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!
I just saw a piece on Channel Four News about the rates of pay awarded to detainees in Immigration Removal Centres.
These are people who are being held either whilst their applications for leave to stay in Britain are considered or whilst they are awaiting deportation. They are not prisoners, but they are held in very similar conditions and circumstances and, whilst held, the only source of income available to them is to work for the establishments holding them for far below the minimum wage.
In one of my previous posts I wrote about how reports that are compiled by prison and probation staff regarding prisoners often contain highly misleading and potentially damaging content. Invariably the author claims that content to be factual either because they read it in a previous report on their computer (which must make it true) or simply because they believe that they can say what they like and get away with it. Well, having recently received the latest wave in reports written for my forthcoming parole hearing, I am going to start sharing a few examples of the so called “facts” written about me over the years.
For years Wakefield prison has been home to the phrase: “It’s the Wakefield Way”, uttered by prisoners and staff alike whenever a completely irrational decision is questioned. There has been no effort towards change and no desire or appetite for it either. Until now.