Just like ambulance chasing the law profession has started to chase police Black Marias. While we think that prisoners are inside stern prisons contemplating the consequences of their evil ways, it has transpired that a whole industry of Paddywagon chasers has grown up alongside them.
Many law firms now advertise within the prison community hoping to identify cases where the easy pickings of separating the taxpayers from their money can be found.
These law firms are ably assisted by publications that are aimed specifically at prisoners. Most people will not be aware that such publications exist.
'Inside Time' claims to be the National Newspaper for Prisoners. It is a not for profit organisation that contributes to the New Bridge Foundation, which was founded in 1956. Inside Time openly touts for advertising business from solicitors.
'ConVerse' claims to'do much more than publish the highest circulation national prisons newspaper!' this publication was launched in 2007 and 'in response to a lack of professional monthly prisons publishing, ConVerse doubled in size and became the highest circulation national newspaper for prisons in its first 18 months. Its contributors are wide and varied including:
– Director General Phil Wheatley
– Stephen Shaw, Prisons Ombudsman
– Chief Prisons Inspector Anne Owers
Our advertisers have respected our stance on requiring experience in prison law as a prerequisite to advertising with us.'
What we now have, far from prisoners contemplating the errors of their ways, is a group of lawyers actively touting for prisoners to see if there is a chink in the armour of our law enforcement. Encouraged by these two publications. From false imprisonment to being attacked by other inmates, it's all seen as the fault of the prison authorities so easy pickings. As the only people in the UK with any money are government departments no wonder the legal profession is targeting them where they can. There obviously is currently not enough trade in contract work and conveyancing for example.
The recession must be biting deep into the pockets of the Law Society if their members are reduced to stooping this low for business.
This has come about presumably because it is not worth suing prisoners when one attacks another, but relying on the state's 'duty of care' for inmates in order to take chunks out of the public purse. Is our prison system so broken that we have to rely on this sort of action to correct wrongs?
The solicitors involved will no doubt claim a public duty whilst sitting opposite their most unsavoury clients.