John Bowden, A5026DM, HMP Swaleside, Brabazon Road, Eastchurch, Isle of Sheppey, Kent, ME12 4AX. [Updated: 08/09/16]
John Bowden, convicted in 1982 for a brutal murder, has spent his entire adult life in prison. Politicised by his incarceration he’s regularly paid the price for his resistance through long periods of isolation, beatings and treatment amounting to torture. He has never been broken and is one of the UK’s most articulate and vociferous prison writers and a powerful advocate of prisoner’s rights.
Kevan Thakrar, A4907AE, HMP Woodhill, Tattenhoe St, Milton Keynes MK4 4DA, UK. [correct as of: 23/07/17]
Kevan Thakrar was wrongly convicted of murder and attempted murder in 2008 using multiple hearsay evidence under ‘joint enterprise’, the legal rule which means that any member of a group can be convicted of a crime, regardless of whether they played any role in it. Kevan wasn’t present when the murder took place, but he was sentenced to life with a minimum of 35 years in jail. He was aged just 20.
Kevan has been consistently subjected to vengeful abuse and violence from prison guards for speaking out about his and other prisoners treatment. In March 2010 Kevan was charged with assaulting three prison officers in HMP Frankland, but was subsequently found not guilty of the assault in a landmark legal acquittal, where the finger of blame was instead pointed directly back at the Prison Service, whose regime of racism and violence was clearly exposed throughout the four-week trial.
Despite being found not guilty Kevan has been held ever since in solitary confinement in the notorious Close Supervision Centres, the UK equivalent to the F.I.E.S. regime in Spain, and the Supermax in the US. The ‘Prisons within the Prisons’ exist to facilitate the suppression, mental breakdown and murder of those who rebel within the prison system, those who ask too many questions, complain too many times, lash out in frustration, or are irreducible. Despite all this, Kevan continues to speak out about the injustices suffered there by himself and other prisoners around him.
or see our page of writings about and by Kevan[:ru]John Bowden
6729, HMP Barlinnie, 81 Lee Avenue, Riddrie, Glasgow, G33 2QX.