Prisoners have been informed that all mail (letters, cards, drawings) received from friends, family or others will no longer be given directly to them. Instead, prisoners will receive photocopies of their mail. They were informed that the original copies will either be destroyed or posted to a person nominated by the prisoner at the prisoners expense.
We are asking you to put pressure on HMP Eastwood Park in order to retract this decision and to allow prisoners to continue receiving their original mail as they have done so for decades past.
* This is an unnecessary and punitive measure that only harms women and others in Eastwood Park.
* People in prison cannot afford to pay additional postage costs for it to be kept.
* It is a violation of Article 8 of the Human Rights Act “Everyone has the right to respect for his of her private and family life, home and correspondence.”
* A large majority of women and others in Eastwood Park are mothers and parents – communication with their children is vital. Receiving ‘real-life’ materials e.g. drawings from children is essential to their mental health, well-being and relationships.
* Scanning and photocopying mail is an act of surveillance that leads to further criminalisation.
* There is no guarantee of the quality of the photocopies – many are unreadable.
* Eastwood Park is already slow at processing prisoner mail due to staff shortages. Any further delays to the mail process are unacceptable and will harm people.
* The prison is using the guise of ‘spice’ and illicit substances, however, there is little to no evidence to show that intercepting prisoner mail reduces the inflow of substances into the prison. Officer corruption, passing via visits and other measures are far more evidenced routes for drug entry into prisons.
* People in prison depend on post. It is a key tool in preventing self-harm.
If this measure is not withdrawn, we will be forced to take further legal action.