he was sentenced to 10 years to run concurrently with his sentence. On the 23rd day, Alan Lord was called down from the roof to talk to the authorities about meeting the prisoners' demands, but he was jumped by a snatch squad and shipped off to another prison. ", Taylor served his time and was released. earlier—and there had been some limited action. Liquid Cosh. The riot began on 1 April 1990 when prisoners took control of the prison chapel, and the riot quickly spread throughout most of the prison. Others opened doors with iron bars and fire extinguishers. Many, like Alan, had also been in the care system as children. White's was the only death among the Rule 43 prisoners, but that was not through lack of trying by the rioters. Their cells were designed facing north west so that it never shone in. "It was always brutal in Strangeways," Lord says. He knew the misery of life inside and prison officers’ brutality only too well. He took the microphone from Father Noel Proctor, who had been addressing the congregation, and spoke to the 309 prisoners present. It will take more resistance to finish off what the Strangeways inmates started. If you're involved in activity, And in January last year prisoners at HMP Oakwood near Birmingham took part in their second protest in as many months. The biggest rebellion in the history of British prisons took place in Strangeways in Manchester in 1990. This was followed by applause and angry cheers. The Strangeways Riot had started. Having spent time in more than 38 prisons, I can personally testify to some of the brutal practices, from my first taste of incarceration in 1975 up to and, in some cases, beyond the riots. During the siege battles took place between riot teams and prisoners. He was thrown over the landing and then attacked by a gang of young prisoners as well. The Woolf Inquiry heard evidence from both prisoners and staff that in the weeks preceding the revolt, dozens of messages were given to the authorities in the prison warning that there was to be a major protest in the chapel, some even giving the date as 1 April and naming the ringleaders. The tablets were paracetamol because everyone, not surprisingly, had a headache. “You’ve got inmates coming into jails and in their first week—the most vulnerable time—they are being made to wear prison uniforms and sleep in a bare cell.”, Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'. Many, like Alan, had also been in the care system as children. Great Wikipedia has got greater.. Leo. “There’s still 20 prisons slopping out. By 25 April, there were just five prisoners left on the roof. Welcome to the Liquid Cosh facebook page. Some had masks on and others were wearing prison officers’ uniforms.”. The conditions in the jail were dirty and dark. They also demanded longer times to exercise and an end to being cooped up in their cells for 23 hours a day. The idea for a protest against the repression had its origins in the punishment block about a week earlier—and there had been some limited action. He was convicted of a brand new offence—prison mutiny. Local prisons, such as Strangeways, were often crowded, filthy hellholes where concepts such as dignity and decency were left at the main gate. Strangeways prison riot, April 1st 1990. Their outrage is rooted in their own experience and humanity.". The Sunday Read: 25 years of cats and maus, A. Lange & Söhne Releases Special Limited Edition. Alan Lord, as lead negotiator between the rioters and the authorities, presented the prisoners' demands. now, how long ago is 1993, when they were sentenced? Noel Smith was an inmate in south London’s Wandsworth jail when the Strangeways riot broke out. 587 likes. Alan offered to become a negotiator on the protesters’ behalf. "The nonces were screaming like they had made their fucking victims scream," Shotgun Shelly told me later. If you've got something to say, Anyone who abuses women or children deserves whatever comes their way. Paul Taylor, the prisoner who initiated the riot in the chapel, was 25 and had spent most of his life first in care, then in and out of juvenile and finally adult jails. Strangeways, the number of prisoners the prison was designed to hold, was 970. There was a sterile area of the prison where they were doing works. Meanwhile, an investigation in 2010 by the Independent Monitoring Board, which examines prison welfare, found that toilets still don't exist in 2,000 cells across 10 prisons, meaning "slopping out" still persists – though not in Manchester. But this is still true of prisons today. Paul was one of the last five on the roof. “When we heard about the uprising it was euphoria in the prison. In the trials following the riot, 23 prisoners were sentenced to 140 years' additional imprisonment for what the prison governor described as "an explosion of evil". In the jargon of prison inmates the phrase has been used to describe substances such as Largactil, Paraldehyde, etc. Moved regularly around the prisons of the British Isles he has sampled all that prison life has to offer, taking in both the historic and pre-historic buildings that comprise Britain's infamous prison system. Wearing items of uniform discarded by prison staff, including officers' hats, they spent the next 22 days throwing tiles at police and prison staff and shouting to family members, media and the public who had gathered outside the walls. It's futher expanded upon in a footnote in the same book "Largactyl, known in prison as the "liquid cosh", is the most commonly administered of a range of psychotropic drugs used