Heaven: A Prison Diary Volume 3
Told with humor, compassion and honesty, the diary closes with a thought-provoking manifesto that should be applauded by reform advocates and the prison population alike.
because he’s sixty-seven years old, he only works mornings. It keeps him out of the cold, and gives him something to do rather than sit around in his room all day. You will all know from past reports that he carried out the job with a great deal of pride. Carl, whom I’ve been training to take over from me, will now only return to SMU when, and if, I become the hospital orderly. And why? An officer has been talking to the press to supplement his income, and among the things he’s told them is that
cat used to be released at 8 am (with the exception of lifers) on Christmas Eve and had to return to prison before 8 pm on Boxing Day. But Michael Howard put a stop to that when he became Home Secretary. This little break was more for the staff than the prisoners. 7.30 am Dave (murder) is among the walking wounded, and comes to surgery doubled up with stomach cramps. Sister gives him painkillers that contain certain opiates. She then has to make out a separate form, which I take across to
penalty to the opposition. He was a little unlucky that an FA official was assessing the referee that afternoon, and therefore the ref couldn’t pretend not to have heard Bell. Indeed they could have heard, ‘Get some glasses, you fuckin’ muppet,’ in the centre of Boston. Our reserve goalkeeper is Carl (fraud), the SMU orderly who took over from me and comes over most evenings to watch TV in the hospital. He gamely agreed to stand in for the one fixture, while Bell watches from the sidelines. I
have over 200 inmates, and only 27 full-time officers, meaning that there are never more than 12 officers on duty at any one time. The following advertisement appears in several local papers every week, and elicits few replies. (See overleaf.) I’m told it’s no different for any of the other 137 prisons in Britain. It’s hardly an appealing career, other than for the truly dedicated believers in justice – or someone not quite tall enough to get into the police force. DAY 268 - FRIDAY 12 APRIL
but currently employ only seventeen.’ He takes another sip of his coffee. ‘I have never managed to fill all the vacancies during the last ten years, despite the fact that we never have fewer than seven hundred inmates.’ Mr Tasker rises from his seat. ‘Now I’m no mathematician,’ he says, ‘but I think you’ll find that seventeen out of seven hundred does not come to thirty per cent.’ 3.00 pm The same officious, ill-mannered lout who unlocked my cell door this morning returns to pick me up from the