Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Any Questions?

My inability to interact with my readers is deeply frustrating and so, as some half-arsed compromise, for the next week I throw myself open to your questions. Ask whatever you like, though I can't guarantee you will necessarily like the answers! If it's related to prisons, prisoners or myself then I'll give it my best shot. Your questions will be printed off and sent in to me and my responses will follow the reverse route. So, this week questions, next week the responses. It's the best I am able to do until the Prison Service is forced to recognise the Information Age.


  1. 1) How true to real life are Jeffrey Archer's prison diaries (I found them to be a decent read)?

    2) Which prison do you like best?

    3) Which prison did you like least?

    4) Any Prison Govenor's you have encountered you think could do more?

    5) If you could make one change to prison life, what would that be?

    6) Do you think you will ever be freed from prison?

    7) Which Home Secretary(s) have been considered good?

    8) How would you restructure sentencing?

    9) How many prisoners are on heroin?

    10) Are there big football rivalries in prison, or rather is football a big thing, like on "main street"?

  2. How do you cope with loneliness? Do you feel lonely, in fact?

  3. If you could make ONE major change to the Criminal Justice system for a) Adult and b) Juvenile offenders, what would they be?


  4. To what extent does prison life become 'normal' over time - as in, do people just in find it very difficult to cope, and is there a risk that people at the other end of the scale (such as yourself) become institutionalised and may find problems dealing with outside life again?

    Also, what is the mood like? Do people try their best to get on with it, or is there a certain amount of gloom and resentment hanging around all the time?

    Are there any groups of people (such as chronic re-offenders) who the system is unable to deal with? If so, how would you (assuming you were made Justice Sec) protect the public from these people?

    And on a slightly less serious note, I've left my watch upstairs. You couldn't tell me what time it is, could you?

  5. JackP: I can tell you exactly wht the time is...2009.

  6. 1. Given your intellectual abilities, I do not understand why you have apparently upset so many people that your release has been blocked. How do you explain this given that I am sure that prisons are a reflection of society? Are people worried about you in this respect?

    2. Why did you abscond from an open prison knowing that this would put your release back several years? How long ago did this happen and is it why you wrote that you will not be considered for a move to an open prison before 2011?

    3. Why are you championing other prisoners rights knowing that this is detrimental to your own situation?

    4. Is there a danger that you have been institutionalised given your young age when sentenced?

    5. Are you frightened at the possibility of release after so many years?

    6. Have you a support network in the community which will help you on release?

    7. Other than academic skills have you been trained on basic skills such as cooking etc? What I mean have you the necessary skills to live independently?

    8. Do you listen to advice from others?

    9. Because of your qualifications, how do you manage to remain stimulated? Do you think this could be the reason why you keep challenging prison management?

    Finally, thank you for offering to answer questions. It is brave of you and I will not be offended if you are unable to answer any of my questions which you may consider personal or painful.

  7. Hi - had some pause over what to ask you (thanks by the way, the spirit of blogging will prevail!)but on checking your blog again today the merits of just sitting back and letting smarter people do the work becomes apparent ;)
    So a different question.
    I know you addressed this a little in one of your posts, but what's the PhD all about then? What aspects of it are you able to work on inside and what resources do you have to do this? I know, back of the napkin stuff, and not my field, but interested.

    And a slightly more political one -you've never shied from them before. Do you think there is any place for non-violent non-sexual offenders in prison? Or where would you draw the line?

  8. Are you happy in life?

    What is the first thing you'll do when you get out?

    And is there anything I can do to help?

  9. How dangerous is prison?

    Can people survive if they just want to be left alone?

    Do racial groups mix?

    Is radical Islam an issue?

  10. Are you still in touch with your family? Do you have any 'proper', or long term friends? Does anyone visit you?