A Report on Craig’s Work in Prison

Since his imprisonment in 1986 it has been Craig’s practice to assist his fellow prisoners with all types of personal and legal matters. Craig explains in his report how he was helped with advice on how to properly participate in his defence soon after his arrest. As Craig learnt himself, he then started to pass on the knowledge to others. Prisoners like Craig who did not “keep their heads down”, but support and advocate for others in this way,  are seen by the prison authorities as ‘troublemakers’ (Carlton 2007, pp.155-236). The clash of ideas between prisoners who would work with their fellows and staff in Jika Jika ultimately turned fatal for the prisoners when one hung himself to death and then set fire to the cell and his own body (Carlton 2007, pp. 201-202). That sequence of events is not a typo, see Bree Carlton’s Imprisoning Resistance. Craig says in the Report:

‘It was clear to me from very early in my imprisonment that what prison authorities most feared and most resisted were prisoners educating themselves and supporting each other, so this is where I have focussed most of my energies since 1986.’

The Report on Craig’s work in prison is detailed under five major headings, in relation to:

  • Legal and Community Education work;
  • Prison and release matters;
  • Mental Health Work;
  • Personal Work; and
  • The political nature of the work.

Subheadings deal with Craig’s legal work associated with: Freedom of Information; establishing a law library; writing and publishing self-help materials; immigration cases; criminal and civil cases and even assisting prison guards with legal and other personal matters. Generally there is also information about Craig’s literacy work with his fellows and dealing with prison related and medical complaints; prison employment matters; leaves; public housing applications and opening bank accounts, as well as everyday advocacy for others. See Craig’s report titled ‘A history of my work in Prison 1986-2009.’

A History of My Work In Prison 1986-2009 (pdf)