Over the last few months David and I have become very good friends with ex-screw Neil ‘Sam’ Samworth (or as I like to call him, Samantha).
There are people who judge me on our friendship and avoid me because I’m mates with a screw. I’ll tell you what, there’s a whole lot more people judging and avoiding me because I’m mates with ex-cons! As far as I’m concerned if you’re decent to me and those around you and you haven’t hurt women, children or animals, I really don’t give a toss about your past or what anyone else thinks about the company I choose to keep.
I know Samantha to be an incredibly giving, sincere, caring and compassionate man. Testimony to this is the number of ex-cons that still call him up for advice and support. Says it all as far as I’m concerned.
Every ex-con, without exception, remembers the name of that ‘one decent screw‘? In every blog we read the same thing about Christmas ‘It’s alright if you get a decent screw’ Admittedly a lot of screws can be bastards, but there are some decent screws on the landings too. No different to ex-cons, some are bastards are some are decent.
Samantha recorded this Real Porridge podcast for us and he talks about how he did everything he could to make Christmas in Strangeways a bit more bearable. They even had fun!!
Watch his video and then come at me with ‘ALL screws are bastards.’
Keef ain’t no Screw Girl!
Neil ‘Sam’ Samworth grew up in Sheffield and did a variety of jobs before becoming a prison officer at Forest Bank in Manchester. In 2005, he transferred to HMP Manchester, still known as Strangeways, the notorious jail where riots took place in 1990. Sam spent 11 years there.
A tough Yorkshireman with a soft heart, he had to deal with it all – gangsters and gang bangers, terrorists and psychopaths, addicts and the mentally ill. Men who should not be locked up and men who should never be let out.
As staffing cuts saw Britain’s prisons descend into crisis, the stress of the job – the suicides, the inhumanity of the system and one assault too many – left Sam suffering from PTSD, and in 2016 he left the prison service.
You can purchase his number one bestselling book here.
I feel congratulations to Keef are in order, because there is NOT one single mention of the other meaning of One Decent Screw at Christmas.