Friday, 24 June 2016

Prison UK: An Insider's View: Preparing for Prison

Prison UK: An Insider's View: Preparing for Prison: I’ve written previously about various aspects of imprisonment, including practical preparations such as packing your personal possessions (r...

Japanese Prison Lets Inmates Over 65 Years Play Nintendo DS To Battle Dementia

A report by Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun has revealed that Oita Prison, which is located on the eastern coast of Kyushu, is battling dementia in its older inmates by having them play games on a Nintendo DS (thanks RocketNews24). In Oita Prison, 21 percent of the inmates are aged over 65, which is a little bit higher than Japan’s national average of 18.2 percent, whereas in the US only 2.2 percent of the prison population is 65 or over according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. All over the planet the number of pensioners in prison is increasing and with this comes the rise of new challenges, such as helping inmates battle the effects of dementia. Read more at

Young Dementia in Prison's - From a Serving Prisoner

I am writing to you from behind my door. Don't worry, I haven't got the privilege of a lap top or phone in prison, I am communicating via my girlfriend. She prints off some of your blog posts and sends them to me which I find interesting to read. 
One topic of interest is dementia. My Mum passed away this year from vascular dementia so this subject is close to home. I am serving my sentence on a wing where there is a 53 year old guy who has recently been diagnosed with early onset frontal lobe dementia. I for one always associated dementia with the elderly but this is not the case. I have done my homework and alcohol and drug abuse is a contributing factor connected with dementia and people are developing the disease much younger these days.
I speak to the guy with dementia. He craves food and cigarettes and I researched that those diagnosed with frontal lobe, this is a common symptom of the illness. He repeats himself quite a lot too and other prisoners just don't understand the disease and some refer to him as an oddball. It's unfair but there is little education going on in prison that covers dementia. Basically no one gives a shit and everyone is just out for themselves. It's prison, you keep your head down (if you've got any sense) and do your time. 
I won't say why I'm in prison but my crime does not involve sex offences therefore I could work towards supporting vulnerable adults with dementia if I had the support and encouragement to do so. I'll be an ex-con in 2017 (next year) and I don't want to work as a FLT driver! The prison service must think every con wants to drive a FLT because most cons are offered FLT driving courses! Supporting people with dementia would be something I would be good at but no doubt achieving this with a criminal record would be a chore and a half. I've got tattoo's and a skinhead, and to look at me you wouldn't have me down as someone with this interest but don't judge a book by its cover! 
Seeing my Mum disappear in front of me was devastating and I look at the guy on the wing and think, Christ this man is only 6 years older than me and he's been dealt a death sentence. He also makes me think what a **** head I've been for slumming it in jail and wasting my life. He makes me look at myself and he's a wake up call to get my arse in to gear. 

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Prison UK: An Insider's View: Guest post: Employment with a Criminal Record

Prison UK: An Insider's View: Guest post: Employment with a Criminal Record: A View from the Front Line By Kate Beech, Managing Director of Chance 2013 (This guest post has been contributed by Kate Beech who is th...

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Cold Turkey

Published on 19 May 2013 Directed by Leo Regan and originally televised in 2001, 'Cold Turkey' tells the story of Lanre Fehintola a photojournalist who experimented with heroin whilst working on a book featuring drug addicts. 'Cold Turkey' tells the story of Lanre a year after Regan's original documentary 'Don't Get High on Your Own Supply' which followed Lanre after five years of addiction. Larne is plunged back into heroin addiction and Regan's film 'Cold Turkey' follows Larne's desperate bid to kick his heroin addiction through cold turkey. This programme presents the unique dynamic between the film maker and his subject and raises questions regarding friendship, reflexivity; ethnography and impartiality. It also serves to present the vast physiological and psychological difficulties encountered with heroin addiction and withdrawal. Lanre's website: Lanre's book: Observer Newspaper article 20 / 05 / 2001: Copyright by Channel 4 © 2001. No copyright infringement intended. Purely for educational purposes

