Saturday, 27 August 2016

Nervous Ex Offender

Hi PW. I have read a lot of your articles in Inside Time and was told you had a website so I googled you!!!
I have been out of jail for around 3 months and have been working really hard to perfect my CV. I so much want to work!!!
The problem I have is that I suffer from bad anxiety and break out in rashes when I get nervous. I am awful at interviews and my confidence is low. I am worrying about everything and anything and will dread it if an employer asks me loads of questions about my criminal past!!!
Are there other ladies who I can get in touch with and perhaps engage with about my worries or are there some successful ladies out there who can offer me some advice about getting my life back on track. Thank you :-) 

The War on Drugs - by a Mother

Please keep my name anonymous thank you.
My heart broke when I read the post about a family who really did not have any option but to detach from their drug addicted son to save their own sanity. The decision must have been a very very tough one.
My son was also in and out of prison because of drug related crime. He passed away last year of an heroin and methadone overdose.
The UK Government are slacking on the so called '''war on drugs'''. The UK Government have never taken drastic steps and the situation is getting worse. The drug scene is getting way out of hand. Is this the UK Governments way of slashing the population? I think so. 
The Police in my area have practically given up but they are banging their heads against numerous brick walls and as quick as the courts lock up a dealer; the next one is on the streets killing people. Drug dealers are killers. The sentences are too soft and the drugs they sell are illegal so it burns me inside when filth are imprisoned for 3 years for street dealing and as soon as they are released they are back flogging the poison again. My son served more prison sentences than the dealers because he stole and did some nasty things to pay for his drugs. 
People dabbling in hard drugs think they can control it but the sad fact is; the drug takes them and the loving person you once knew is riddled with a substance they eventually need to take just to function. It is a sad state of affairs and as for the '''war on drugs'', the UK Government are talking through their backsides! 

Thursday, 25 August 2016

'Soft' prison sentences extended after complaints

The prison sentences of 102 offenders in England and Wales were extended last year, following complaints the original terms were too soft. More than half the cases involved sexual offences or robbery. The complaints were made under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme. There were 713 such requests last year, more than double the number for 2010. Attorney General Jeremy Wright said judges get sentencing right "in the vast majority of cases".The Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme allows those unhappy about the sentence passed for some serious crimes - such as murder or rape - to ask officials to review it.Only one person has to ask for a sentence to be reviewed, and anyone can make a request.

Prison; Homelessness and Heroin - From Sister of Addict

Hi Prison Widow UK. Love your site!
My brother is homeless and our family feel terrible. But; he left us with no choice. 
He has recently been released from prison and within literally ten minutes of being released, he was asking to use my mobile phone to score heroin! 
Before he was arrested and committed to prison; his drug habit ruined our family and the stress put my Mum in hospital. She was very poorly.
Four days after he was released from prison he was using heroin actively again so his bags were packed. Living with someone on hard drugs is the pits. I cannot begin to tell you what he did to his own family just to get high. When it resorts to stealing a ring off his grandmothers finger whilst she lay in her coffin; the streets as far as I am concerned; are his home. 
If; and heroin is a beast to fight; he stops using with professional help; he will be welcomed home. If he continues to use; he stays on the street because heroin is not wiping out our family and for this drug to hospitalize family members who do not use it; as hard as it sounds; he will have to survive out there without our help. He has had endless opportunities to go to rehab but he refuses. He isn't killing my Mum through stress so until he hits his bottom and to be frank I don't know how low he can get; our family has had to let him go. 
The support in the UK for families of prisoners with substance misuse issues is dire. Families of prisoners require support upon release from prison; not when their loved one goes in to prison! 

