It is no secret that the use of legal highs over traditional, illegal drugs has been steadily increasing over recent years. The effects of these substances both on individuals and on society as a whole have also been increasing at a similar rate and recently the Centre for Social Justice published a report claiming that deaths related to legal highs could exceed those related to heroin use within the next two years.
Life doesn’t have to be difficult. Things don’t have to become complicated. If you treat life simply, it can and it should just be simple. But in prison, this very often isn’t the case. In fact, it is so rarely the case that it truly shocks me when things are done right or done well. I wish that wasn’t the way it is, but it is. And just lately I got a real shock when something was done even better than I thought possible.
Sometimes I really have to wonder at the sheer audacity of this place. When the law changed making it illegal to smoke in public places the same rules were applied throughout the prison estate. It was deemed that a prisoner’s cell could not be considered a public space, and they may therefore continue to smoke there, but all other areas of prisons were public and smoking in those areas was therefore prohibited.
This applied to staff and prisoners alike and was instituted across the country. Except at Wakefield. Here staff refused and continued to smoke on site.
Ever since 2009 I have kept to a strict vegetarian diet. This is something which, on paper, the prison service caters for entirely. However, the reality is sometimes very different and, in my case, it led me to finding myself over £10,000 in debt!