If security, Governors and the Prison system as a whole, knew that their ”Orderlies” (Inmate Trusties) within their prison estates are crucial and essential, to some of the most violent organised crimes that go on within their prisons and communities, I believe those in power would be severely shocked. Yes of course they know it goes on. However, if they knew the true extent, the prison system would come to a stand-still. Every Chief Security Officer within the prison estates will try to minimise the the reality of criminality that they have uncovered due to their ”Orderlies involvement” within their establishments. They are quietly dismissed from their ”orderly role” and ghosted to another establishment. First and foremost, this would break-down the whole workings of the prison regime if a prison estate decided they would not have any ‘Orderlies’ in their establishment. Therefore, ”Orderlies” are the best of a bad bunch and control a lot of the politics in and around the prisons along with the contraband. A lot of intelligent and trusted ‘Orderlies work unsupervised and take full control of the webs of movements.
In reality it’s a case of security turning a blind eye to a lot of criminality and having these prisoners to help take a massive workload off the Prison Staff within the prisons. I know this, as I have been part of the workings as an ”Orderly”. I will not be writing about the most high profile criminality that I have been personally involved. Obviously, for legal reasons and exposure of friends and family but, I am still gonna write about one of how an ”Orderly. Listener personally helped us both before, someone else got in. An orderly job is good money for prison standards and if you have no money (Like I did) then you done little moves to survive. I can honestly say even though I always went to jail skint, I have never come out skint. There is always a move or two to get a few quid and make sure your canteen is there every week.
Prison & Prison Officers love to give people labels and put them into boxes. This includes Peer Supporters, Red-Bands, Orderly, Listeners, Library orderly, Hospital orderly, Block Orderly, Canteen orderly, Gym orderly, Yard orderlies. This is just a few to mention, the list is endless and they are all prisoners with access to every corner of the prison estate. The job description comes with an extra unspoken paragraph that says , You will become part of an organisation that will keep the prison and the whole workings of contraband within the prison, running smoothly. This is not an optional request, this is just how it is. It’s a job they have to master, as they need to run with the Hares and Chase with the Hounds.
Some prisoners, chaps, come to prison through no fault of their own and these do include some very rich powerful men. However, in prison it’s definitely not what you know, it’s who you know. Spending so much time in institutions, I have come to make it my home, which is 99% violence free. It’s something I’ve learnt over the last 40 years in institutions and seem to know the who’s who, when I’m on a landing.
Accordingly, the Samaritan Listener, (Orderly) has his own double cell on the wing and when someone is genuinely nervous frightened or suicidal the screws got them to stay in his cell for 24/48 hours. The two single beds with all soft furnishings within the cell are to give the impression that it’s not a rough and ready prison cell. This will also have a Listener that will listen to the guy and let him feel free to relax and let him discuss what’s on his mind.
The Samaritan/Listener is my pal, we’ve known each other from Detention Centre days when we was both 14/15. We have met on numerous sentences along the years, even when I was doing my 12 years, he was doing 17. We was both in Parkhurst together during the mid 90s,and between us we have a lot of history/experience within the prison system.
One morning Sean, my friend the Listener, comes to my cell and say’s Jimmy Do you know a guy call ”Axxxx” (Can’t give his full name for legal reasons) and I say ‘NO’ why? He says, he’s something to do with Westminster. I said NO, I still don’t know him, let’s go to your cell to see him. As Sean pushes his cell door open, I can’t believe it, it’s only the fella that I have been reading about over the weekend. As I enter the cell I put my hand out and say ‘Hello! Jimmy, some of the lads call me scouse. OH! He says. Sean speaks very highly of you, from what he’s told me your the the man that maybe able to help me. I don’t know what Sean has told him, I’m fuming he hasn’t give me a proper heads up. However, I do know that there’s an opportunity here and I just don’t know what yet. Thinking on my feet I say to Axxxx, Yes, I help a few people on the wing. However, we’ll have to talk later, I’m the cleaner on the wing so I;ll come to your cell in an hour or so. You’ll be alright here with Sean. I shake his hand and Sean follows me out telling his guest he’ll be back soon. As we get back in to my cell, I say, What did you say to him Sean? I told him him you and your henchmen look after people for money. As serious as this was going to go I started laughing saying I can just about look after myself. He said, Yeah! but, He don’t know that Jim. he’s fuckin loaded Jim. He’s got a big house in London and a country Home. Don’t forget Jim he’s part of the big noses. The way he says that gives me a nervous giggle and I thought Fuck It!!! Go and Get ‘Heavy D’
‘Heavy-D’ is a lovely fella and He’s built like a block of flats, also the lift doesn’t stop at every floor, he’s also got a heart bigger than Europe. However, if I tell him to deal with someone, then they are severely dealt with. I seen him pick a fella up by the neck, grab hold of one of his legs and throw him over the landing railing on to the net. He tells everyone on the wing that he loves coming down to my cell coz he gets a packet of biscuits to himself and a cup of tea.