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Out of prison and homeless

Hey Prison's it going? I read your stuff in Inside Time when I was banged up..
So I get released from jail 3 weeks ago.. homeless and sofa surfing kipping from couch to couch and chair to chair at friends houses...
I was released with the impression I was going back to my missus but she'd had enough so I am skipping around begging a roof..
Where do I go from here? I was recalled to prison so I have finished my stint with probation because I have served the remainder of my bird (time). I saw some advert on telly a few days ago saying its only 127 days to Xmas.. winter is nearing and I refuse to curl up on a park bench with a sleeping bag.. I have been there and worn the t-shirt.. so unless the local council give me a helping hand to find me a bedsit or flat.. I will go back to jail. No Prison Widow it is not ideal or clever... but prison is a roof, a place to sleep and I get fed.. A shop lifting spree will land me back inside no problem... I've never physically hurt anyone and never will but my options are not good... people sit in their pads (cells) and think.. or should I say dream about getting out and getting a job.. settling down and fuc8ing this prison lark off because prison life is no life but it's a roof...
I live in an area where unemployment is rife and benefits are the way of life.. Skilled people are scraping by on benefits because redundancies are a thing of the future.. people I know have topped themselves because they cannot get jobs and support their families and kids... Jeremy Kyle blarts out ''get off your arse and find a job''' but I can't apply for jobs that aint there and if one does crop up.. I'm joining a bloody queue and ex-cons aint welcomed in the workforce where I live... all this sounds like poor old me me me... I'm not sat here typing with a noose around my neck.. I'm just saying it has it is as an ex offender and how pipe dreams in prison stay pipe dreams... 
I could move to another area but I don't have money to move to another area... I don't have any confidence either because prison isn't the real world.. there's no confidence building stuff going on in those places... its all wheeling and dealing and survival and depressing... but its a roof and better than dossing in a park with a bottle of cider... 
I am not the brightest bulb but prison is a means to an end... God loves a trier and I am trying... OK fighting to get on my feet and still waiting for my benefits to get sorted 3 weeks down the line... friends are feeding me... and if they stop feeding me... ??? 
I was walking in my town the other day and I saw an old geezer..he must have been at least 70... sat on a corner with a shoe box and a shopping trolley that is home to his sleeping bag begging for coins off people... it was raining hard and that poor geezer will be dead in winter because he will not survive the weather sleeping rough..... WTF???? A pensioner begging for money sat in the rain.... In 2016.... I will keep you updated Prison Widow on my quest to rehabilitate myself... Laters... Craig 

BEN'S PRISON BLOG - Lifer On The Loose: Personal Blogging

BEN'S PRISON BLOG - Lifer On The Loose: Personal Blogging: I came to a divergence in the path - and I chose the wrong way forward. When I began this blog I took the decision to make it person...

Dad of young offender with autism speaks out

My son is in a young offenders institute and was diagnosed with autism/ADHD at 14 years of age.
In my humble opinion he should not be in a YOI. Yes he committed a crime and yes he has to pay the price but it does appear that the YOI don't really know how to deal with him. 
Since he has been in the establishment he has gotten in to more trouble with other offenders so how is the system working? Quite simply it is not.
I remember reading an article by a well known reformer who said that prisons are places where criminals learn more crime and I believe this is very true.
I really don't want to go in to detail but the YOI my son is in is a shambles. 

Extremists to be put in special prison units

Extremist prisoners who "seek to poison the minds of others" will be put in special units in English and Welsh jails, the government has said. Justice Secretary Liz Truss also set out plans for the removal of extremist books from prison libraries and stronger vetting of prison chaplains. But the Prison Reform Trust warned many jails had been hit by staff cuts.It comes after a report found there was "complacency" at the "growing problem" of Islamist extremism in jails.The review into extremism in prisons, led by former prison governor Ian Acheson and published on Monday, found:

Mum of Heroin Addict

My son is in a dark place and is addicted to Heroin. He has not long been out of prison and I had hoped his prison sentence would knock some sense in to him but sadly not.
It has been painful but I have asked him to leave because I can no longer cope with his addiction and how his addiction has turned him in to someone I don't know. I have lost my son to this beast called Heroin.
There is no support for families affected by drug addiction. I am feeling at my lowest but I know I have to battle on and think about myself and my health. 

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

The Con, His Baby And The Kind-Hearted Judge

Video: A video of a US circuit judge allowing a convict to hold his month-old baby, whom he had never seen before, has gone viral.

