Hello. I’m the Missus. For reasons best known to himself, David calls me Keef.
I must first say sorry to David, who will know nothing about this blog until he reads it online. He’s currently got his head down, working on an article about the Mafia, which means I could trapeze across the room in a gorilla suit & he wouldn’t notice. I think writing a blog is the safer option.
My interest in prisons and the rehabilitation of prisoners began in 1987, when my younger brother received his first custodial sentence. Although there’s only a year between us, It was my role as Big Sister to get him out of trouble I’d defend him to our parents, school teachers, Policemen, Probation and even the Judges, I would write letters to, and the many times I stood up in Court to get him out of trouble again.
Eventually, he received a custodial sentence of six months in a Young Offenders Institute, I have never felt so helpless as when the Policemen took him down. I wanted to scream “Get your hands off my brother, he’s going nowhere”. There was absolutely nothing I could do. It didn’t matter how many calls I made, how many people I spoke to, I couldn’t find out where he was and if he was ok.
It wasn’t to be his one and only custodial sentence. He returned to Prison many times, clearly rehabilitation didn’t work for him!
My concern for prisoners, rehabilitation and the conditions they live in, hasn’t waned since. Being with David has inspired me to get involved, not sure how yet. As you can probably imagine, the main topic of conversation in our house is prison. My knowledge of the Criminal Justice System has expanded significantly. I can now describe the cells and landings of at least three prisons and name many of the “Screws” he has met over four decades.
I must apologise if I have got anything wrong. Everything is based on my recollection of what David has told me.
I don’t always give him my full attention.
What does David mean when he says
How could that possibly apply to David?
My own definition is someone who has spent so long in an institute that they can’t cope or adjust to life outside.
I’ve never had cause to question whether he was coping this side of the wall. I look at him with such pride at his ever-growing success. Coping? Adjusting? He’s smashing it!
I decided to do a bit of research into institutionalisation and find evidence that he is not institutionalised. I stopped researching when I had found ten examples that he is indeed very institutionalised
I’m sure there are many more, but ten examples are sufficient evidence for me. I will cover each in future blogs, including HMP Fine Dining, Slave To Routine and many more.
In the meantime, if you know anyone who needs a detailed description of the cells, kitchen or landings of HMP Norwich – send them my way!
I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Just don’t tell the Old Man!
Let me know what you think of my first blog.