Her Majesty’s Prison: Aylesbury….A documentary too far?(ITV)

25 Feb

This was quite a revealing in-depth documentary about Prisoners in HMP Aylesbury. What really caught my attention was the case of a young lad Ryan Buckley.

I didn’t catch what offence he had committed but his storyline was pretty harrowing and my first thoughts were how come these scenes were being shown on TV. Ryan clearly had serious psychological issues. We were shown scenes of him self harming and worse his body being taken down after an attempted suicide.

As a prisoner Ryan rightly has many rights taken away but does that include the right to decide if his struggles in prison is allowed to be used for our “edutainment“? He may have willingly agreed to take part in the programme but  is he really in a state to give informed consent.

I can imagine if he has people outside that care for him watching his unconscious body being cut down from a noose where he tried to hang himself must be heart breaking.

Prisons are for punishment and where possible rehabilitation. “Edutainment” which I am sure is what it is being sold as, is not within the  remit of the Prison Service and programmes like this take us down a road we may not want to travel on.

5 Responses to “Her Majesty’s Prison: Aylesbury….A documentary too far?(ITV)”

  1. Dawn Wales February 26, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    Yes I totally agree with your post above, poor Ryan , why is he in there, and not a secure unit ? , the officers show how he is on constant watch ?, think you will find that some of the officers are also playing up to the cameras being in there, if they wasn’t Ryan would certainly not be watched, my son had terrible mental disorders from a very young age, he asked to be put on constant watch November 2011 in Aylesbury prison and was ignored, he is no longer here, they had cut him down before this attempt so they knew he would do it, there is a very different side to Aylesbury prison believe me, they only want to show you one side, and that is how good the officers are, and what a hard job they have, when it is the minority of them causing these young men to get so worked up by the way they are treated and spoken too.

    • Mo February 26, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

      Absolute rot! Any prisoner who presents the level of risk of self harm and/or suicide demonstrated by the individual in this programme would be placed on a constant watch – even those whose actions are purely manipulative (i.e.behaving like a toddler holding its breath until it goes blue to get what it wants) of which there are many! To do otherwise would be too great a risk for the individual and no establishment would make such a decision; for not only the welfare of the individual, but also from a purely reputational basis. Jo public are all for spouting off about how prison should be unforgiving and harsh, yet as soon as there is any suggestion that staff have even looked at a prisoner wrong they are quick to damn.

      Look at the recent case at Frankland prison were a prisoner brutally assaulted 3 members of staff with a broken bottle just because they opened his door- an open a shut case you would have thought. But oh no; 12 ‘good and true’ citizens find him not guilty on the basis of an allegation (which was investigated and found to be groundless) that he had previously been assaulted by staff and his actions were due to PTSD.

      Every day prison staff manage what the average Daily Mail reader would refer to as the “dregs of society” and with little exception do so with dignity in the face of almost constant abuse, threats and the risk of assault. Whilst it is indefensible, it is understandable if some are occasionally abrupt or worse – prison officers are not bred, they are drawn from the community and just like the general population some are arses!

      • Dawn wales February 27, 2013 at 9:22 am #

        Manipulative? , think you are talking about something you have no idea about, maybe yes in some prisoners cases you might be correct, but mixing them up with genuine prisoners that have had mental health problems for years is a totally different matter, prison officers would not know that as they have no mental health training, but obviously my post has touched a nerve so I am assuming you work for the prison service !!!, I am not saying it is at all right to assault prison officers either, my point is my son should have been in a secure mental unit where his needs would of been met and treated accordingly. Perhaps this is where it went so wrong for my son, he was thought of as manipulative !! ,where where the officers when Ryan had a noose around his neck?, short staffed again I suppose.

  2. Dizziee February 27, 2013 at 12:24 am #

    I know young ryan from school he was such
    A good kid growing up he fell in to drugs
    Ended up owing dealer’s 1000′s he got desperate and starting stealing I know he has done wrong but he should be better looked after his on a self destruct path

  3. algaeholics March 24, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    Prison’s are simply not the place for those with mental health issues as is evident with Ryan.

    Given that an officer described him as having a low mental age I don’t think he could reasonably have given consent to his filming.

    The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) would protect such individuals from being taken advantage of by predators – including the media.

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