Dear Prison Widow. Here's my two pence worth. I have just been reading the post (below) about an ex con earning £265.00 a week.
For one, anyone in prison with a drug problem cannot be rehabilitated until they address their addictions and there are drugs in prison so the chances of rehabilitation for many are pretty slim. Secondly, prison is a false community. It isn't 'reality' and working for £25.00-£30.00 a week for outside employers inside is not reality either. The work may introduce new skills but prison wages do not prepare prisoners for the reality that lies ahead. The ex offender said it all. They gave a good description of real wages and what happens to the money once you get paid. Pay day is 'pay out day' and there is little left to use for enjoyment. I have been in prison, didn't like it and don't wanna go back.
I found a job and I really struggle living. I work full time and this year I have been to the foodbank twice because I cannot manage. There would have been a time in my life if I was skint and had no food, I'd have nicked it from the supermarket without any remorse whatsoever. I begrudge going to the foodbank when I work full time but it's not just me, there are loads of working people subjected to having to go to a foodbank after a full weeks work. I wasn't rehabilitated for this shite that's for sure and the prison never prepared me for being hard up when I got myself a job either. Release from prison and trying to get on track is no bed of roses. There isn't much help despite what is apparently on offer.
My family have really helped me out and I consider myself lucky in that respect because many people in prison do not have the support of their families because of one thing and another. Best wishes, Lee.