Ex-Offender and Employment

Ten years ago I was given the chance of a job. I took it and still work for the same company today. I was grateful for that second chance but I knew my employer and he knew my background. He had to put risk assessments in place but I proved myself and worked hard.
I am now in a new relationship and plan to move in with my partner. This would mean me having to find a new job but my employer reassured me that he would write me a glowing reference. I have applied for 3 jobs and have had 2 interviews. The application form asked for any criminal records to be disclosed. I filled in the form with honesty and spoke about my past during the interviews. I figured it was best to be up front and the managers interviewing me were great and understanding.
Both interviews went very well but both managers said that they have to run my previous convictions by their head offices. Needless to say, I haven't heard word back. I made follow up phone calls and both managers said that they would offer me the jobs but the final decision was up to head office but head office didn't interview me so based on my previous conviction, they made a decision not to hire me. My previous was a drug conviction by the way and I have not re-offended since which was 12 years ago. 
I have 10 years working experience which is flawless and still my conviction holds me to ransom. How does this country expect to reduce re-offending when the employment field will not entertain people with convictions. If it wasn't for my friend/employer, God only knows what path I'd be on now. 
I am still struggling to move on and I have ten years active employment history! I just wanted to share my story. From an Ex-Offender 

Prison Widow Q&A

Dear Prison Widow. I would like to ask you a question and that question is; do you have a problem with drug addicts especially those who use heroin? 
I don't have a problem with drug addicts personally; I have a problem with the drug and the devastating impact it has not only on the user; but their families. 
I have seen people laid out in wooden boxes because of heroin overdoses and their children putting photo's of themselves in the coffin, so yeah, why should I give someone the time of day who is prepared to put their kids through that? Underneath the gear is usually a decent person but once they are hooked on that stuff; the decent person you once knew is long gone. Sad but unfortunately true. 

At The End Of The Road - From Miss G

Hi Prison Widow
The time has come for me to call it a day. 
I have no one to turn to and feel as low as can get. My husband is a prolific offender because he chooses to abuse his body with drugs. I'm at that stage now where enough is enough and I want a life without the prison visits. He's not an evil person, far from it, but his great love is heroin and I have decided I'm not being second best anymore. 
I have noticed that there is very little support for people in my situation. 

Comment: One of the best forums out there is Sober Recovery. 

Friday, 17 June 2016

Bricks and bars: The tough urban prisons of the past

"Old and inefficient" urban prisons are being shut as part of government plans to modernise infrastructure in England and Wales. The imposing buildings of the past might not suit 21st Century detention - but they were architecturally striking. The tough urban prisons of the past This summer, the biggest women's jail in western Europe - Holloway in north London - is due to close. Inmates have already begun to transfer from the inner city site to two prisons in Surrey. Its closure is part of a wider programme to shut a number of historic urban jails, to make way for nine new prisons. But many inmates will remain housed in buildings built before World War Two.Here - we take a look at some of the old distinctive buildings that kept prisoners behind bars.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

No Support for Prison Release - From Anon2

Dear Blog Admin.
I have a partner in prison and he is due to be released in August this year. He has been in prison for 2 years.
When he got sent to prison he was addicted to cocaine and has kept his head down and as far as I know has been clean in prison. Before he was arrested my life with him was awful. He would disappear for days, sometimes weeks on end and it made me ill. When he went to prison I was relieved in a way because I found some peace and worked on getting myself better. I didn't realize how much of a bad impact his drug addiction had on me.
He has reassured me that when he gets out he will stay off the drugs but I am scared and already feel my anxiety kicking in because it is getting closer to him coming home. I don't want to live my life walking on egg shells again and watching every move he makes. His mates still do coke and I am dreading him hooking up with them. I know this is my choice but I am nervous about him coming home. There is no support out here for families preparing for the release of their loved ones. It always focuses on the prison side of things and when they go to prison. 