Woman dies in police pursuit of suspect car after drone flew near jail

Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian

A woman in her 20s has died in a car crash during a police pursuit by officers investigating a drone that was being flown near a prison. Police were called to Groom Crescent near Wandsworth prison in south London just after 3am on Tuesday, and began following a car they saw driving away. At about 3.10am the car crashed in Ashcombe Street at the junction of Wandsworth Bridge Road; the female passenger was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver, a man also thought to be in his 20s, is in a critical condition in hospital. Police are in the process of telling their families and formal identification has not yet taken place.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Prison (HMP) saved my life - from 'Anna'

As an ex offender I would like to share my experience with your readers. 
I was addicted to crack cocaine and the consequences of my actions resulted in a stint in HMP. 
Going to prison saved my life and despite what anyone says; if I'd have waited for my referral at the drugs clinic; I might not be here today. 
It's not the drug clinics fault. They have waiting lists as long as their arms and many drug addicts are dead before their first appointment. The country is crawling with illegal substances because the country is depressed. Where I live in the north of England; suicide is rife as are drug overdoses and deaths related to drugs. I am not saying that doom and gloom is a reason to take drugs; it isn't; but I personally know quite a few people who have been failed by the mental health service.
Prison saved my life and I remember my Mum telling me she was glad I was locked up. I didn't take too kindly to that but now I understand where she was coming from. She would rather have a living daughter than one buried six foot under. 
Whilst I was serving my sentence; I had a lot of time to think about things.
I'd been crying out for help on the out but had to join a long list of people in front of me. The only; and I mean only way I am here today is courtesy of the prison service who gave me more support than what I would have got on the out. How is that morally right? I even contemplated sending the prison a thank you card because I could not fault them at all. I was looked after and I lived with girls who had experienced similar circumstances to mine. 
I wouldn't recommend intentionally getting yourself banged up but what is the government playing at when someone receives better care and support in prison? Again I am not saying that prison's should subject anyone to poor treatment but going to prison saved me. It sounds very bizarre but that is the truth of the story. 

BEN'S PRISON BLOG - Lifer On The Loose: How do you Adjust after 3 Decades Behind the Door?...

BEN'S PRISON BLOG - Lifer On The Loose: How do you Adjust after 3 Decades Behind the Door?...: I assume no Lifer walks out the Gate intending to breech their licence, but I managed to do it without even thinking. Such is the perilous...

Youth prison rated 'inadequate' after inmates found to be accessing pornography

credit: press association 

Ofsted delivered a critical assessment of Medway Secure Training Centre in Rochester, Kent, saying the stability of the facility "has been sorely undermined by a combination of significant factors". Police launched an investigation earlier this year following a BBC Panorama programme which went behind the scenes at the unit. The Government announced it would take over the running of the facility, which was previously run by G4S, from July. Ofsted carried out an inspection of Medway in June, before the change. Its report said the centre had lost significant numbers of staff at junior and senior managerial levels, adding that most staff were very inexperienced. Levels of violence in the centre were said to be very high and growing. "This includes violence between young people and violence towards staff, despite a small and stable population of young people," the report said. In the six months prior to the inspection, the centre reported 31 assaults on young people by other young people and 13 fights. Over the same period there were 51 reported assaults against staff. READ MORE 

Dementia in Prison's

Dementia in prison's is a topic that has risen to the surface again. 
The disease is now affecting more and more young adults and the UK has not got a grip on the problem. 
Imagine being 50 years old stuck in a care home with 80/90 year old's having to listen to war time singalongs and watch endless Doris Day movies over and over again? Not that there is anything wrong with Doris Day flicks but you see my point? Dementia is not an 'old person's' illness; it is a disease that also cripples the mind of 40/50 year old's. 
Dementia in prison's is probably on the rise has it has been proven that prolonged substance and alcohol abuse is a contributing factor and considering the prison population hosts a very high percent of people with drug and alcohol addiction and crimes related to their addictions - dementia is literally lurking in the wings. Dementia in prison's is about to become a common issue. I say 'issue' because I am eager to know how many prison officers are trained to support individuals with dementia? 
There are different forms of dementia. Take for example frontal lobe dementia.
Symptoms of this disease include: cigarette cravings; cravings for chocolate and repetitive routine. What about sun-downing? Sun-downing is when a person with dementia often wanders throughout the late evening. A person with dementia in prison cannot wander because prisoner's are behind their doors every night at 20.00. 
What if a person with dementia wanders in to someone else's cell and takes a bar of chocolate or some tobacco because they are craving the need? And what if the occupant of the cell has no knowledge of the disease? It is certainly a grey area. What do you think? Have you got a loved one in prison who has dementia?
Please share your story with us and help to raise awareness on this subject.
Remember that you can remain anonymous. 

