When The Light Goes Out

Debate @ Bluecoat Arts Centre
June 2nd, 2011
Look 2011 Photography Festival

Reviewed by Rob Saven

Where do we start! At the begining is usually the best, well Edmund Clark took some amazing photos of old men and their meagre possessions. Kingston prison is a very sad place to end up, because you know if you get allocated to being sent there you have not got much chance of ever seeing the "ROAD" again.

When you are on the landing in another prison and hear one of the lads is off to Kingston, everyone knows you will not be bumping into the guy any more. It's very sad BUT we have to have somewhere suitable for old men to die with a bit of dignity. We have to look at this problem from both sides of the coin. The victims of these men and women have lost a loved one and they will not get a chance to visit their mum, dad, brother, sister, etc, etc so don't get too upset that old people die in prison. Lets have it right - some of the evil bastards deserve no less.

On the other hand some of them pose no threat to society at all and for these men it is a good place for them to go. It would be like a closed hostel, similar tosomewhere nice by the sea, so they can die with a wee bit of dignity and pride.

Come on you up there on your high horses and in your ivory towers, give them lifers who pose no risk to anyone but themselves an old lags (folks) home to wither away and die .

We know why the prison service gives "compassionate" leave just before a lifer dies. It's not about letting them die without chains on! (IS IT) no, no, no, it's so the poor family has to pick up the bill for the funeral is'nt it? COME ON THE LIFER UNIT AT THE HOME OFFICE admit what has been going on for years and will continue as long as you keep getting away with it.

I know it's a hot potato and there are the victims families to take into account !! but why not involve them and ask if its ok to move an old man out of jail and into "CARE". The poor bastard is most probably a product of your fucking "CARE SYSTEM" anyway, so hold up your hands, admit you have made a FEW mistakes and make it better NO. , Let's stop this barbaric treatment of our old people who just happen to be in prison. Give them their pension - at least a small part of it eh!!! and treat them with the same respect you would similar to your grandda. Come on, they are someone's nan and granddad and their families have not commited any crimes but still treated with disdain.

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