Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Sorry State

While it had to happen sooner rather than later, in the event it happened sooner than expected. Last weekend I wasn't able to leave the prison because I just couldn't afford the bus fare. How pathetic is that?
The problem is a simple one. My income is £11 per week, whilst my expenditure is over £20. Lest you suspect that I am living it large, the breakdown is:
Phone bill, £7 (9p a minute)
Tobacco etc, £12
Coffee, £1
Sundries (stamps, paper, toiletries, etc), £3
TOTAL £23
And that is before I leave the prison. Daily bus fare is £6. Being out for 11 hours calls for a cup of tea and a bite to eat, another £5. GRAND TOTAL £34.
If this situation continues, I may have to grab a couple of slices of bread and. start chasing my mouse...!

12 comments:

  1. Ok, I'll bite:

    Quit smoking? ;)

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  2. Quit smoking, quit eating out, and quit whining.

    You've done nothing but whine for the past couple of months. The prison system is not your enemy, and if you'd realised this you would have been out a lot earlier.

    In society, your income will also be limited (not too many people willing to hire an unemployed, never-worked, institutionalised murderer), and you will have to spend within your means.

    The fact that you have so much trouble dealing with petty expenses of the daily world, within a sheltered workshop demonstrates that you can't function within society.

    Your entire life has been a study in narcissism, and all the battery-operated cats in the world can't fix what's between your ears.

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    Replies
    1. Quit eating? Not very sage advice for someone trying to appear so clever!

      Personally, I think Ben should be applauded for managing to wend his way through 33 years worth of our great British prison system without becoming addicted to anything stronger than the odd fag.

      Aristophanes was a comic playwright - you're just a comic!

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  3. I'm confused...is catching your mouse going to provide you with an extra £23 per week?

    And I second what Wigarse said. Seriously, your smoking expenses alone outweigh your income? I admit that I've deliberately avoided personal experience with addiction, so I can't speak to the difficulty of quitting smoking, but from where I'm sitting that seems like rather a lot for something that's primarily good for screwing with one's health.

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  4. Ben, you have a bigger shock waiting when you get out. Last month, we paid aobut £350 in water rates for the year, and tv licence is £143. This month i have to find around £700 to tax, insure and mot a small car. Then it will be gas/electric bill again, and so it goes on... on top of that, we spend £60-70 on food, and about £50 per week petrol. It is a small flat, and there is very little for treats, like new clothes, meals out etc. It is the way it is for many of us. The only people who are ok, are bankers and polititions.

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    Replies
    1. Aye, I live on my own in a small flat and /just/ my gas and electric for the month is about 90 quid and that's with recent attempts to cut it down!

      Then again, if they're trying to resettle the guy they should be giving him enough money to actually do it...

      I won't comment on the smoking as I gave up myself a couple of months ago and remember when I smoked nothing was more annoying than a preachy ex-smoker having just given up -.o;

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  5. I would think smoking as a small point of solace in prison life is more understandable than for people on the outside. I wonder what the stats are on smokers in each environment ?

    Good luck and give up when you get out - the rest of us have..

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  6. My 1st attempt at commenting, so please excuse the rambling....

    Phone charges @ 9p/min - Gouging; exploitation of a group of people who are vulnerable to such greedy abuse purely because they are literally locked in to the monopoly provider....

    Smoking - within limits (I personally detest the stink, but it's your body not mine) you have my sympathy. On your release you may find that it is a luxury you really cannot afford, and will have to quit. My relaxant is alcohol, preferably in a nice wine or good real ale. While I was working, no problem - now that I am a carer, I brew my own beer and carefully avoid walking through the alcohol aisle in Tesco. I have not been in a pub or restaurant for over 10 years.

    Travel - If I recall correctly, the Prison Service does reluctantly grant you a weekly amount on production of receipts/tickets? Please correct me if I'm wrong there.

    Eating out : Does the Prison Service not have an obligation to feed you while you are in their care & custody - are those prisoners with no funds not able to claim a small lunch allowance, or even a basic sandwich pack from the kitchen?

    Disregarding the bigot at #2 above, the comments so far appear to be a fair representation of current public opinion and the realities of life outside prison. Best of luck with the adjustment.

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  7. Here's a link to a short vid which I thought might cheer you up a bit Ben. Its called mouse vs mouse trap. It is daft. http://youtu.be/Plz9JxsnhH4

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  8. The big problem with giving up smoking, is you then must replace it with some other item, or thought! One word of warning! Patches are useless if you have oily skin like me. They don't get you off nicotine, as they have the nicotine still there. There are only two drugs that work, Zyban, or Champix! Speak to the Prison Doctor about those two, because they do work, just as long as you are not an addictive personality?
    Sorry about the bus fare, Ben!

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  9. I suggest you or the editor reads up on Prison Service Order 4460 and 7500.
    2.7 Prisoners who are Released on Temporary Licence and those on ‘Working Out’ Schemes

    2.7.1 Prisoners who are released on temporary licence are not normally entitled to earnings for the period of time they are out of the establishment except under facility licence. Prisoners released on temporary licence are, however, entitled to travel costs and subsistence grants under the terms of chapter 14 of the Prison Service Finance Order (PSO 7500).

    2.7.2 Prisoners undertaking community or voluntary work or other unpaid purposeful activity under a facility licence must be paid at a rate set by the establishment. Prisoners in these circumstances must not be expected to meet the cost of any fares or meals required to undertake the activity. The rates of pay for these activities must be published to staff and prisoners in the prisoners’ pay structure.

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