04 Jul Day 4
Saturday 4th July 2015
This morning I have been watching Breaking Bad and writing up my business expectations for the Lazy Camper for the next year.
I’ve just been let out of my new cell ‘C4-17’ for association. This means that I have an hour and a half to be out of my cell which I can use to sort out forms, play pool or perhaps bang my head on a wall which isn’t my own.
I left my cell with my Gandy’s flip flops and running shorts and went to the showers. Now that I know I am safe in the showers I was quite looking forward to experiencing the ones on C wing to see how different they were to D wing. Well, they aren’t different really so I’m not sure why I was excited. There was only two cubicles for showers and fortunately for me I didn’t have to wait. It was nice and warm, good pressure and I was chatting to a guy who has been here for two weeks so far.
I like to have a routine so I am very pleased that there is a rota so I know what happens when. My laundry day is Thursday and library days are Tuesday and Thursdays.
I headed down to the PID (Prisoner Information Desk) grabbed a few VOs (Visiting Orders) and submitted my reception canteen as well as my requested phone numbers to be added to my pin phone system. They said it could be as late as a week on Wednesday before my numbers are available to call on the phone. It’s fucking shit! What a stupid system. Calling a family member could be the difference between life and death for a prisoner particularly with the extremely high suicide rates within the first 7 days of someone being sentenced. I keep remembering the first night when I spoke to Emily and my family with my £2 phone credit I was given. Everyone was drinking at dads – they were all drunk and I was jealous they were having such a good time, when in reality I knew they weren’t. I am not sure how I will react when I speak to my family. I have never once felt unwelcome, scared or the need to cry whilst here but perhaps reality hasn’t hit me yet. I hope that doesn’t change when I call home.
I caught up with Stuart, the peer advisor, as he was passing and he has told me to do two things: 1) Speak to the No.1 cleaner about getting a new kettle and a pillow. Its been three nights and I’ve been using my clothes so far to makeshift one. 2) Speak to Phil in cell C3-03 who is the head listener and can help me get into a job.
I met with Phil, he is a tall lad, probably mid-40s, skinhead, medium build and talks very colloquial Yooooorksha. He’s a nice guy, patient, he informed me how he is the head of the listeners, diversity rep and military rep. If I want a job then he is the guy I need to work with. He then asked me a bit about myself and I told him I went to uni and he just gave me all the work forms he could. He told me to, ‘Fill out all the work forms but leave the job part empty then we can go through them together before you submit them’. He then ended by asking what job I want? I was shocked that I actually had a choice of places to work. I always assumed prison would be breaking rocks in a chain gang or working away in a sweatshop. I never expected choice. I may have just landed on my feet here. I now need to do some thinking on which job will make my time go the quickest. I could go to a workshop and pack tea packs, sign printing, wing cleaning, reception orderly, first night centre orderly, Pid workers, education. There are all sorts of jobs. In some excellent form of customer service, as I was leaving Phil asked me ‘would you like to know anything else? You can always ask if need be.’ There are some great people in here.
I was given a clean warm towel by laundry then just chatted to a few of the guys in here. Everyone seems decent enough. Just don’t look for trouble and you wont find it is the advice people keeping giving me.
I met a young Asian lad by the name of ‘Baz’. He asked where I was from, I vaguely said ‘Brighouse’.
‘No way, you know my cousin from Rastrick High School don’t you?!’
‘No, no mate sorry’
‘You know my uncle from Air link taxis in Brighouse don’t you?’
‘No man, no idea sorry’
What a small world! Very awkward conversation but he seemed happy enough. In the time I’ve written this its now time for lunch! Goodness.