No One Can Help You But You - From Former Drug Addict

Hey Guys! 
I am 15 months clean of heroin. I have been in prison 3 times.
I committed crime purely to fund my addiction. 
Before I became hooked to heroin, I never even contemplated shop lifting and burglary. I am 15 months clean and I have no desire to commit crime because I don't need drugs. 
Need I go further because this isn't rocket science.
If I relapsed, there is a very high chance I will commit crime. Drug addicts do not think rationally and the only thing addicts think about is scoring their next high. If you do not have money to get that high, you will beg, borrow and steal even off your own family. 
Let me ask your readers a question please... Why aren't drugs legal? Think about it... they aren't legal in this country because the system needs to make money and keep people in jobs so a smack head, junkie, druggie, or whatever you want to call us, are good earners for those sitting behind desks dealing with us. Like I said in the beginning, it is not rocket science. 
There is no such thing as prisoner resettlement or rehabilitation. I will always be an addict and my road to recovery will be a long one but I am lone working and the devil is on my shoulders, not my probation officers, not my girlfriends and not my drug worker. No one can help you but you. 

Stop Patronising Families of Offenders - From Ivy

I "helped" my partner, now my ex partner, for 12 months when he came out of prison. 
Little did I know was that he was fleecing me.
I am in debt with my council tax, credit cards and in rent arrears. 
He walked out of his job, left his son and is now smacked out of his head every day sleeping at a number of houses commonly known as drug dens. 
I feel so ill and worried yet no one is chasing him! No one is knocking on drug den doors and most of them are claiming DLA and every benefit they can muster out of the system and some of them actually receive more money than me who is having to work over 50 hours a week to survive. 
So for everyone who says that families can reduce re-offending is talking through their backsides! If you want to support your loved ones then fine, but if they relapse watch your back because the government will not support the families who have tried to support their partners, daughter's and son's etc!
If the Government want to reduce re-offending, the government need to up their game instead of passing the book over to families who have tried and tried and then some! Sort the system out and stop taking the p**s out of families of offenders! 

Monday, 13 June 2016

Business As Usual - From Former Prisoner

My opinion and I speak from experience is.. drum roll.. it's business as usual for some cons on the wings.
I do not wish to go in to great detail but some prisoners carry on where they left off on the out.
The system has failed re-training minds of the criminals and the criminals won't surrender to a squeaky clean lifestyle. I'm not saying this applies to everyone, but most of us have lost faith. 
How many ex-cons have made a good living out of being in prison selling their stories and setting up businesses?  I can name a few, but a few is all I can name. One successful ex-con is quoted as saying 'a probation officer changed my life'. That's very good, excellent in fact, but it was donkey's years ago when probation officers were heavily involved in supporting prisoners upon release. It was sturdy and your assigned officer would remain with you throughout your licence. Today, ex-offenders are bounced from pillar to post and you see new faces every time to go to your probation appointments. Even when you try to phone your probation officer named on paper, you are either told they are on annual leave or in a meeting. 
I'm happy that some of the old skool lads have had the support off their probation officers but the system today is just a tick box scheme and a recall roller-coaster. It's almost like probation officers have become driving test examiners.. recall so many a day... fail so many a day! 
I've been in prison 6 times. It's not something I'm proud of by the way, but it wasn't something I was scared of either. 
Prison's are always overcrowded; why? Kids were tags these days and are happy to show them off. Years ago people did everything in their power to hide them. It's no biggy; it's just business as usual. 

Sunday, 12 June 2016

The System is Already Screwed - From Serving Prisoner (CAT D)

Hello Prison Widow. Didn't know you had your own blog which is superb. I read all your stuff in Inside Time.
I'm on home leave from Cat D and nearly ready to be released. 
The EU thing and 4,000 more EU prisoners by 2030 is funny. 
The country and the system is already shot at no matter which way anyone votes. It makes no odds to me. 
One of the lads has wrote about language barriers in prison and I agree with him. The screws are overworked and short staffed so the drug situation and scum that sell it are laughing all the way to the bank! There are prisoners in our system that are making a killing inside whilst they are serving time! How's that a deterrent?
The likes of Duncan-Smith don't tell the newspapers that do they? Seriously it is a joke and whilst I have no intention of going back to prison when I get out, it wouldn't scare me to go back if needs must. 
Keep your blog rolling! It's good to read some earthy stuff for a change! 

