield Prison, submitted by inside sources in-the-know including prisoners and prison staff
Readers may have heard recently about the current state of UK prisons? Or about how Germany refuses to extradite a wanted man to the UK because its ‘prisons do not meet acceptable standards’? Or you may have been unfortunate enough to have experienced Bristol’s own HMP shitshow yourself as staff, visitor or inmate.
There have been eight suicides and one murder in Horfield over the past year. Prisoners are incarcerated up to 22 hours a day, the majority squeezed two to a cell built for one.
Wings are run by drug gangs supplied daily by drones or throw-overs. Violence, arising from overcrowding, squalor and neglect of care and basic facilities, is a daily occurrence.
Governors are despised for being incompetent. Staff are demoralised, largely untrained with an extremely high turnover. ‘Trouble’ – not mundane assaults on addicts in debt by organised crime – is met with ‘extreme violence’ by ‘The Nationals’ (the screw national riot squad).
An August 2023 letter from the House of Commons Justice Committee to Tory Minister for Prisons and Probation, Damian ‘Himmler’ Hinds, states that both Bristol prisons (including Eastwood Park women’s prison) are among ‘the worst in the country’. And Himmler has done absolutely jack shit since then.
Sources have told us that recently three prisoners got up on HMP Horfield’s roof using the drainpipes. They stayed there until the National goons ended the protest with their favourite remedy – extreme violence. We were also told that many prisoners in the Segregation Wing are now on a ‘Dirty Protest’, where ‘it stinks to high heaven’.
The murder took place in a shared cell where one prisoner strangled another overnight. The victim’s absence was missed at roll call, and his body only discovered AFTER the murderer ‘got tooled up’ and injured another prisoner in the showers. Reflecting the abysmal level of prison care available, the culprit’s descent into psychosis went ‘unnoticed’.
The BRISTOLIAN demands that – at the very least – prisoners should have their full rights, and not have to endure torture fit for the Middle Ages. But this is not all. Prison is a BARBARIC, CRIMINAL institution of state violence AGAINST THE WORKING CLASS. It should be ABOLISHED.
We’d never tolerate such cruelties if HMP Horfield was a zoo. So how come we accept it for caging human beings?