John Paul Wootton, one of two men wrongly convicted for the killing of a policeman in 2009, is threatening to take Maghaberry Prison to court in order to gain his transfer to Magilligan Prison.
Having had his personal security downgraded once he left Roe House, there should now be nothing standing in the way of his request to be transferred to another jail. However, anyone who has been to jail will be aware of the indifference shown whenever it concerns the needs of prisoners.
The grounds being cited by Wootton for his transfer relate to issues that go to the heart of personal development such as education and mentoring programmes. He claims he is being discriminated against in these important areas by a vindictive regime. News that does not surprise me at all.
I have no problem accepting his claims in light of my own personal experience of Maghaberry. I served more than two years on Roe House and witnessed the lack of educational opportunities and vocational activities for political prisoners there.
During my time on Roe House, I got to know John Paul well. I was reminded of myself as a young teenager in jail all those years ago. He impressed me as an intelligent and thoughtful individual, if somewhat naïve to the ways of the world.
Despite being the victim of a major miscarriage of justice in the Diplock courts, he has struggled daily to overcome adversity and deprivation in the most difficult conditions. A fair system would acknowledge his personal achievements and seek to encourage him further.
I wish to lend my support to the campaign to gain a positive outcome to his transfer application. Having taken away his liberty, the least they can do is clear the way for his advancement towards a final release.