2019-78-cotton traders

2019 – 78 – cotton traders

2019 – 78 – cotton traders

Cotton Traders: the simplest of things…

Hello friend,

Here’s an example of the prison making a mountain out of ‘no hill.’

As prisoners, we are allowed to have some items in possession. In order for us to buy these items the prison have a list of approved suppliers. For clothes, we have M @ M, JD Sports, Grattan, Asda (George), Jacoma, Sports Direct and Cotton Traders. Unfortunately, the provision of catalogues is patchy at best. For example, we are not provided any catalogues for Jacoma or Cotton Traders; and a very limited print out of some clothing items for Sports Direct and George.

Now, I’m no longer a child or teen, or even a young man, so I don’t want to scuff about in baggy bottomed joggers, trainers or sports t-shirts. What’s left? Grattan – too expensive, Jacoma – maybe, but I’ve never seen a catalogue; Cotton Traders – a bit bland and old for me but it’s the best of a bad bunch.

Over the years, my mother has sent me several Cotton Traders catalogues; other prisoners also have them sent in by family. So, I imagine my surprise when I had one stopped by censors and countersigned by a Custody Manager as it had not been sent in by an approved supplier. This has now been through the 2-stage complaint process. You might think common sense would, at some point, prevail, but no. They did not accept that they had no authority to stop this item and may even be breaching Prison Rule 35A; or, that they didn’t provide any CT catalogues – adamantly maintaining that they did; or, that other prisoners (including me) have them sent in – one guy received his only a few days after they stopped mine; or, that they were breaching public law principles – their decision was arbitary, capricious and unreasonable, and was not necessary or proportionate to meet the desired aim (security). The matter has now been referred to the Ombudsman.

They also stopped the enclosed letter my mother sent, which now appears to be lost. This is a far more serious issue which I am referring to the ICO.
The simplest of things…

Be happy, be safe and be kind.
Graham Coutts, 15th December 2019

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