The National Offenders Management Services manage what? I will start by saying this; I do not blame the prison officers, probation officers or Governors. I have served time in 3 prison's, 2 HMP and 1 privately run. I did not have any issues or problems in any of them. If anything, they tried to help but time wasn't on their hands and the officers were run off their feet. They were OK, they were doing their jobs and some of them were passionate about it.
The issue for me lies with higher management. The men and the women at the top of the NOMS chain. They simply do not listen nor wish to listen. In the space of just 6 months, I was assigned to 4 different probation officers and when I signed on, I had to repeat everything because my original probation had been moved on. I was passed from f***ing pillar to post and the bottom line was they couldn't manage a pi*s up in a brewery. I come across the words, 'set up to fail' frequently when reading your blog and it is beyond a doubt the truth.
I will point out though that the probation officers were sound, I got along with them but they knew nothing about me so I was constantly going over old ground. I was a substance mis-user, had a drug habit for 18 years and was referred to groups within my area to address my issues. The groups were also full of active users, some of which were gouching and nodding off during the sessions. Drug dealing took place as soon as the sessions were over and the doors kept on revolving. In the end, it was my brother who did the job of the probation officer and I have been 10 months clean and on a script. I am grateful for all he does and he keeps me busy. We go fishing, to the gym, to reputable groups who stand no messing and I am doing alright. I craved normality but was stuck in a cycle. Drugs in prison are rife so my sentences were drug fuelled. It's easy for someone to say, say no, when you are banged up with a gear head tooting smack. Don't forget, I was 18 years in on heroin so saying no when a guy is smoking gear in the same cell as you is difficult. The temptation in prison is there on a plate. I have recently send a letter to NOMS head office and haven't had a reply. I'm not holding my breath either. Sometimes I even think whether they have any intention of putting their foot down as regards to drugs in prison. Best wishes to all, from Mark.