Monday, 8 August 2016

The easy way out - from Jo

Hi. I read the post featured on your blog called - when it is time to say enough is enough. 
My partner of 8 years walked away from me and our 2 children last year. He preferred shooting heroin rather than being a partner and a Dad.
He is now with a new woman (the best of British to her) and as far as I know, he is still a junkie.
Like the person who wrote the post; I was forever visiting my ex in prison and looking back now; I was never happy. I was codependent and he was my drug because I was addicted to trying to change him and be it a hard lesson learnt, it took me some time to get my head around the fact that you cannot cure an heroin addict - it is down to them. 
Every time my ex went to prison, it would be the same old lies and bull-sh*t with me opening jail mail reading the blag lines, 'I promise I won't touch the stuff again' - and every time I believed him! Every time he relapsed, he blamed it on me saying I was nagging him or getting on his case. So every time things weren't going his way, he'd walk to a drugs hub and shoot heroin because it was the easy way out. Then he'd land in prison and the cycle repeated itself. It was draining and it made me ill with stress.
One day last year I lost it. I finally asked him to leave and he walked out. It was game over. 
I am now focusing on my own recovery and the best gift he gave me was walking away. I have peace, no dramas and no prison! 
I have had my ups and downs but I am recovering nicely and my children are my rock and reason to move on to better and brighter things.
Don't let heroin suck you in and don't get sucked in by someone who abuses it. 

Will Mum remember if her son is in prison?

My Mum has just gone in to a care home. 
Her dementia has got worse and sadly it has ended this way.
My brother (her son) has just been sent to prison and my Mum is calling out his name all the time asking where he is.
My Mum's health (dementia) has declined quite quickly and our family do not know what to tell her about my brother. If we told her would she remember and be tortured by it or would she forget and continue calling out his name? There are no answers but we want to make this as less painful as we can if this is at all possible. 
Obviously Mum isn't going to see her son again. That is the harsh truth because his sentence exceeds Mum's life expectancy. It is heartbreaking! 
The prison won't allow my brother to visit Mum in the care home so we are at a loss on what to do. When all said and done; he is her son and all this is a nightmare.
It is family issues as such that people do not recognise when someone goes to prison. Prisoners need to sit back and think about the train wreck they leave their loved ones because it is us that always have to clean up. 
I am furious with my brother but life is literally too short to vent the anger. I need a solution but the light at the end of the tunnel does not seem to be working right now. Any advice? Anyone? Love from YVH 

Sunday, 7 August 2016

When it's time to say; enough is enough

My partner has been sent down for the 4th time. It is time to say enough is enough because I cannot do this anymore. Me and my son deserve better.
I have supported him; visited him; enabled him and looked after him when he has been locked up. 
This is the 4th sentence and no more.
It is all well and good that organisations promote contact when a loved one is sent to prison but there comes a time when my health and well-being takes priority over his choices and his choices have been bad ones. 
I am supposed to be his partner; we are supposed to be a family unit but I no longer want HMP in my life. I have served my time and our son has served his time as sad as that sounds so I have gone no contact and ended our relationship. I have read some stories on your blog and they have helped me to understand that I am not alone. Thank you. From AJ

Friday, 5 August 2016

HMP Wayland governor beaten by inmate in canteen

A prison governor has been seriously injured in an "unprovoked" beating at the hands of an inmate. Paul Cawkwell was talking to a prisoner in the canteen at HMP Wayland, Norfolk, when he was attacked, a source told the BBC. Police said an inmate was transferred to another jail after last Wednesday's attack. The Ministry of Justice confirmed that police were investigating the assault.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Is This Normal?

