PRISONERS FAMILIES VOICES RECEIVED THIS EMAIL FROM A GENTLEMAN WHO ASKED US TO PUBLISH HIS STORY. HE WISHES TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS AND IS WILLING TO TALK TO THE MEDIA. PFV ADMIN HAVE EDITED THIS STORY WITH THE WRITERS PERMISSION. PART 1:
Hi. I was released from HMP in July 2012 in the mind set that I was about to make dramatic changes in my life. My lovely partner stood by me whilst I was in HMP and brought the kids along to see me. Every time I watched them leave after the visit, I was more determined to go straight if not for me, but for them. I hated myself for what I put them through and they deserved better than spending their weekend time at prison. They should have been at the park feeding the ducks and out playing with their friends. But instead they were dragged to HMP to see their Dad wearing a red sports type bib screwed firmly to a chair because I wasn't allowed to move off it. They saw their Mum go to the small tuck-shop that sold drinks and snacks and couldn't understand why the prison officers wouldn't let me go and help her to bring the refreshments and food back over to the visits table. What a nightmare having to explain that to your kids! How embarrassing!
There's one thing prison allows you to do and that's think. There's plenty of time to think and convince your mind that you'll get a job when your released and everything will be hunky dory. What you don't think about are the hurdles you need to jump to get a job. In fact, there's a lot of things you don't think about when you are in prison. To think about reality on the out when you are locked in an unrealistic world behind a wall is a difficult one or an almost impossible one.
I was released from HMP in July 2012 after serving 3 and a half years inside. It felt weird to be home because it had been redecorated and personalized differently. I remember choosing the last batch of wallpaper with my partner, and obviously whilst I was in prison, she chose her own. The ornaments were different, the bedding on our bed was different and the bathroom had been tiled. This might sound like nothing to you, but for me it was like moving in to brand new surroundings all over again. My family were brilliant and gave me the space I needed.
It's been 9 months since my release and I am still on licence. I am still looking for work but it's hard. I thought I could walk in to a factory and get a job like I did some years ago, but even that seems near on impossible. I have applied for anything and everything and I continue to get knocked back. The truth? I feel a failure like I did when I was in prison. My relationship with my partner has changed and we are slowly growing apart. We got on better when I was in prison. Crazy isn't it, but it's true. We communicated more when I was in HMP. Strangely enough, we laughed more when I was in prison! How does that work? You tell me, but it did. Our relationship was strong when I was prison.
As I am sitting writing this, I am honestly considering breaching my licence. Don't worry, I have no intention of committing crime. I am thinking on the lines of not turning up for my probation appointments, but where will that get me? Will it be the end of my relationship or will it make us stronger again if I go back inside? But what about the kids? How awful and selfish would that be of me to put them through all that again? I'm just chatting bull-shit and being an idiot for even contemplating thrusting myself on to a sweat-box again! But what use am I to my family without a steady job? I couldn't provide for them in prison and I can't provide for them here on the out either, so what do I do? Seriously, what do I do?
TO BE CONTINUED..........