After posting my good friends story earlier it has made me want to share another sad story that I briefly mentioned in A darker side of life!!!, I should point out that in normal circumstances I would not be able to share such a story and nor would I. However, in this case, the caller, whom I shall call MD, released the listeners from the confidentiality agreement the Samaritans because he was quite vulnerable and occasionally we needed staff intervention. A problem had arose where MD was being bullied, forced to snort subutex, plus his wife was having pressure put on her to bring in a parcel of drugs that MD was to accept on a visit from his wife and he was on an ACCT.
It had been arranged for MD to be located on the induction wing which kept him out of harms way, just before Christmas I had helped someone carry their prop back to the induction wing, I was working in reception at the time. (Until a close mate grassed me up for selling mobile phones and chargers but that’s another story, and nothing was proven so it’s one that will have to wait till I’ve finished my licence lol). I could see MD was stressed and he told me they were moving back to wing he was on where the trouble had been, the guys involved went to court, got locked out and ended up at another jail. I had a quiet word with a screw to find out what the fuck they were thinking, they sorted out, he stayed where he was. Then, a few days later, Christmas Eve, I saw MD in the centre between wings, they had moved him a few days after I saw him. He started to use the listeners on quite a regular basis, this consisted of just two of us. A few days after Christmas his wife had told him that she can’t carry on no more and hates the prison so won’t be bringing up their baby daughter. He was distraught, my colleague and I took it in turns through-out the day and night, it was a Saturday, an officer then went to my colleagues door about 1.30 am and said MD is asking for a listener again but the officer told him no he can now make do with the Samaritans phone.
My colleague also worked in the kitchens and on Sunday morning he was unlocked at just after 7am, within moments he was back saying Dave you ain’t going to believe this MD is dead, he hung himself in his cell. We were fucking fuming, myself especially after the incident I also mention in A darker side of life!!!. Following a death in custody there is of course an investigation, carried out by the prisons and probation ombudsman. My colleague and I would be spoken to by a representative. Now!, I cannot confirm if this was true as I only had my colleagues word to go on, he told me that he was approached by a governor, it was put to him that if he were to say to the ombudsman that when he last left MD, he was in good spirits and positive, to which his reward would be a D cat.
Before I was seen by the ombudsman, I had attended a safer custody meeting where it was disclosed that on the night it happened they had 36 ACCT’s to check on, MD was one that did not have the required amount of visits through the night and his document was incorrect. To add to this a neighbour of MD’s had told me that it was around 2.30am that he thought he heard a loud crash in MD’s cell, MD was found at just before 6.30am, he was down to be checked every 10 minutes. At the subsequent inquest a year later and in part due to my speaking out, an open verdict was returned.
They say that lessons will be learned, this was the end of 2008, in April 2017 in the prison I was serving, during a two week period there were four self-inflicted deaths. Until we start to hold Governors criminally responsible for suicides, that could’ve been prevented, things will never change.