I am very confused! My husband has just been sentenced and has gone to prison. I am devastated but at the same time relieved. Should I feel this way?
In my mind I am also thinking, do I stand by him or just walk?
He is a drug addict and although he did not treat me badly; he for sure made my life miserable. I am probably making no sense at all because my head is all over the place. Can anyone shed any light on why I feel this way or is this perfectly normal? From AG. 

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Under the influence of dogs - By Alison Henderson AKA Prison Widow UK

I thought the insanity had stopped; but it hadn’t. I thought inhumane treatment of prisoners families had evolved to that of being looked upon with respect; I am deluded. My blog, Prison Widow UK, is a busy one. I’d taken a few years off but I’m back and so is the platform for prisoner’s families and ex-offenders. I’m an independent bird, I don’t belong to a charity or organisation; I do my own stuff. One thing I refuse to do is paint pretty colours over grey areas. It may well look better, but the ‘grey’ is still lying dormant underneath the surface. I tend to leave it grey until someone else lightens the colour and changes take place. A few weeks ago, I received an email from a person who had been to visit her son in HMP Low Moss; Scotland. The prison had a drugs intervention going on and visitors were searched by the Police and prison officers. I get that; because the top and bottom of it is; there shouldn’t be drugs in prison. My ex-partner was sentenced to 7 years in prison for a drugs related crime. He robbed a store high on heroin and Diazepam. What was the point in visiting him and supporting him to become a good father and citizen when he was using the same substances in prison that got him in there in the first place? How can the system play the ‘rehabilitation’ ball when there is no linesman? My ex completed some excellent courses whilst in prison – but he was still a junkie and actively using heroin whilst in there. It was a waste of time, money and resources in my opinion because he was released from prison as an active drug addict. The courts may as well not have bothered locking him up.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Women's prison suicide rate soars as charity warns of 'horrifying' self-harm

The number of women killing themselves in prison has “risen alarmingly”, new government figures have revealed - prompting warnings from top charity leaders over unsafe jail conditions. Statistics published by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) show the total number of deaths classed as “self-inflicted” rose by 28 per cent over the past 12 months compared with the previous year. Eleven women took their own lives during the same period across England and Wales, an increase of 1,100 per cent on the previous year, when one death was recorded.

Living with an heroin addict

I found the quote (left) and the words are exactly what I think addiction is. 
My ex-partner is an heroin addict and he lives in his own addiction community with his addict friends - or should I say, runners? Addicts don't have friends; the people they associate with are leeches that feed off one another. 
My advice to the person who posted:
He chose heroin over us  is not to take it personally. But not taking it personally is hard when you have a young child who has been abandoned for a tenner bag of smack. 
I have lived with an heroin addict and living with an heroin addict is stressful. They lie better than Pinocchio; can act far better than Brad Pitt and tell stories JK Rowling would be jealous of. An heroin addict does not live in the real world. Their world consists of chasing the high and they aint gonna get it! 
There is only 1 high and an heroin addict is constantly craving for the feeling that 1 high gave them when they first experimented with the drug. They don't get it which is why heroin addicts eventually have to use it just to function. Without it they rattle and rather than spend 4 or 5 days in pain; it's easier just to score a tenner bag. It's pathetic really when there are children in this world that live with pain every second, every minute and every hour of their life's in agony. Heroin addicts are a cop out. Personally when I see one in passing; I want to vomit because I know what that addict is and has put their family and children through. 
The best piece of advice I can give is; let him go. You do not want an heroin addict around your son and why would you want an heroin addict around your son. It is no good for you or your son.
So he has left you for a fellow heroin addict? A woman it may be but she is a junkie so their relationship will be based around scoring smack. Heroin addicts love 1 thing and 1 thing only - which is heroin. I hope I don't sound harsh but it is a fact. You are absolutely far far better off without him in your life and your son is certainly far better off without him whilst he is using drugs. 
Please take note though; when his new woman finds a man who can provide her with more drug money; don't be surprised if he turns up at your door and I guarantee he will - when he is at his rock bottom. 
I am sorry you are going through this but your main priority right now is to take care of yourself and your young son. It may take some time; but you will get through this. It is his loss! 