I Will Go Back to Prison - From Ex Offender B

Dear Prison Widow UK. 
I am an ex prisoner and here are my thoughts.
Rehabilitation has to start with the mind-set. So here goes....
I am repeatedly told that I have to go on the straight and narrow. Going on the straight and narrow means working for peanuts... I am currently working in a factory which is OK, but I am skint and struggling to provide for my family once the bills are paid. I had to go to the food bank last week to feed my family because my straight and narrow lifestyle, (which probation officers tell me is the right way to live) is what living is all about. 
I have been to prison a number of times and if this straight and narrow living subjects me and my kids to trips to the food bank every fucking week then for me I'll go back to prison! My partner is better off on benefits with me banged up than me being out living as a family unit and you have pricks sat in white collars and suits barking what's right and wrong and how people should live? 
I work hard and I like my job. It's first job I have ever had in my life and I am 32 years old. I know it's pretty sad isn't it and education is drummed in to us from an early age but I was brought up in a house with junkie parents who were not fit for purpose therefore I learned to read in a YOI. 
Some of your readers will say I have a bad attitude and my logic is wrong but my family are worse off with me being on the out living a straight and narrow lifestyle. My kids benefit from me being at home yes, but I can't feed them properly on my legit earnings so has anyone got any suggestions? 

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Recipe for Disaster - From Ex Con K

4,000 more inmates by 2030?? I am in stitches! More like 4,000 more EU inmates by 2017!!
You are lucky if you get to share a pad with a British national these days and excuse me; no; I am not being racist and I am pointing out fact!!
I was banged up with a foreign national who could not speak a word of the Queens and we communicated by signing and miming. He was alright but some kids in prison have learning difficulties and cannot read or write so it is a recipe for disaster!!! The majority of screws struggle with language barriers and it is all time consuming with the 'me no speak English' thing. Now if you are chatting rehabilitation; before you even start with all that; we've got kids who aren't educated and foreign nationals who don't speak English!! Happy rehabilitation I say; and about the seven new nicks?? Stick another 3 or 4 on the list because you are gonna need them Mr Prime Minister!! It's a pansy system!!

Vote Leave: 4,000 More EU Inmates By 2030

Seven new prisons will need to be built in the UK by 2030 to cope with the rising number of migrant criminals, the Leave campaign has claimed. Former cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith has warned 3,993 additional jail places will be needed for EU convicts if current levels of migration continue, and if the percentage of migrants who commit prison-worthy crimes matches the rest of the UK population. This is the equivalent of another seven jails the size of Full Sutton prison in York, which can accommodate 606 inmates.Mr Duncan Smith believes that if the UK remains in the EU, the problem will only worsen in the years to come - with the likes of Turkey, Macedonia and Albania vying to join the bloc.

