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1 Year on

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1 Year on | story.one

It’s my birthday, or at least the first birthday of my new life. Oh goodness me, how time drags and flies in here, same old same old, every day, every week, every month.

But I am learning to keep “my head down” as far as is possible. The difficulty is, who do I trust. And who trusts me ? Outside it would be easier to answer both of these questions, but in here ! Should I trust somebody who, after 48 hours into my sentence, offered me some drugs ? Of course the answer was “no thank you” but what next, many people do say “yes” so that I now find myself isolated, but at least master of my own destiny.

This however does not exclude me from seeing the effect drugs have on those who did say “yes”. Spice seems to be the most common form in here. Men who get quickly addicted to it act in a very peculiar way. Some even die in here ! Those who are addicted seem to always be looking for ways of financing the purchase. This leads to problems on the outside.

Consider what you would do, if a “friend” on the inside asked you to “arrange” for some Spice to be brought in next visit day. This would be delivered to your home, and she would be expected to conceal it and bring it in on the next visit. Has she a choice ? Well yes she has, but her decision will effect you considerably. She may get found out, and then become a crime statistic herself.

I tend to make friends slowly, doing my best to avoid these confrontations and situations that usually are out of my control. But this is not easy, and so, who are my friends. Prison Officers ? Fellow Prisoners ? Family ?

This place is a jungle, and best avoided at all costs, but try telling that to a young man. Sometimes I have heard of children being used to bring drugs in, such is the demand. In my world ( on the outside ) I would never conceal drugs in a babies nappy so as to avoid detection whilst visiting. Does this practice surprise confuse effect you in any way ?

It should not, but in a society that cares little for prisoners, and sometimes cares little for people at all, then many people will be surprised.

So, lets make a plan. Can we eradicate drugs from society ? Probably not, but we might be able to reduce demand. Can we stop drugs getting into prison, certainly yes, but how ?

I have learned so far, in my first year, that all is not what it seems in here. For until society changes, nothing will change. Meanwhile, the cost both in cash terms and the effect these events have on mental health, will continue, unabated.

© John Reed 2021-06-23

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