Walking onto the assessment wing here at Grendon for the first time was unlike arriving on the wing in any other prison I’ve been in. The wing gate opened onto a wide corridor and, as I pulled my trolley full of property onto the wing, I noticed that there were only half a dozen people around and there was no noise whatsoever. In most jails I’ve been to it is very different. Most are beyond loud. The sheer chatter of between 30 and 200 prisoners (dependent upon the size of the wing) all talking to one another soon mounts up into a cacophony of voices that feels like a wall of sound, separating you from the various established groups of prisoners who each stare down at you (usually over the rails of a higher landing) as you struggle on your own to heave multiple bags of heavy property behind you. But not here. Here it is different.
After waking up early yesterday, I was raring to go. My time had finally come and I was to be transferred at last. We were unlocked at 5 am and I immediately did a circuit of the wing. Everyone I knew, everyone I had been a neighbour to, everyone who had been a friend to me, they would all be going to work in a matter of minutes and I couldn’t leave without saying my goodbyes.
It is exactly 5am and I am writing this in bed on what will be my last day here at HMP Wakefield. That’s right. Today I get transferred. So much has changed since I was lasting posting here regularly. It’s hard to know where to start.
Yesterday I wrote about how the lack of communication between me and the prison authorities here led to a frustrating situation for all concerned. Today I want to tell you about how that frustration became discipline and punishment.
Hello? Is anyone still there? So I’ve been gone for quite a while. That is a very long story.
But I’m back. And I have news. Fancy a catch up?