                                    COMMENTS AND OPINIONS PLEASE

                                 POSTS WILL FEATURE THIS EVENING 

Friday, 10 June 2016

Welcome Back to Prison! - From TSOME

Dear All. I do not know where to start but I'll try my best.
My partner died of an heroin overdose 16 months ago. He was a prolific offender and the crimes he committed was purely to fund his addiction. 
Six months before he passed away, I left him because his addiction was bringing me down. You cannot love someone to change but it had taken me ten years to figure that one out. 
I can't tell you how many prison's I have visited over the years but there has been quite a lot. That depressed me too because it seemed to be never ending. 
When I left him he died six months later and his family in a way blamed me for turning my back on him. But what could I do? Carry on enabling him and making myself even more depressed? Anyone who has lived with addiction will tell you that it is exhausting and chaotic. It's no good and your own health takes a tumble.
I once thought it was easy to say no to drugs. But it isn't that simple for the addict. Addicts especially those addicted to heroin need it in order to function. It gets to a stage where it isn't about the high, heroin addicts need the drug just to feel normal and function. His Mother used to say, "Stupid bastard, why can't he just stop"! 
He used drugs every time he went to prison so it was no big feat getting locked up. Obviously he didn't take drugs to the extent he did on the outside but even so, he was released from prison still addicted to drugs. What's the point sending someone to prison and releasing them with the same mind set?
The system knew they'd see him again so rehabilitation is nothing more than a joke. The system send him to prison because he committed crimes to pay for his drug addiction and the system released him to do it all over again. It's a waste of tax payers money and a waste of time all round. 
It isn't a waste of time in the eyes of the victims of crime but drugs are available in prison anyway so innocent citizens will always come a cropper if a person is desperate for drugs. The knock on effect of addiction is terrible. 
Armed Robbery, theft, burglary, muggings, violence, is all mainly drug addiction induced. 
The UK Government claim that crime rates are dropping which is bull. The crime rate is spiraling and we have to take the Governments word for it. 
I watched Ben's story and I cried my heart out. 
Street level drug dealers are what I call desperado's selling drugs to pay for their own. Those who sell drugs and don't use are the real pieces of shit. 
They are murderers making money out of illegal substances and they tear families apart. As for families of prisoners being at the centre of rehabilitation to reduce re-offending is the biggest load of tripe I've heard.  

No Support For Families Living With Drug Users - From A

Hi Prison Widow. I would like to submit a contribution please.
I too am confused as to why the authorities think that families can reduce 
re-offending; especially families of those who are in prison for substance abuse offences. My brother has been a heroin user for 8 years and just like Ben's family in the documentary you featured on your site; my family are as equally caring. 
As long as my brother uses heroin, he will be in and out of prison for the rest of his life. As a family, we have tried everything to help him to quit drugs but he relapses and relapses time and time again. He still doesn't quit when he hits rock bottom so what else as a family can we do? 
He has a 12 year old daughter who is beautiful and he still cannot or will not stop using heroin. 
I read an article stating that prisoner's who come from a stable family are less likely to re-offend. Imagine how my parents felt when they read that garbage?
My brother is an absolute walking nightmare and we are relieved when he is in prison. At least when he disappears for 6 months at a time we know where he is. 
There is absolutely no help or support for families in our situation. I too find it disgusting that it is said that families can reduce re-offending. Does this actually apply to families with a drug user in their lives? 

Have Your Prison Bed and Lie in it - From A Blog Reader

Families help to reduce reoffending by maintaining ties with their loved ones in prison? Can anyone send a list bullet points to show us how to do it please? 
The 1st time my other half went in to prison I was never away visiting and he reoffended. The 2nd time he went in to prison I didn't visit him and he hasn't reoffended. I used the tough love approach because it's his problem not mine. If he prefers a prison bed rather than our comfy one at home then he can make his prison bed and lie in it. I wasn't pussy footing around him anymore because by me visiting and sending him money was making it alright and quite frankly prison isn't alright. If it works for some people then fine but for me it is a complete contradiction. I might well come across as hard and cold but my children need a father figure, not a convict who commits crime for his own selfish needs. If he reoffends I will move on. 

