Thursday, June 23, 2011
Here's a thought for those who believe that breaking prison rules has any connection with re-offending on release.
Well, two thoughts. First, do your damn research. Secondly, has it occurred that the tighter the restrictions you place on a person, then the greater the chance he may transgress? So that the transgressions are just as much a function of the restrictions as they are of the transgressor?
I've been scratching my head, and I don't think I've ever been charged with a prison disciplinary offence for something which, if done on the street, would be a crime.
Using a phone. Pretty normal out there..? Borrowing stuff off a neighbour. Refusing to work. Refusing to shave.
The nearest, I guess, is having the odd spliff in the past. Not that I was ever caught with even a grain of dope, but only busted on a urine-test. And out there, having THC in your system isn't illegal, is it?
My "crimes" are prison crimes, not real-world ones. The boundaries imposed on us in here are drawn very tightly, far more tightly than outside. And I chafe at them, largely for their stupidity and pointlessness. I mean, who the hell thinks holding me down and shaving me by force at the age of 15 made any bloody sense??
You could argue that the regime should be strict, it’s the nature of imprisonment. But two points arise. Under the Rules, then we should be regulated only as far as is necessary for an orderly, safe, institution. And - so many people overlook this small matter - the population of this prison are largely over-tariff. We are not here for punishment any longer.
So I break - on occasion - rules which seem irrational and unreasonable. Big deal. If I did the same outside, I'd expect to be hauled before the Courts and given due punishment.
But these petty transgressions are being used to keep me – and thousands more - in prison on a Life sentence. Of course, there are behaviours which could - should - raise eyebrows. If I was a raving alcoholic or smackhead or if I believed that violence was the answer to most of life’s questions, then I could appreciate hesitancy on the part of my keepers to sign the release papers.
The thing is, I don't exhibit any of these faults.
Labels: prison law