Heaven: A Prison Diary Volume 3
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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 I have to report to the hospital by 7.30 am to take over my new responsibilities as Doug’s stand-in, while he goes off on a three-day forklift truck-driving course. How this will help a man of fiftythree who runs his own haulage company with a two million pound turnover is beyond me. He doesn’t seem to care about the irrelevance of it all, as long as he gets out of prison for three days. I write for two hours. 7.30 am I report to Linda at the hospital, and witness the morning sick
in from India at the weekend. She must then select one of them before she and her intended bridegroom fly back to Calcutta to be married on 6 December. I now fully understand Leon’s desperation; I go in search of Mr Downs, a senior officer, who is a shrewd and caring man. I find him in the officers’ room going over tomorrow’s itinerary for the director-general’s visit. I brief Mr Downs and he agrees to see Leon immediately. After their meeting, Leon tells us that Mr Downs was most sympathetic
his colleagues swap shifts around and, as there is no overtime, they take time off in lieu. Every officer should work thirty-nine hours per week, but if they swap shifts with colleagues, they can end up doing A+C or B+D or D+E, and that way notch up nearly seventy hours per week, while another colleague takes the week off. Add to this the twenty-eight days holiday entitlement per year, and they need work only five months while taking off seven. Three of his colleagues also have part-time jobs,
must then spend every day looking over their shoulder. There are even some cases of wives or girlfriends sending husbands or partners back to prison, and in one case a mother-in-law returning an errant prisoner to the front gate, declaring that she didn’t want to see him again until he completed his sentence. This is all relevant because of something that took place today. When granted weekend leave, you must report back by seven o’clock on Sunday evening, and if you are even a minute late,
For the past fourteen months, I have been writing two thousand words a day, nearly a million in all, which has resulted in three published diaries. Although Hollesley Bay turned out to be quite different from North Sea Camp, it was not dissimilar enough to warrant a fourth diary. However, there is one significant difference worthy of mention. Hollesley Bay is an open prison, not a resettlement establishment. It was clearly selected to ensure that I couldn’t work outside. After I had completed my