Some turns of phrase make total sense. Others don’t. Prison Officers tend to like the ones that don’t.
One example I’ve heard a lot lately is ‘where there’s smoke there’s fire’. Except, of course, that’s rubbish on absolutely every level. If you take it literally, it’s simply wrong. Cigarettes aren’t on fire. Smouldering maybe, but not on fire. Yet the fact that they ‘smoke’ is the whole point!
So, OK, maybe it makes sense on a metaphorical level then, right? Nope. To say where there’s smoke there’s fire is like saying that whenever anyone says anything about you, anything at all, it has to be true. Well doesn’t that mean there’s no such thing as a lie or a liar? Unless of course someone actually calls you a liar. Then, since where there’s smoke there’s fire, they must be telling the truth and there is such a thing as a lie after all. In fact, you should probably check your pants because where there’s smoke…
Yet Prison Officers seem to love parroting that absurd line at anyone they can. No sooner had I been accused of being involved in trouble than I heard one of them saying “Where there’s smoke.” Innocent until proven guilty? Not in prison. Here you aren’t even guilty until proven innocent. It’s worse than that. You’re guilty until a better scapegoat comes along.
But then actual justice isn’t much part of this justice system, so why should actual guilt have anything to do with being found guilty or sense have anything to do with common sense?
I want to start this post by saying that I totally get that Wakefield is a high security jail with some of the highest risk prisoners in the country. But not all of the prisoners here are high risk.
Take some of the older prisoners here. There are prisoners who can barely walk, prisoners who are blind, and even wheelchair bound amputees who are all categorised as cat A, high risk prisoners and housed in one of the most secure prisons in the country. If categorisation were applied as it’s meant to be (based upon risk of escape and potential danger to the public in the event of escape) then how could anyone justify keeping an eighty year old blind amputee in these conditions?
It just makes no sense.