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Junkie Dramas - From SK

Hi Prisoners Families Voices/Prison Widow...
I'm a recovering heroin addict and an ex-con. I'm divorced and now live on my own. My wife left me when I was in active addiction. I was given chances after chances and blew every one of them.
I disappeared for days, even weeks on end and my only priority was my next fix.
Addiction is a family disease and I say this because it doesn't just harm the user, it hurts everyone around them. 
I have been reading a lot of posts on your blog recently and it pains me to say this, but thousands of families are enabling their loved ones in prison. 
When a person in active addiction goes to prison, rattles and detoxes, I can say through experience that it is nearing on 100 percent that they will use again whilst they are in prison. ABC or D, the category does not matter, drugs are available if you've got the readies and the readies come from the people you love. I read Prison Widow's article in Inside Time, Hit the Road Smack, and she is right in the sense that heroin evaporates your soul. The more I thought about screwing up my life and families life, the more drugs I wanted to numb the pain. When I used more drugs, I did not have to think about my irresponsible actions, heroin blocked my stupidity and I was happy as Larry hanging out with my my druggie friends. But as soon as I went to prison, and after I rattled, the first person I wrote to was my wife because druggies aren't your friends, they are people with a means to an end. Drug users use each other simply for drugs. 
I remember talking to my ex wife once on a prison visit. She said she would have rather have lost me to another woman than a bag of heroin because she would have been able to make some sense of it... There is no point trying to understand a drug addict because unless you are an addict, you will NEVER understand how they tick. 
I watched Ben's Diary last year when I googled You Tube documentaries. The guy has my full respect and the film should be used for educational purposes. 
It is hard hitting, but so what, people need to know what this drug does to individuals and their families. It is a real life video diary of someone tortured by brown. (Heroin slang) 
His father could not retire because he was enabling his son's addiction. His Mum was at her wits end and other family members/friends were helpless. 
I am glad my wife walked away in the sense that she found peace and no longer had to put up with the junkie drama. Addicts always have dramas or invent them to swindle a tenner out of family members! 
It is a sad state of affairs alright! 

Families Living With Heroin Addicts - From Partner of Prisoner

I watched the documentary about BEN last night. 
It was heartbreaking! 
The footage also shows how families struggle living with a loved one who is addicted to heroin! What a lovely lovely family and Ben still could not kick his drug habit. 
So I will move on and take this a step further. My partner is in prison. This is his 2nd time and here I am again fussing over him and making sure he is surviving in prison. Drug use has gotten him in to prison both the first and this sentence. But he can change with a good woman and a loving family supporting him can't he? He can't can he because heroin has taken over his mind and the outcome for heroin addicts isn't a good one. 
I have no words and I agree with the posts on your blog. How can families bloody support drug addicts and how can they prevent them from going to prison when a drug addict is so addicted to their drug that no one else matters apart from their drug? I am gutted because in my heart of hearts I know my partner will probably go to prison for a 3rd, possibly 4th time, that's if heroin doesn't take him to heaven first. 

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Ben: Diary of an Heroin Addict - Documentary

I Have Served My Time - From Prisoner's Wife

I am so so so glad someone has had the courage to say it as it is!!!
Thank you ex-offender for your post.
twelve years I have been married to an addict and for half of our marriage he has been inside!!!
He is currently in prison now and I have ended our marriage. I have kicked him to the curb because his junkie ways have taken its toll on me.
I find it a ******** insult that people say families of offenders can reduce re-offending!!!
How about covering the health and well-being of families who are encouraged to visit their loved ones in the nick only to look in to their eyes and see them pinned because the prison system cannot get a grip of the class A sweet shops that frequent every wing!!!
What is the point of sitting opposite a junkie in prison? Why have I wasted thousands of pounds on visits and why have I wiped his arse every time he re-offends? I wish I had never visited him in prison and let him hit his bottom!!! 
I feel like I have wasted 12 years of my life and I am devastated. I have paid debts off for him in prison, had dealers at my door demanding cash, been robbed, lied to and cheated on and manipulated. I have served my time as a prisoner's wife and I'm done. I now have to focus on my own re-offending and hope I have the strength to move forward. Rant over!!!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Drugs in Prison - By LP Ex-Offender

