Hi Prison Widow! I have just read Suzannes post and would like to offer you my story.
I have been to prison a few times. My last sentence was in 2010 and I am in recovery from heroin and benzo abuse.
I smoked heroin and weed in prison. I was offered synthetic drugs but never took them.
In my opinion, this is the calm before the storm and another Strangeways incident is inevitable. The courts seem to think that prisons are places that rehabilitate people. Are you kidding me? They are doss houses and the worst places to send drug addicts. I recall my probation officer once telling me that "I could always say no" and "not to mix with other inmates who take drugs". Now this person went to University right? And has never been an addict or been to prison. As a person he was OK, a nice fellow, but clueless about what goes on inside. Drugs get in to prisons and they get in to prisons via the outside visits and by corrupt screws. There's a prison in the North West where 2 screws have just been done for supplying but surprise it never got in to the hands of the media. That shouldn't shock any of us though. There are some decent law abiding families that visit and there are some decent screws who do their jobs well but on the flip side there are bent screws and criminal minded families. It's a fact and you can cringe if you like but I am saying it as it is.
When I used drugs in prison my partner received phone calls off other cons who I owed money to. The best thing she ever did was walk away from my irresponsibility's. The unfortunate thing is that the bullies who frightened her are probably still making money selling drugs in Her Majesty's Prison. I didn't care at the time because I was on bang up a lot so I slept through the days stoned. There was nothing else to do so I did what I had always done which was getting high. Granted the drug use wasn't half as bad as it was when I was on the out, but I could still get high in prison because the drugs were there and were there at a price.
Now I'm in recovery, I can think straight. The first thoughts are always, "what a fuc*ing idiot I was"! But I can only move forward and work hard at my recovery.
One day I am hoping to make amends with my family and prove to them that I can do this and turn my life around.. no thanks to the system though. Wishing each and everyone of you a Merry Christmas and thoughts to families who have a loved one in prison at this time. Kindest Regards.. Karl Ex-Offender