Michael’s Story

michael-bailey21

Michael Bailey, from Birmingham was found hanged in his cell early on Thursday 24th March 2005 at the privately-run category-B prison HMP Rye Hill, in Warwickshire which held 660 adult male prisoners, including 150 vulnerable inmates in a purpose-built unit.

Michael’s family and supporters are concerned with incidents of violence both before and since his death. Ruggie Johnson, from the Sheffield-based civil rights campaign group Monitoring North, said the death was “alarming” and called for a detailed investigation.

See all entries on ‘Michael’s Case’ > | See ‘Inquest Updates’ >

After the first memorial service for Michael in December 2005, his mother said;

“Dear Michael’s Service went very well, we did not want it to be a sad occasion because of the sort of person Michael was, it’s so sad to put my dear son in the past tense. Dear Sweet Michael will never ever be forgotten, the tributes were wonderful and uplifting.

We will continue the fight for justice for Michael. Our dear Lord and Saviour will carry us and many more through this the most difficult time in our lives.”

For Michael, For Life (Poem) >

The story from 4WardEver:

Young man dies amidst jail scandal
Originally published 9th May 2005

Six prison officers have been suspended at the privately run Rye Hill Prison, where police are investigating the deaths of two prisoners and allegations of corruption by staff. Two prison officers were suspended immediately following the death of 23-year old Michael Bailey in its segregation unit; the other suspensions came soon after. A spokesman for Northamptonshire Police, who are investigating, initially said, “Two members of prison staff have been suspended pending an internal inquiry.”

Michael Bailey, from Birmingham, who was serving four years for drugs charges, was found hanged in his cell early on Thursday 24th March 2005 at the privately-run category-B prison HMP Rye Hill, Warwickshire which holds 660 adult male prisoners, including 150 vulnerable inmates in a purpose-built unit.

Prisoners at Rye Hill, Warwickshire, who had contacted a national newspaper, claimed that Bailey had threatened to kill himself. The prison service confirmed that he had been placed on suicide watch and should have been checked every 15 minutes. One of the prisoners said there was a “running battle” in the jail between rival gangs, and police had been in the prison on the day of Bailey’s death but had not spoken to prisoners.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire police confirmed that two officers at Rye Hill had been suspended. He added that the force was “working closely with the prison service as part of the ongoing investigation into Mr Bailey’s death.”

Rye Hill, opened in 2001, is operated by Global Solutions Ltd, (GSL) formerly known as Group 4. Last year the prisons ombudsman, Stephen Shaw, questioned “the fitness of GSL to run any removal centre or prison in this country”. His remarks followed an inquiry into allegations of racism and abuse by staff at Yarlswood Detention Centre in Bedfordshire.

Michael’s family and supporters are concerned with incidents of violence both before and since his death. Ruggie Johnson, from the Sheffield-based civil rights campaign group Monitoring North, said the death was “alarming” and called for a detailed investigation.

Days after Michael’s death another inmate (who was due to give evidence at Michael’s inquest) was assaulted and died, a number of inmates were subsequently charged with murder. Wayne Martin Reid, aged 44, received a fatal chest wound in the assault. Following Mr Reid’s murder, police investigating deaths at the jail arrested a custody officer at the prison on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs.

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4 responses to “Michael’s Story

  • CAZ

    The fight still goes on!!

  • anon

    I was on Edwards wing with Michael from the moment he came on to the wing to the moment he was taken to the block.

    I remember him very clearly because apart from his height he was a big character, never afraid to speak his mind or point out when the staff were in the wrong.

    I find it completely unbelievable that he was suffering any mental problems other than the stress of being treated like dirt by the staff.

    The prison at that time was a complete joke. Paperwork was never done by the staff, official requests were never answered and the staff were operating their own regime of punishing and victimizing anyone who rocked the boat.

    One of the screws on that wing actually got banned from working on the wings because he was found to be bullying one of the inmates. This finally came to light when the inmate lashed out at the screw in question after he had told him something along the lines of “Why don’t you do the world a favor and kill your self.”

    I don’t know if he was one of the screws in trouble over the Michale Bailey case but in any case it just goes to show what kind of mess the prison was in. I don’t remember his surname but the screw’s first name was Dave, a chubby brummy.

  • Michael Beech

    Dear Michael, a friend for life. Although it hurts I know your in a better place. Here is something which I wrote and sent to him, which i would like to share with others.

    ——LIFE——–
    See it here >

  • Jan Pauls

    Such a tragic story! I just came across this site in a general search and will be visiting again.

    I am so outraged that we hear so much about abuse and neglect in our prisons. Whether people deserve to be there or not is not the issue – everyone deserves those most basic of human rights; dignity and respect.

    We will be thinking of Michael and his family and all the others lost unjustly.

    Jan Pauls & Family

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