Hey there Prison Widow! 
I read all your articles when I was inside by the way! 
Drugs in prison are global let me say! 
I found the Quote (left) on the net and it pretty much means what it says!
If you are a junkie before you go inside you are screwed unless you have family and mates who send you money. I don't wanna upset any families who read your blog but there's no point dressing it up. 
My missus sent me money and I blagged her and told lie after lie to get my fix in jail. She thought I was clean as a whistle but I was still using. 
Lads think that if they use gear in prison on the odd occasion, it doesn't matter. They still think in their heads that they are clean and just having a toot or two is not a proper drug habit - until they get released and overdose!
I went on the site that has been advertised on your blog and I found a post written by a junkie: 

What Addicts Do 
My name's Jon. I'm an addict. And this is what addicts do. You cannot nor will not change my behavior. You cannot make me treat you better, let alone with any respect. All I care about, all I think about, is my needs and how to go about fufilling them. You are a tool to me, something to use. When I say I love you I am lying through my teeth, because love is impossible for someone in active addiction. I wouldn't be using if I loved myself, and since I don't, I cannot love you. My feelings are so pushed down and numbed by my drugs that I could be considered sociopathic. I have no empathy for you or anyone else. It doesn't faze me that I hurt you, leave you hungry, lie to you, cheat on you and steal from you. My behavior cannot and will not change until i make a decision to stop using/drinking and then follow it up with a plan of action. And until I make that decision, I will hurt you again and again and again. Stop being surprised. I am an addict. And that's what addicts do.

Whoever Jon is has summed it up in just one post! The site cannot be a British one because it is a straight talking no holds barred community support group.
I joined it last week and it is way way way ahead of any UK site.
I'm a junkie in recovery and it is helping me. Soft arse probation officers and sweet talking support workers aren't gonna help me so I am glad I have found some sort of place I can vent and share my troubles. 
Drugs are illegal and considering that the majority of offenders in UK prison's are junkies, and have ended up in HMP because of a drug related crime, and are able to buy the shit in prison is a joke! Someone on your blog said that drugs have been available in prison's for years and this is true. Do you know what? They will remain in them because the UK WANTS people to reoffend. 
Criminals and junkies keep people working within the system in jobs! So all these white collar dudes who are debating prison reform are wasting their breath - there is no intention of rehabilitation - it's all a money spin.
Create more jobs? Yeah get more people hooked on gear both on the out and the in! Thanks for listening guys! 

Anger after another transgender woman sent to men's prison, despite government promises

Another transgender woman has been sent to a men's prison despite the Government promising to review the rights of transgender prisoners. The review was commissioned after two transgender women were found hanged within weeks of each other in two different male prisons last year.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Buprenorphine: The Drug That Could Have Saved Prince

It’s been over a month since Prince’s passing and the world is still mourning the death of the Purple Legend. After a whirlwind of media speculation, the Associated Press has officially reported today that the singer died of an opioid overdose. According to court records, Dr. Michael Schulenberg, a Minneapolis-area doctor, and Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a nationally recognized opioid addiction specialist, were both called the day before Prince’s death. Since Howard was not able to clear his schedule, he sent his son, Andrew Kornfeld, on his behalf with a small amount of buprenorphine. This drug could have potentially saved Prince but, unfortunately, Andrew arrived hours too late.
What is Buprenorphine? 
 Buprenorphine is an opioid agonist prescribed to help people reduce or quit the use of highly addictive opiates such as heroin and opioid painkillers. Typically sold under the trade name Suboxone, buprenorphine binds to the same opioid receptors in the brain but doesn’t produce a euphoric high. It is primarily used in medication assisted treatment and may be administered in the physician’s office or prescribed for take-home use. Additionally, it can help stabilize a person experiencing opiate overdose.

