Day 36

11 Apr

Family Day!

It’s a wet morning that greets me… again. Breakfast is speedily consumed as I sit alone in the dining hall.

Gym queue, exercise and walking laps with a book follow.

I have begun chatting lately to a handful of lads from the North East, sentenced to their involvement in a major boiler room operation. Their backgrounds and the story around their fates that led them major financial rip-offs keeps me entertained as I am narrated too, in a broad geordie verse. We start talking after they overhear a lad asking me about day trading.

“Oh aye, you one of them stockbroking types…?” Is sent in my direction.

We exchange stories, names and room numbers. I later lend him a copy of my own Broking Sales Guide:

“The Wideboy’s Handbook”

I had a copy sent in. ….. Cue shameless plug:

I got a paperback version sent in, but I mean, it’s available on the Kindle too. (Ebook)


While away some hours waiting for a visit from the family, emotions emerge that I’d never expect when seeing those close to me.

Nerves, anxiety, restlessness but mostly a reserved excitement. Reserved, as the large majority of inmates are acutely aware, that not all prisoners benefit from such social luxury. It’s discourteous therefore to rub it in one’s nose. Ten minutes before visits, inmates (Offenders as we are called in Ford*) congregate once more around the reception desk in A Wing office. Each jostling for position to get that extra second with their family. A list of names is held at the desk – a phone rings:

The screw begins highlighting the names of prisoner’s whose visitors have arrived.

The highlighted names are called out, those lucky ones can go through to the visits hall now; the others wait.

Many don’t wait to hear their names called out, they go as they see their names crossed off the pad. I enjoy this sense of fever pitch, I wait to hear my name. Besides, I don’t need to enter an elbow competition moments before a visit with my family.

Time dragging in prison is of value right now. The scrum clamouring to get confirmation that their visitor has arrived, evaporates as quickly as it built.

(—Delroy is ferociously attacking a can of Ginger Ale bought on the Canteen as I’m writing this. No gulps just straight down. This man loves Ginger Ale clearly)

A pat down search is conducted as I and my comrades enter the hall…

(He’s sucking the last drops of a Ginger Ale can for the 3rd time in a minute – Its gone man!)

…before we prisoners feel a sense of freedom that comes with being re-united with their kin.

(4th time? A cursory shake to make sure)

That momentary Euphoria that is felt by all those who’ve walked that walk.

(Definitely a 4th time—)

It’s the first time I see my family since Southwark Crown Court, June 13; I embrace each closely and tightly. My mum, dad and sister, I feel loved, nothing else has importance right now.

Gone are the nerves of the impending sentence, the dark cloud upon us, I feel for the first time now truly, this really is the end.

Wet pools of heart-felt emotion and sibling rivalry ceases, my sister wells up with her head upon my shoulder.

I devour snack after snack, diet coke multiplied by 3, coffee, crisps and bask in the beauty of the sounds of voices, not heard for far too long.

*Prisoners are referred to as Offenders at Ford. I imagine this is some poorly thought out Politically Correctness strategy. Inmates hate this term, we have ceased offending, we are now just prisoners. Please refer to us as such.


2 Responses to “Day 36”

  1. Deborah Hope April 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Great blog! 🙂
    I have a loved one who has been remanded in custody at HMP Durham since Feb 2012 and your blog is the closest I’ll come to comprehending what prison life must be like for him. Sadly I’m not permitted to visit him so I particulary enjoyed reading about your experience when having family visit after so long and the emotions that surface as a result. Prison life is something way outside my comfort zone and foreign to me so I read your blog daily in anticipation for the next installment. Great humour and frankness, please keep them coming. Wishing you all the very best and may your ‘time spent’ be smooth and problem free.


    • disgracedbanker April 12, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

      Thank you for your feedback Deborah. I hope it offers some insight for you

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