Hi Prison Widow.
I was, still am, an addict, although been clean now for just over 7 months.
I have put my family through hell and back and have spent a lot of time in HMP. My convictions were mainly drug related and I sold drugs to feed my addiction. I begged, borrowed and stole off my nearest and dearest and time and time again they supported me throughout every prison sentence - bar from the last one. My girlfriend and Mum washed their hands and I did not blame them. But I started writing to women pen-pals and they funded my addiction whilst I was locked up. It is shameful and disgusting but do not be surprised - because that's what addicts do. We lie and tell the most convincing pile of shit to get our fix!
I was released from prison in October 2015 and my family told me in no uncertain terms that I have to be 12 months clean before they will even entertain me. I get it, I really do get it.
The worst thing they could have done was keep me going by sending me money when I was in HMP. But families feel obliged when you are locked up and addicts need their drugs.
My personal view is: The prison system need to put their foot down. It's too soft and this is coming from an ex prolific offender!
Prison issue clothes should be worn instead of HMP running a fashion show.
Yeah there are human rights to consider but the system has gone to the dogs.
People aren't bothered about going to prison; otherwise people would not go back and believe me; I have been in HMP many times and have seen the same faces come and go.
Prison used to be a place of shame but if you stop anyone in the street these days; the majority of people you speak to know someone who is either in prison or have been in prison. The stigma is slowly subsiding and it is becoming the norm. It isn't and should not be the norm.
When I was in active addiction, I could not have cared less if I was nicked. It didn't enter my head because all I was bothered about was getting my fix and so what, I could get my hands on it in prison anyway - not as much as on the out - but I could get a toot or a smoke.
The system is not a robust one and it is not robust because prison is a business. There is money involved - what would the professionals do if criminals and junkies were rehabilitated? Who would pay your bills Mr Probation Officer? Who would put food on your table Mrs Prison Officer? How could you afford a car and a holiday Mr Social Worker? And who would pay your mortgage Miss Barrister? I rest my case.