Britain’s most notorious prisoner, Charles Bronson, has had his bid for parole rejected, despite his claim to have rebranded himself as an outsider artist while in jail. Charles Salvador, formerly known as Charles Bronson, has spent the majority of his life behind bars.
Despite having a large following and multiple books and a film created about him, the Parole Board recently denied his request for parole due to his persistent rule-breaking and violent behavior. Salvador was originally jailed for armed robbery in 1974, and has since been convicted of various thefts, firearms offenses, and violent crimes, including eleven hostage-taking incidents in nine sieges.
Although Salvador has attempted to reform himself by changing his name to Salvador and becoming a prolific artist while in prison, the Parole Board remained unconvinced that he could manage his future violence risk outside of his highly restricted environment. The panel observed that there is an identified pathway for Salvador in custody and that the evidence supported such a move within a closed prison.
Despite the Parole Board’s decision, Salvador’s son, George Bamby, said that he respected the board’s ruling. Salvador himself stated that he had been in prison for fifty years, and he probably deserved thirty-five of those years because he had been “very naughty.” He pleaded with the board to give him a chance to prove that he was just a normal person wanting to get on with his life.
Salvador’s case highlights the difficult balance that must be struck between rehabilitation and public safety when it comes to serious and violent offenders. While some people believe that individuals like Salvador should never be released from prison, others argue that everyone deserves a second chance and that society should focus more on rehabilitating offenders rather than simply punishing them. The debate over how best to deal with criminals like Salvador is likely to continue for many years to come.
Salvador’s bid for freedom failed due to his history of violent behavior in prison. He has staged nine rooftop protests, attacked prisoners and prison staff, and taken 11 people hostage, including a prison governor, his own solicitor, and a prison art teacher he held for 43 hours at knifepoint. As a result, he has had his stay in prison repeatedly extended and spent most of his time in solitary confinement.
During his parole hearing, Salvador claimed to be a reformed prisoner and a man of peace who had found solace in art. However, the panel was not convinced of his claims. Salvador has been in prison for almost 50 years and has been released twice, but both times he was locked up again for committing robberies soon after release. He has become something of a cult figure in the UK, with his trademark small round dark glasses and Victorian-style mustache. However, the Parole Board remained skeptical of his claims of rehabilitation and refused to release him.
An independent psychologist at the hearing stated that Salvador had PTSD from his time in prison and would need support if he were to be released. Additionally, he has been in prison for so long that he has never used a cashpoint.
Despite the denial of his parole, Salvador continues to hope for his release. He has stated that his 95-year-old mother wishes to see him released and that his art would allow him to make an honest living outside of prison. However, the Parole Board remains unconvinced that Salvador is ready for release and has denied his request.
The debate over how to deal with serious and violent offenders like Salvador will undoubtedly continue in the future. While some people believe that everyone deserves a second chance, others argue that people like Salvador pose too great a risk to society to be released. Ultimately, the decision of whether to release Salvador and other violent offenders back into society rests with the Parole Board, who must balance rehabilitation and public safety in their decisions.