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Articles > Life April, 12, 2018

What Going To Prison Is Really Like

Steven K
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When I was younger, I never thought I would find myself behind bars, but on Wednesday 30th August I was sent to Hull Crown Court.

going to prison

My experience behind bars was life changing…

I was shocked by the whole thing as it was my first criminal offence; attempted robbery with an offensive weapon. I was remanded in custody that afternoon, and taken down to a holding cell. For the next hour or two, I had to sit there and endure people banging against the walls and doors, shouting obscenities at me.

Two days later, I returned to Hull Crown Court, but this time I got sentenced for 9 months. Almost  a year of my life, a baby was conceived and born in that time.

The next four weeks were very intense as I was banged up in my cell 22 hours a day, I had nothing to do as I wasn’t in education at that point. I was just moved around the prison like a chess piece, from wing to wing.

“They’d shout at me on the exercise yard, use offensive language and threaten me.”

After that I was transferred to Moorland Prison in Doncaster, for local sentencing and release prison. I was on 23 hour bang up again for 2 weeks. To make things worse, I was sharing with a homophobic methadone addict, who said he was catholic but never went to a single church service. Eventually I was sent to a single cell, thank god. One of the worst experiences I had in prison was when a gang decided to pick me as a target. They’d shout at me on the exercise yard, use offensive language and threaten me. What’s even worse was  having to suffer in silence, knowing that if I reported it I’d be known as a grass, and that doesn’t go down well with other prisoners. So I kept my head down and persevered.

While I was there, I saw lots of people going under the influence of NPS (Spice).  They were like walking, laughing zombies. I saw fights on a daily, mainly people getting black eyes for not paying some sort of debt. It made me realise that prison just feeds peoples anger, aggression and drug addictions – I feel like a lot of sentencing is counter-productive. I think the justice system should work with the community more than they do at present. For example, less severe sentences that are under a year could perhaps just consist of probation appointments and unpaid work. I feel like that would be a more positive way to deal with the crime, as it actually helps them get back on their feet and teach them how to function in society. It’s not as mentally damaging, like prison. And most importantly I think it’s less likely to result in them re-committing.

Another thing that I think was wrong with the system, was that I shared a visiting room and a chapel with Sex Offenders. These are the people who we’re supposed to be protected from by the prison, yet they are just thrown in and mixed together with the rest of us.

Education was the only positive outcome of being locked up. The prison had an education block where I achieved my maths level 1 and level 2 ITQ skills. That gave me something to work with when I finally got out.

Prison has also made me more wise, and made me value the small things a lot more. At first I didn’t understand why people would steal tea bags, coffee, sugar etc. from the prison canteen, but by the end I realised the little things in life matter, and I shouldn’t take any of it for granted.

 

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  1. Collins Eburu

    I think that was an experience for you and a lesson to us all and moreover it was just 9 months…unlike that of my friend who sentenced to 21 years imprisonment

  2. bhautik kevadiya

    I think you need to change your life style and become serious about your future

  3. Louise

    “Another thing that I think was wrong with the system, was that I shared a visiting room and a chapel with Sex Offenders.” indicates a lack of understanding that a) there is no such funding to separate out in prisons at the current state of affairs (hence all the bang up too), and that b) in jail you are in to atone and concentrate on fixing your own mistakes not commenting on other people there (and what you think they may have done).

  4. Anonymous

    I think that its okay to learn from your mistakes and know that there is hope in the outside world.

  5. Anonymous

    I think that it can be hard to be locked up in prison after making one mistake in the outside world. But glad you can learn from your mistakes and know that everything will be okay and have that goal in mind of succeeding and having hope in life.

  6. RiPri

    Why should somebody with an attempted robbery and weapons be allowed back out in the community to ‘attend probation appointments’ and ‘unpaid work’. You do the crime, you do the time.

  7. kikodz

    I think that u should be serious about life and think about the future