Sean brings Heavy-D to my cell and as usual he tries to squeeze his huge frame through the old Victorian cell door. Once in, I say to him, Heavy, here’s a packet of Hob-Nobs, No Tea today Heavy, we’ve got a lot of people to go and see today. He’s only half listening, as half the pack of Hob-Nobs vanish in to his huge hands and mouth. Then I say to him, Listen Heavy! When you get unlocked come straight down to my cell and we’ll go and see the guy that stays in Seans cell. What’s he done Jimmy, Heavy asks, Nothing , we’re just going to see if we can help him. OK? Yeah!! Heavy say’s.
I need his stature and structure to reinforce what I have to say to AXXXX. This is the first time the ‘Target’ has been in prison so it shouldn’t be too difficult and he’s not in the Listeners cell coz, he is suicidal He’s in there coz, it ‘s the best cell in the prison and the Governor of Brixton doesn’t want his friends at Westminster hearing or seeing how barbaric his jail is. Especially he doesn’t want his other mate the Home Secretary hearing how bad this jail really is.
I call Sean from my doorway as I see him coming down the landing and I tell him that he’ll be called out to ‘cell 14’ on the 3s. This is over dinner, to pick up a phone we can borrow for an hour after lunch for AXXXX to use. ( Some prisoners can ask for a particular Listener, when they are feeling suicidal. (This is 20 yrs ago and fones wasn’t so easy to get back then) Which we use to our advantage. It was a few minutes to bang-up for dinner, so I popped in to speak with AXXXX and I said, What is the most important thing you need right now. (Sean had already filled me in with what he needs) so I’m all prepared for his answers and I say let me see what I can do. I knew, not only from what’s Sean has told me, like everyone that comes into Jail, the first thing you want is a phone call. I tell Sean to run a few money numbers past him and try to get a hint of where he’s comfortable. I also tell him to exaggerate them and plus why it would be worth every penny for him to hire us.
Every thing has run smoothly over lunch and by the time me and Heavy-D squeeze in to the cell, he’s coming across like he wants to give me his whole estate. Heavy-D just being himself really fits the bill and Sean has done most of the work for me So I say to him right, you’ll be here a while. This is Heavy=D, he’ll chaperone you around the jail for the next 7 days, this will let everyone know that your under our care. In the meantime, well as we speak, we are moving a guy out of the single cell next to Heavy-Ds, so he’s always on call. I will also be coming up to see you every day and Sean here does have access to most of the prison so, he’ll be getting bits and bobs that you need.
As Sean has told you, we’re talking £2.000 a month as it stands and if you need anything extra like a mobile fone then that’s £800. Sean shoots me a look to say, wow!! I didn’t say that much for a £50 fone, but, I knew I had this guy in the palm of my hand and he says, How do I transfer the money to you. This was music to my ears and with our borrowed fone I said, right, I have written my sort code and account number all you have to do is fone your bank and transfer the money in to that account. If you want you can give the bank details to a friend or family and they can do it. We’ll give it half hour and ring back to see if it’s done, then your already to go. Any problems let me know…
Myself and Heavy=D head back to my cell for tea and biscuits, while all this is going on, I’ve had to give another cleaner a eight of tobacco to empty the wing bins and mop my landing. Given the prize on offer it was a cheap deal for him to do my the bins and mop the landing. In about twenty minutes, Sean pops his head round my cell door with a big grin on his face and say’s, ‘fuckin hell, that was fuckin ‘Oscar’ winning Jimmy. He’s done it Jimmy lad!!! The number you left me for your bank Jim, I called it, he’s only gone and put £2,800 in to your account. I laughed and said, You didn’t too bad yourself Sean. You set him up lovely for a great goal. We both laughed but, Heavy-D didn’t have a clue what had gone on, he was made up with the double pack of Jaffa cakes that I had given him. All he knew that he was alright for biscuits till he went home, next week.
All in all, it was Sean’s move, but, we split our money. The man involved goes down on record in the prison system as within 48 hours of being convicted he was on his was to a D-Cat prison with all the lovely country fresh air and freedom to walk about 16 hours a day in beautiful grounds. There was no-way that a member of the establishment was ever going to see the realities and regimes of Brixton Prison. One law for them….