Revealed: How prisoners use drones to smuggle drugs into London prison

Inmates are managing to use drones to smuggle drugs into Pentonville prison because broken windows are not being repaired, a watchdog warned today. Staff were making “every effort” to stop drugs and “other contraband” from getting in, said the Independent Monitoring Board for the London jail. But it warned that their attempts were “like holding a hand up against the incoming tide” because “dilapidated” windows had made most of the prison “porous” to the streets outside. It said drones were being “steered to ledges outside broken windows” to bring drugs in. Illicit substances were also being “hauled up on lines” and inmates were further exploiting the prison’s tatty state by passing drugs and banned mobile phones between cells. The board said replacing “the 100 worst windows” could make “a big difference” in countering the flow and criticised ministers for failing to ensure contractors did the repairs, despite the problem being known for two years.

He chose heroin over us


My partner has just walked out on me and my son and has chosen to live with a woman who also uses heroin.
My partner is a heroin addict and I have been with him for 6 years. We have a 2 year old son together. 
I have tried all ways to help him but nothing has worked. I just wanted him to be a good dad to our son but he chose heroin over us. 
I am going through a mix of emotions from being heart broken to being angry. 
He is a clever man and could have been successful in anything he wanted to do but this drug has taken over his life - that's if you can call it a life he is living. 
Why would someone who adores our son walk away and not even get in touch to see how he is doing? I hate heroin and I am just beside myself. Has anyone on your blog got any advice for me? 

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Families of Prisoners


I have been pigeon-holed in the 'families of prisoners' category quite a few times. 
My husband has been in prison three time. We have been married for 9 years.
The first time he went to prison I was a wreck. Our daughter was 3 years old at the time.
The second time she was 7 years old when her dad went to prison and this time round she is 13. 
I despised being classed as a group of people known as families of prisoners. The person to blame is my husband but then I stare at the bigger picture and feel that I too am equally to blame for putting my daughter through a roller coaster of emotions. The second time he went to prison should have been my last sentence.. and our daughters. 
Yes families of prisoners have a rough ride but at some point it becomes unhealthy to keep strapping yourself on to a big dipper that does not know when to stop. 
The authorities encourage families of prisoners to stay in touch with the prisoner. I understand this completely but the authorities need to listen hard because whilst staying in touch and visiting benefits both parties; the staying in touch and visiting can have a profound emotional impact on a child's mental health, especially a child whose dad is a prolific offender and by being a prolific offender does not have his families best interests at heart. At some point; when do the offenders stop and realise that this whole prison lark is taking its toll on their families? 
My daughter asked me the other day; "Mum; does my dad prefer being in prison than at home with us"? 
Families of prisoners have the roughest ride. It is us that has to clean up the mess! 

Inside the UK's biggest prison

By the end of this year, HMP Oakwood in Staffordshire will be the largest prison in the UK, with more than 2,000 inmates. Run by private firm G4S, Oakwood's reputation was dented in 2014 when a wing in the prison was taken over by inmates. Sima Kotecha has been inside.

Walking Away

Hi. Please don't use my real name thanks.
My partner of 10 years has been sent to prison again. I thought he had stopped using heroin and only took methadone but he has been using and has lied to me for months and months! I don't think I can do this again but it is hard to walk away when you love someone. I have been reading some of the posts on your blog about heroin and I know I should save myself from being used but it is hard. All my friends keep telling me that I deserve a better life and I know they are right. I guess I just need to vent but I am so confused and feel heartbroken. Thanks for listening. 'Jane.' 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Recalled To Prison

If you breach your conditions you will be recalled to prison. 
When your wife and kids have stood by you and supported you through a prison sentence, and you can't be bothered turning up for an appointment then quite frankly it is disgusting. It is bad enough putting your family through the prison roller-coaster in the first place so being recalled to prison is a final insult. That's my 2 pennies worth! From Lynnette. 

