Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Hidden Depths

A large proportion of matters that effect prisoners, both as individuals and as a collective, are discussed and decided far from our sight. On rare occasions, though, we get glimpses of this activity.

The other day I felt the heat of a miserable screw on the back of my neck. I felt that he was, as we say, "digging me out". We ended up in the wing office, myself, this Silverback, and another screw, arguing the toss over whether I should be locked up all day.

As we fired masked barbs back and forth, one of them read out an email. It was all about little old me, sent to all the staff in the prison, and originated with the manager who saddled me with the recent education deal. It was, essentially, a pleasantly worded "search and destroy" order; I may well be employed on in-cell education but, unlike all the others so employed, I must be locked away.

Even these two screws, not notorious for their pro-prisoner attitudes, sucked their teeth and declared that this looks like management were leaning on me. One said, "You know the problem, don't you?" I declared complete ignorance, the ways of management being decidedly strange to me... He filled in a large gap in my understanding. It seems that I had pissed off the Deputy Governor during a visit by the Prison Inspectors, by asking them a simple question - "Can you find out why I've been kept unemployed for two years as a matter of policy?”

If the screws think this, then my sporadic fits of paranoia really were hints that someone was out to get me. It explains the sudden efforts to have me banged-up that began a few months ago and which have culminated in my being saddled with a hand-crafted regime that sees me banged up all day. Good to know.


  1. ben, how about doing a Subject Access Request? If it's in your records, or has ever been on a computer (including all emails), and it's about you, you have the right to see it.

    I discovered all sorts of things about what was being said and planned about me behind my back, and the secondary beneficial effect was that I got a huge amount of schadenfreude from the wriggling of the people who wrote the offending material.

    I saw something about such Subject Access Requests in a recent Inside Time.


  2. king Queen= I tried this, i assume you mean the right to see your files under the data protection act. I was in the probation office, and they said i couldn't see my records there and then. I had to make an appointment for another day, which i did. I can only conclude pages were missing, or at least taken out for my expected visit. And what was left these neanderthals couldn't get right. Sadly, these people with micky mouse qualifications at some 3rd rate college have a lot of say about you.

  3. anon, yes it's amazing how much material can go missing isn't it. here's my story