Content warning – this article contains references to racism, violence, and sexual violence inside the prison system
Prison abolition campaigners are calling for six prison officers at HMP Full Sutton to be fired, after a series of alleged racist attacks on prisoners at the prison. Campaign group Anti-Carceral Solidarity tweeted:
📢📢Action Alert: HMP Full Sutton📢📢
CW: Racist and islamophobic state violence.
OFFICERS RESPONSIBLE FOR RACIST VIOLENCE IDENTIFIED
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— Anti-Carceral Solidarity (@AntiCarceral) July 20, 2021
The Canary has reported on the repeated allegations of “racist violence” at HMP Full Sutton this year. On 27 April, we reported claims that a Black Muslim prisoner named Dwayne Fulgence was assaulted by white officers in the prison’s Segregation Unit. A police complaint was made at the time. Earlier this month, we reported on fresh allegations that a further attack was made against another Black Muslim Prisoner.
Also this year, we reported on the alleged mistreatment of Kevan Thakrar, a Muslim prisoner held in Full Sutton’s Segregation Unit.
The Ministry of Justice has denied any wrongdoing on all of the above occasions.
Yet another attack on a Black Muslim prisoner
Anti-Carceral Solidarity claimed on 25 July that yet another young, Black Muslim man – a prisoner named Fabio Serrano – received a gash to the head after being ‘jumped’ by prison officers carrying riot shields. Its tweet reads:
Officers jumped Fabio with shields when he refused to stand against the back wall of his cell until he was allowed a phone call. He sustained a cut to his head that has not been treated. No-one should be beaten for asking to communicate with their loved ones. 2/
— Anti-Carceral Solidarity (@AntiCarceral) July 25, 2021
The Ministry of Justice has – again – denied the allegations. A Prison Service spokesperson told The Canary:
These claims are false – we have zero-tolerance for discrimination and always take firm action where necessary.
This dispassionate denial is almost identical to all of the previous responses that The Canary has received from the Ministry of Justice over the repeated claims of racist attacks at HMP Full Sutton.
Campaigners demand dismissal of officers responsible
Anti-Carceral solidarity claims to have discovered the names of six officers responsible for some of the “racist attacks” at Full Sutton. It’s asking people to email or call governor Gareth Sands and call for them to be “fired immediately” for gross misconduct in order to:
end the impunity with which these racist attacks are taking place.
The Prison Service – as always – denies Anti-Carceral Solidarity’s allegations against the officers.
Pattern of violence
These alleged attacks are part of a pattern of violence against Black prisoners. The Canary previously reported that Black people:
are massively over-represented in the prison population. Black people make up 10% of the prison population in the UK, despite only accounting for 3% of the UK’s overall population.
Black people are much more likely to die in prison than any other group of people. A 2014 report by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) shows that between 1991 and September 2014, a massive 52% of the total number of people who died in custody in suspicious circumstances were Black, and that the majority of them died in prison. The same report also found that 34% of the total number of people who died in custody were either Asian or Middle-Eastern.
Over the course of this year, there have been multiple claims of assaults and mistreatment of Black and Muslim prisoners by prison guards in HMP Full Sutton’s Segregation Unit. The Ministry of Justice’s denials are ringing increasingly hollow. It’s important to answer the calls from campaigners and demand an end to this racialised violence behind the prison walls.
Featured image via Max Pixel
- Write a letter to Fabio Serrano, who Anti-Carceral Solidarity claim was injured after prison guards attacked him with riot shields.
- Find out about Community Action on Prison Expansion’s campaign to prevent the construction of new mega-prisons in the UK.
- Take a look at this reading list on prison abolition put together by Abolitionist Futures and this Sisters Uncut guide to abolition.
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