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To: Michael Gove
Save James Ward
Release James Ward from prison and put him in a mental health facility
Why is this important?
When I first saw the headline on the BBC I thought this miscarriage of justice was taking place in a country where the rule of law meant less than nothing. I was dismayed to discover that this is happening in England. James was sentenced to prison for ten months in 2006; he is still inside.
The BBC says "James Ward was given a 10-month IPP for arson in 2006. Now nearly 10 years on, he is still inside and has no release date.
He regularly self-harms, sets light to his cell, barricades himself in and has staged dirty protests. With a low IQ, and mental health problems, he cannot cope with prison life.
His sister, April, fears what he might do next.
"I do believe that one day we'll get the phone call that Jimmy has taken his own life, definitely.""
James needs to be in a mental health unit where his mental health issues need dealing with.
I want Michael Gove to have James transferred from prison now, to ensure this vulnerable young man gets all the help he needs. He should never have been sent to prison in the first place; prison is not where the mentally ill can be dealt with. If he truly is a danger to himself then he needs specialist care. If not then let him be returned home to those who love him