Prison Canteen: Every Little Helps

The recent news that Tesco is to merge with the nations biggest wholesaler, Booker, wouldn’t usually spring out as a story that is relevant to prisons, but it could well have far reaching implications within Britain’s jails. Not least because Booker has an exclusive contract to supply the weekly canteen order of all prisoners in public sector prisons.


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Doing Bird


It’s funny but only fairly recently did I realise that every prison I’ve ever been in has predominantly housed a different kind of bird. They all have pigeons of course but in none of the prisons I’ve been in have they been in the greatest numbers.


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After the Storm (Part One)

In my first post back in the new year I mentioned that I had taken the decision to do something that turned out to be quite inadvisable, but that I couldn’t yet go into detail about because it was still a pending issue. Since writing that the situation has been resolved and I think that I should probably share what happened. Here’s what went down.

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The Butlins Riots


I want to preface this by saying that I would never encourage a riot and I hope that I am never at a prison where one breaks out, forcing me to choose whether to take part or to take the consequences of not doing so from those who are.

However, I do think that the increase in the number and seriousness of prison disturbances over the past couple of years could actually be a good thing. Of course I don’t want anyone to get hurt, whether they are a prisoner or an officer, but physical violence does not necessarily have to be a core element of rioting. Criminal damage? Usually. Mutiny and insubordination? Definitely. But physical assault? It’s simply not necessary. What you won’t read in the mainstream media though, is what long term benefits may come from these riots for people on all sides.

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Discrimination: Unnoticed, Unchallenged, and Unresolved

Most prisoners, myself included, are guilty of thinking about institutional discrimination mainly from the point of view of race and religion, but there are a lot of other examples that are far less obvious and more deeply ingrained in the system, almost taken entirely for granted.

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Return of the Mac

At least one officer a month bellows Return of The Mac at me as I get back to the wing from work and it goes right through me. It had to appear as the title of a blog post at some point though and this seems as good a time as any. I’ve neglected this of late. And I should apologise, most of all to those who have sent comments, tweets, and direct messages. It’s not that I’ve been ignoring them, simply that I’ve been focusing on other things which had to take priority. So here’s what happened…

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