Another Point of View. Or biased point of view… You Decide?

Snapshot - 3As a prisoner, I always remembered the feeling of being dis-empowered. Part of your punishment that the layperson in society does not see, is the frustration of not being able to do some of the most simple things in your daily life, within the prison estates. Prisoners have no choice but, to depend on the people wearing the ‘white shirts, carrying keys’. For the lucky people who have never worked or lived in any of these environments then, let me give you a concise overview. Prison is a false environment and within the prison walls is, a world within a world. This world is full of fear, negativity, uncertainty, misery and can be very unpredictable.

As a prisoner, if you require any form of question and/or action answered, no matter how small or important this may be, you have to write it on a piece of paper called an ‘application’, now this piece of paper will travel no more than the size of the prison itself…300 yards or less…The reason I explained this is that, if you are very lucky it could reach its’ destination in 4 to 5 days. Furthermore, if you are extremely lucky, you may get a reply in 6 or 7 days, some replies have taken weeks. The real reason why a lot of prison officers are so diligent in enforcing this procedure, is that they don’t have to answer it personally, there and then. As I said,  Fear of automatic violence or disturbance from the prisoner is very high on the likely hood of an automatic negative answer.  Prison really is a negative environment, this goes for the whole ethos of the prison estates.

Accordingly, this negativity is also coupled with the lack of honesty from the officer just admitting that they did not know. Further reasons that I have witnessed is, that they haven’t got the courage or wisdom to say so. Also the unprofessional bad attitude, where the officer just cannot be bothered or simply, your face doesn’t fit. Moreover, whoever is dealing with your request/application cannot be bothered to walk around to get an answer or whatever it is you need. This goes even further as some officers don’t even have the decency to pass it on to someone that maybe able to help you. As a prisoner that has no ways or means of doing something for themselves, they depend on these officers and it is really dis-empowering, at the highest degree. This really is where the punishment deepens. This is the part that ‘Sun Newspaper’ does not tell their readers and/or forgets to mention this part. Never, no mention of the loneliness, isolation, fear, vulnerability that the prisoner is experiencing. Moreover, the next 23 hours will give the prisoner plenty of time to dwell on that negativity, days, months, even years…


Prisoners have developed strategies of their own, to combat frustrating situations and predicaments that they may find themselves in. (This is become a joke amongst prisoners) However, at the time of enforcement, there is no joking on the delivery. This is called the ”FEARFACTOR”,  this is where a prisoner will act-out, raising his voice and threatening severe violence to the officer. Therefore, a large majority of prison officers has become accustomed to this. Therefore, they eagerly act on the violent threats,  surrendering for a little peace, harmony and tranquility in our under-staffed, over-crowding prisons.arms-2029247_1280 They young men today know that these officers are scared and they lack man-power, this is then an opportunity for  the ‘FEARFACTOR’ to be played. They work on the context that ‘he who shouts the loudest’ gets the most done by the prison staff. Unfortunately, this leaves the polite, sociably acceptable, enhanced young men looking on in dis-belief, feeling angry and frustrated wandering what is happening….They’re thinking, hold-on, I am respectful, polite to this officer and I asked him to do a simple task for me and the coward has still not done it… It’s like I don’t exist…That prisoner shouts and threatens him and he get what he demands there and then… This is the reality of what I have seen and how some prisons work. Moreover, there is absolutely ‘no-way’ that anybody within the system would admit that. I don’t have no gain or reward in revealing this reality within our system, what I am writing is fact and those of you that work within these environments know that I am saying how it really is…

In all the circumstances, the ‘FEARFACTOR’ has become a ways and means of a social interaction in our prisons and getting things done immediately, or at the earliest opportunity, is a must for these young men today. Prisoners are not waiting for 5 or 6 days to get a negative response. Times have moved on and the system needs to catch up with these young men, they wont suffer your old strategy and regimes no more. The whole prison system is out-dated. Take it on board, times have moved on and the whole system has to move forward too. That’s if we want a system that will really protect the public…

2 thoughts on “Another Point of View. Or biased point of view… You Decide?

Add yours

  1. Dear James, this is brilliant. There is the odd spelling mistake which if you wish I would be happy to make note of ……..however the unedited version maybe even more powerful.
    Can I suggest that you send the link on to Alison Paginton who works for the charity “sixty-one”, for which I work. I think that they may well like to include your blogs as part of their training for those wanting to mentor people in prison.

    Well Done and thank you.

    I’ve always wondered why so many of the people who wrote parts of the bible spent time in prison. I think I know now……it strips you of everything, and brings you to your knees. Jesus himself was imprisoned after his arrest and trial.

    Big Love Silas

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Silas, I was so emotionally involved with this post, I didn’t concentrate much on the grammar. Therefore, I am sorry about the odd mistake here or there. Happy reading. share/follow/contribute. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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