extensively for … Our investigators were able to buy this "liquid cosh" by the LITRE without any identity checks. It was overseen by Noel Proctor, a former police officer turned Church of England chaplain. Many later spoke of the exhilaration of being free from the prison walls and being able to see the city. Freedom Press | 10.03.2010 12:30 ... That evening a prisoner was held down by seven officers in front of everyone and injected with largactyl (a “liquid cosh”). By noon, rioting prisoners, their numbers now swelled by those whose cell doors had been unlocked by the initial rioters, had control of most of the prison. Fuck your rules!" The prisoners’ uprising forced an inquiry into not only the riot, but its underlying causes. In Dartmoor up to 120 inmates took part in a large protest, taking to the roofs of two wings. liquid cosh. The right wing press demanded the uprising be swiftly put down. It was a crumbling, depressing Victorian warehouse where prisoners were given nothing and plenty of it. Alan was told to convince protesters to surrender—but many didn’t trust the authorities. Some 300 riot police and prison officers stormed the site and set fire to a wing to smoke out the inmates. The protesters set up a barricade and threw scaffolding bars at the officers. Better known drugs like GHB are banned here. Alan was one of the prisoners who did not surrender but was “snatched” in the last days of the protest and trussed up. Tempers would fray during slop-out time as queue-jumpers attempted to empty their mess and invariably ended up rolling around the pissy floor with angry objectors. They were almost out of the food they had hauled up from the kitchen stores and the daily soakings and noise had worn them down. "I made my way to the kitchens where we found freezers full of steaks, chops and joints of meat that were obviously meant for the screws as the food prisoners were served in Strangeways wasn't fit for dogs. Strangeways finally explodes. On the roof of Strangeways prisoners held up a sign saying, “Smash the poll tax.”. And this was all before breakfast – every day. At the time of going to press, there are 84,121 people in prison nationwide, 8,925 more than can be officially held in a "good, decent standard of accommodation". What we do. But a good majority of prisoners gave themselves up by the end of the first day. Officially, the prison only had space for 970 men, but it was heavily overcrowded in 1990 with 1,647 packed two and three into cells that had originally been built for one occupant. The 1990 Strangeways Prison riot was a 25-day prison riot and rooftop protest at Strangeways Prison in Manchester, England. On the roof of Strangeways prisoners held up a sign saying, “Smash the poll tax.”, International round up: Protest success in Guatemala, Conflict grows as Israel murders Iranian scientist, Arcadia crash threatens thousands of jobs, Handling of virus will mean millions more in poverty, Ofcom demands new attacks on jobs and conditions in Royal Mail, Battles over cuts and safety fears in universities. The Sun newspaper ran a headline saying, “Jail riot scum must be crushed.”. The riot began on 1 April 1990 when prisoners took control of the prison chapel, and the riot quickly spread throughout most of the prison. The Woolf Inquiry was told that in the week prior to the riot, relations between prisoners and staff hit new lows. As press and supporters gathered outside the jail the protesters on the roof articulated their demands. Prisoners had finally had enough and the events at Strangeways showed them that now was the time to rise up and make their feelings known. Esquire participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. Prisoners were treated like cattle, screws ruled with an iron fist and anyone who dared to question them was dealt with via a good kicking and a long period in solitary confinement in a strip-cell (a bare cell with nothing but a blanket and a piss-bucket). I shouted back, ‘Who’s got your prison now?’”. And things are going backwards with all the budget cuts and restricted regimes. The noise levels were excruciating. Before long, news of the uprising spread: riots and disturbances broke out in 23 other prisons in England, Scotland and Wales while a media circus descended on Strangeways, photographing and filming the staunchest rioters holding banners and giving clenched fist salutes while perched on the roof. _ The paper is referring to antipsychotic drugs to control aggressive or violent behaviour among people with dementia. Ringleaders Alan Lord and Paul Taylor received sentences of 10 years each for prison mutiny, but were acquitted of the murder of Derek White. a heavy tranquilliser or sedative. Several officers set upon Andrew Kazim in front of other inmates and injected him multiple times with psychotropic drug Largactil, also known as the “liquid cosh”. According to evidence given to the inquiry, on the night before the riot, an unnamed prisoner passed a note under his cell door to the night-patrol staff warning that the prison was "going up" next morning in the chapel. ", Several areas of the prison were burning and Manchester Police had set up a cordon around the jail in case any prisoners tried to escape. Derek White, who had been charged with indecent assault and buggery, suffered serious head wounds and died in North Manchester General Hospital on 3 April. Officers who had retreated to the prison car park tried to provoke a reaction by trading insults with the protesters on the roof. I tell you what really bugged us was the element of