Monday, December 26, 2011

Cast Adrift

One of the pains of imprisonment is the dependancy that the prison service insists upon. We have to rely upon staff for everything from supplying toilet paper to organising release. The full range of human activity is constrained, denied to the prisoner except through the agency of staff.

Until you reach open prison.  Sudbury has a 'do it yourself" attitude, leaving us to fend for ourselves.  This is a shock to some, an irritant for others and liberation for many.

It has its drawbacks.  Prison is prison, open or not, and there are crucial moments when we must engage with the "Administration".  This is not easy when they are nowhere to be found!

Autonomy is also at it best when it rests on sound and plentiful information. The basics, such as where to find our food through to the momentous such as when do I begin my home leaves. This places a burden on staff which is inimical to the attitude of benign neglect that of necessity shakes us out of our previous state of dependancy.

Whether the precise balance has been found here is something I'm yet as unsure of, but as I bomb about the place trying to get my life organised feel sure I'll soon find out.

1 comment:

  1. You need to chill Ben, go with the flow, stop trying to create and make things happen. Let things be and see what comes your way. Its not as if you have to work at getting yourself a high profile now is it?

    Everyone has constraints on them from whatever institution. Take the family even, I'm visiting family for christmas, I have to ask them for more bog roll when I need it, and am completely reliant on them to get me to the station for me to catch a train home. So, some institutional regimes are hard and bad for some people (but not all people), and so it is the same for every institution going.

    I hate to think of you frantically crashing around the place. Relax man, stop rushing. You ought to walk out of that place with your head high, not crawling around on your belly 'cos you've ruptured some internal organ or something, please, take it easy.


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