In Response To EX Offender and Finding Employment

Hi; this is for the OP on ex offenders being discriminated against when finding employment. 
I don't know what area you are in; but what I can tell you is that where I work; there are a few guys who have criminal records and people are open about it. 
If for example your case or conviction has appeared in the press; which by the way is unfortunate but it is legal to print and is in the public interest, the best route to take is to be up-front because your employer can google, right. 
Depending on what you have been convicted for; some jobs will not be classed as suitable and a DBS/CRB will flag up your convictions. For example, if you have multiple driving convictions, a driving job may be hard to find. Not impossible, but you see my point? Perhaps that is classed as discrimination but I can tell you this; you don't have to have been in prison these days to be discriminated against! People who are overweight are discriminated against and so are those with disabilities to name a but a few. 
You say you would like to work with ex-offenders? There are quite a lot of job agencies around who specifically employ and support ex offenders. 
I don't know your circumstances but my case was in the newspaper and to be looked upon as trustworthy I was up front with my employer because my conviction was and still is in the public domain. That's the consequences of my actions and I don't want to sound patronising but that's life. 
There are quite a lot of volunteer agencies that take on ex-offenders. Perhaps the blog admin can post some? But good luck and do not let it get you down. Keep going and keep trying. I got a few knock-backs but found something in the end. Best wishes to you from James. (EX OFFENDER) 

Advice Please

I'm an ex offender and can not get a job, I would like to volunteer and work with other offenders like myself. I've suffered a terrible injustice because I am always discriminated against.


In Agreement With Prison Recall

Hi. I am an ex offender and to be fair I agree with Prison Widow about the recall system. 
It is laid out to you in black and white that if you breach probation or any court orders it is likely you go to prison. Licence, tag or com service are sentences imposed by the courts as an alternative route to a custodial sentence. The courts are trusting you to respect their decision therefore if you breach your community sentence without a sure reason, and don't forget, it's a simple phone call, then bye bye enjoy your stay in HMP. Surprisingly enough, I did breach my licence some years ago because I was stupid. It is stupidity not to attend your probation appointments because you are warned if you take the mickey; you are going to jail! I know there are some injustices with the recall thing and I have been on a wing with a few people who just should not have been recalled. Even the screws were shocked but those cases where clear cock-ups and poor communication issues between the client and the probation service. Human error may well be human error but it costs people their liberty and that is something that I do not agree with AND it is down to a probation officer, period.
I've settled in to the norm life now and have myself a job. It hasn't been an easy ride but prison is a mugs game so I've knocked the stupidity on the head. 
Thank you for providing a platform for families and ex-offenders to share their stories and to offload. Best wishes James. 

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Prison Visits Are Boring

Written by guest blogger Jo 

It is said that prisoners families serve sentences too but the sad and frustrating part about it is that many prisoners; especially repeat offenders; do not take their families in to consideration when choosing to go back inside. My husband is in prison and this is his third prison sentence. He loves our children? Well not enough to stay out of jail and no matter which way you look at it; you cannot sugar coat it because he continues to get himself locked up! Our kids are in their teens and he wonders why the prison visits are tailing off. They are becoming less frequent because teenagers have better things to do than visiting a father who keeps letting them down. They love their dad of course but the prison visiting saga is boring them. It's upsetting my husband that the kids cannot be bothered seeing him but I have come to the conclusion that it's not a bad thing. It upsets him - well it upsets our kids when he breaks the law and goes on his HMP holidays! I know some prisoners families won't like what I'm saying but I don't care because his too-ing and fro-ing in and out of prison is not acceptable and the kids have lost interest. Every time he screws up - our kids serve a sentence too!

Friday, 22 July 2016

Prison Recall UK

I get quite a few emails re: Prison recall, HDC breaches and Community order breaches. I don't agree with 'some' prison recalls but let's get one thing straight here; you miss more than one probation appointment without a valid reason or take the piss re: Home detention curfew and community service - you know the bus route! It's that simple. 
I remember someone creating holy-hell because there was a warrant out for his arrest. He missed probation appointments claiming he had simply forgotten but he was on licence and being on licence means you are serving the remainder of your sentence in the community. If you 'forget' and keep 'forgetting' with no valid reason; you deserve to be recalled to prison. Why jeopardise your liberty? 
I went to a '5 minute' probation appointment with someone not long ago and yes; it was farcical, but I would rather turn up for a '2 minute' probation appointment and skip going to HMP New Hall thank you very much! Why would I put my family through it because prison recall appeals are a ball-ache as you know. 
Now; I do know that some people have had a rough ride being recalled so please email me your stories/experiences. Remember you can remain anonymous.