April Fools' about it. As an ex-prisoner who has spent more than three decades in and out of the British penal system, I had spent a couple of months in Strangeways in 1988 and found it to be a cesspit that stank of urine, faeces and ancient body odour. With terrible conditions in the jail and a bad attitude from the officers, the riot was a chance for us to be on top for a change.". Yet there has been resistance. While inmates tried to communicate with supporters, police blared sirens in an attempt to drown them out. "As soon as the doors started opening, everyone was running all over the place. I heard later that some of them were castrated, good enough for them. a heavy tranquilliser or sedative. He now runs his own gym and has written a book about his time at Strangeways. Last year inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Grampian in Peterhead rioted for 14 hours. On that Sunday evening, more than 800 prisoners had given themselves up, and in the next few days another 400 were captured by HMP snatch squads, usually after vicious hand-to-hand fighting, and removed from the prison. At that time, Strangeways was severely overcrowded. The authorities responded by trying to stop them sleeping at nights – shining strong lights on to the roof and playing loud noises including hammers on corrugated iron, blaring music, women's voices and barking dogs – while prison officers banged their shields with batons and shouted insults at the remaining hold-outs and regularly fired high-powered water hoses at the roof. We covered the uprising and its aftermath in our newspaper and we produced the only non-academic book written about the protest: Strangeways 1990: a serious disturbance. n. British. Just better. “We got in there and took over a JCB and tried to smash through the walls to release 150 Category A prisoners. It's a brown liquid that affects you the minute it's injected into the body." Paul Taylor was the last man down, setting foot on the hydraulic platform at 6.24pm. Alan Lord, one of the first onto the roof, said, “Many were gesticulating and shouting, telling me they were going to break my arms and legs. They wanted: improved visiting facilities, including the right to physical contact with their visitors and a children's play area; Category A prisoners (the highest security inmates) to be allowed to wear their own clothes; longer exercise periods; and an end to 23 hours a day locked up in their cells. In 1990, prisoners were still "slopping out": every morning when the cells were opened there would be a line of prisoners queuing up to empty their pots and buckets of bodily waste into a central sluice on each landing. As he rose to thank a visiting army preacher for his sermon about redemption and forgiveness, a prisoner stood up and grasped the pulpit microphone. ***. He took part in a solidarity protest. Quite the same Wikipedia. Live Statistics. Inmate numbers fell over the course of the 25 days, yet a solid core remained. They included better visiting facilities, including allowing physical contact and a play area for children. It has been described by the head of the Prison Service as a scourge, by Lord Woolf as a cancer and by Christopher Scott, the former president of the Prison Governors Association, as an obscenity." n. British. send us a report. Get the bastards", and several prison officers were attacked and chased down the landings. Prisoner Alan Lord, who acted as a negotiator, holds up a sign: "Our supply of food and water is sufficent enough to sustain us for weeks, possible months" So, when he and 309 others burst out of the chapel at Strangeways that Sunday morning, like most of them, he was looking for a bit of payback. In the meantime, the prisoners were busy ransacking the hospital wing in a hunt for drugs, and the kitchen stores for food. Originally from North Manchester, he was convicted of murder during the course of a street robbery in 1981 when he was 19. Over the 25 days that the inmates controlled the prison, there were solidarity uprisings in 20 jails across Britain. 'Liquid cosh' treatment kills dementia patients. The prison had a bad atmosphere, too, and felt constantly on the edge of kicking off. Hundreds made their way onto the roof of the prison. Any prisoner who ventured down into the prison was quickly snatched by waiting patrols. The staff were told that some of the prisoners were going to be "tooled up" (prison parlance for being armed with weapons). We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article. The title of "Britain's worst prison" has been attached to a number of institutions over the years, but in the Eighties that dubious epithet was taken by Strangeways, now known as HM Prison Manchester. He subsequently became the prisoners' main negotiator during the 25-day siege at the prison. Inmates had already helped younger prisoners who wanted to leave but were scared of reprisals get access to their parents or solicitors. And in Bristol some 400 inmates took control of three wings of Horfield prison for two days. They were only let out for the hated “slopping out”, where a toilet bucket was emptied, a weekly shower or hour-long exercise. "At first there was mayhem," Alan Lord said. He now says he regrets all of his acts of violence on that day. He told the media: "It is impossible for the officers to get into certain sections of the prison and establish the exact number of casualties because the prisoners have control and they (the staff) are attacked and pelted with missiles. Inmates were locked in their cells for 23 hours a day.