Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Moral Dilemna

Obviously, I'm not a great fan of those that pay their dues to the Prison Officers Association. That's a given. It is also a given that sexually assaulting women is not one of my many personal flaws. Grassing on my peers is also off the table.

So when some mates of mine began plotting to take a female screw hostage and gang-rape her, it put me in a bind. My first thought was, “Oh, crap. This will not end well. Given the prison I was in at the time, it was obvious to the right-thinking that the consequences from such an outrage would be prolonged, severe, and inflicted upon the whole nick.

On this practical level, then, this plan was plain stupid. On the moral level, attacking a woman in this way was unconscionable. And yet despite this being an outrage on every possible level, grassing on these guys was not an option. I'd need to dance a bit cleverer than that to unravel this mess.

Girding my loins, I approached a Senior Officer (SO) and told him that it was imperative that he see that the ‘Screwess’ was not on the wing for the following two weeks. Without being overly specific, I had to tell him that there was some sort of plot against her in progress.

He needn't have believed me; he could have fucked me off in an instant. It is fortunate, then, that I have a reputation as being mostly 'sensible'. That is, not a fuckwit who would make this stuff up. The SO told me he would do what was needed.

This was the fancy footwork on my part. The plotters in this insanity were all on an induction landing; that is, new boys who would be dispersed to other wings within a fortnight. I only had to see that the screwess was out of reach for that amount of time, then the threat would be naturally negated by the movement of the plotters.

The scheme worked. The screwess vanished off the wing, and the would-be plotters were naturally dispersed around the nick. She was safe and I didn't grass anyone up.

For the cynical reader, you may like to know that I asked the SO not to make any mention this in my file - I did it because it was the right thing to do, not for brownie points. The SO must have done a good job, because the reports from that nick baldly stated that I had a massive problem with staff and authority. Ho-hum.


  1. I am a little amazed at the last facts in this tale. It is almost as if the powers that be, really do need you where you are now. That would be making them look wise, so that can't be correct then! As you know, politicians are all lier's 24/7! Prison staff, Ummmmm? Only you know that answer Ben!

  2. I would have expected no less from you and I think you handled it well. I suppose it is something about negotiating your way around a "system" that cannot protect whistleblowers. I gather from watching certain programmes that being a "grass" can be dangerous particularly if serving a long sentence.

    I understand that some companies have boxes for whistleblowers where written comment can be safely placed. Would this be a practicable solution in a prison?

    As for the prison officer, I do think that whilst he did not have to record your advice there may have been someway for him to provide verbal feedback to mitigate the other than flattering comment about your attitude to those in authority. Yet you can console yourself - you acted properly.