                                                         READ MORE 

Prison's will always be awash with drugs - from Anonymous

I read the blog post, enabling my partner in prison  and just cried! 
The post was just so me and I enabled my husband too when he was in jail! 
When he first went to prison I was devastated but honestly thought that jail would 'cure' his drug problem. (Opiates) 
Once opiate free, he would see what a fool he'd been. 
He and I have two beautiful bright children and a lovely home. 
He screwed up but I am a great believer in second chances so I stood by him.
Every week I sent him some of my hard earned cash so he could buy snacks and toiletries, or so I thought... 
I spent hundreds of pounds on making sure he had clothes and trainers and I spent hundreds of pounds travelling to and fro to visit him. 
One night whilst I was out with friends, a woman approached me and told me that my husband had been writing to her. She was angry that he had suddenly stopped communication with her and said she had sent him money every week. I had no idea so I confronted him and he admitted to it. He said she was just a pen-pal and there was nothing in it.
Obviously there was something in it because he'd had money off her!
Long story short, I found out he'd been using opiates in prison. 
I had all the 'i'll change I promise you' letters and within 2 hours of being released from prison, he went to the shop for some milk and returned 48 hours later! 
Heroin addicts are manipulator's and liars and there's no third chances with me. The system complains that prison's are awash with drugs, but unless tougher regimes and sentences are introduced, prison's will still be awash with drugs ten years from now! 
I burnt my hand many years ago through messing around with lighters. I didn't do it again. Prisoners though seem to go back to prison time and time again so quite clearly it is not working and whilst it is not working, how in God's name can people say that families are the key to reducing offending? I think it is an insult!

Saturday, 4 June 2016

I Was Enabling My Partner in Prison - From a Blog Reader

Dear Prison Widow.. I was with my ex partner for 15 years and supported him through 3 prison sentences. I won't go in to the ins and outs but he went to prison for drug related (heroin and crack) offences. 
I don't know the percentage of people who are in prison for drug offences but I believe it's high.
I (stupidly) thought I could change him. I thought that with the right support and family environment, he would alter his ways and stay off the drugs. I was naive and I feel silly for wasting all those years on someone who did not want to help himself. 
This brings me to the families reducing re-offending rubbish. I completely and utterly agree that it's a cop out because the system (Gov) do not know what else to do. 
There are no miracle workers when it comes to class A drug addicts. To have someone in your life addicted to drugs is toxic and I am in recovery myself and I have never ever touched a drug/substance! 
Living with a drug addict has damaged me emotionally and the best advice I can give someone is - walk away. 
After 15 years of manipulation and trying to change someone's life, I woke up one morning to my awakening - I packed his bags and forced him to leave. 
He was great - when he was high, respectful - when he was high, loving - when he was high, wonderful when I gave him money and remorseful when he went to prison. But he wasn't a great wonderful partner - he was a junkie who had his cake and ate it. 
I was enabling his addiction and I was still enabling his addiction sending him money to prison so he could buy his essentials - drugs! 
I have since had counselling and I am recovering. 
What I really should have done when he first went to prison was cut all contact until he was clean. That is the correct way to do it. 
But by me maintaining contact and supporting him during his sentence sending him money every week, I was enabling him because deep down I knew the money I was sending was being used to buy drugs - not for what he was saying he needed it for which was treats and toiletries. 
Is maintaining contact with a loved one in prison a good thing? I am not sure it is. I think that prison's should disclose drug test results to family members. 
This would probably be a breach of data protection or privacy etc, but the fact of the matter is this; there should be no access to drugs in prisons anyway so in my opinion; disclosing drug test results to a family member should be mandatory; especially when the powers that be are releasing prisoners back to their family homes. 

Friday, 3 June 2016

Supporting People with Dementia in Prison - From Alyce

Hi. My Dad is in prison and he is showing signs of dementia. Health professionals have told me that it is likely alcohol induced dementia has over the years he had drank heavily.
He is only in his late 50's and I have seen a change in him when I have visited him. He struggles to get some words out and does appear distant at times. He is being assessed at the moment. 
I am worried about the level of care he will receive in prison as I have read and researched a lot on dementia. I also have experience with the illness because my gramps died of it and my Mum used to be his carer. He became quite aggressive and spent his last days in a care home.
Does anyone know what level of support people with dementia have in prison?
Do prison officers have training in these areas? I am writing to you because I am worried that my Dad will be forgotten about and other prisoners might not understand his illness?