Although this blog is going to be a blatant plug of the Real Porridge Podcast, created and hosted by a former prison officer, there is still a point to this blog.
Neil ‘Sam’ Samworth is the former prison officer who created and hosts the Real Porridge Podcast. I had never met Sam whilst I was on tour of HMPs, alas, as a resident and not as a tourist, but we connected via social media, or should I say Keef did, and since then we have become good mates.
I’d like to think, had we met on the other side of the wall, Sam and I would have got on just as well. There is no reason a prison officer and a prisoner shouldn’t get on like mates. It comes with its own set of rules and is not the same as having a mate on the out. A good mate on the out, within reason, would do anything for you. Prison doesn’t work like that. A decent prison officer who has ‘mates’ on the landings knows he/she will have protection from those over which he/she has a duty of care. A decent prison officer can also save your life in several ways. You just have to remember they’re a prison officer.
Personally, unless they were being a proper dick, I’ve always had a decent relationship with prison officers. And no doubt there are prison officers who liked me and those who thought I was a dick. We can’t get on with or please everyone in life. However, if you want to live on a calm landing, relationships with those carrying the keys are important.
Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s Shaun, a former IPP prisoner, who spent a lot of his time being transferred from one prison segregation unit to another, until one day a certain prison manager sat him down and listened.
This is part three of a series of chats between Sam and Shaun, which produced one of the most genuine reflections of our prison system that I have watched, read or heard.
Before I share part three of their chat, I would also recommend watching the interviews with Holly and the one with Lee. Together, Shaun, Holly and Lee, along with Sam’s other guests, put the real in the Real Porridge Podcast.
And for Sam himself? Well, he is a wonderful man and one who Keef and I are proud to call our mate.