Duvet Drama continues

16 Apr

A suggestion by the screw is for my compadrie to send on the duvet on a day out. With a £9 weekly salary and little time as he transfers prisons, it is not realistic for him to find the time to package a large duvet stick it in the post with my name on and have it received into my property that way. Surely it doesn’t have to circumnavigate Crawley Sorting Office before it can be given to me.

As he leaves tomorrow, the only solution now is that my parents meet him at 7 in the morning. With a postal order heading his way, I’ve unwittingly put my mother under pressure and the inmate too. The last thing he needs before a prison transfer is, sorting out my bedding.

I walk away from the property office a little disheartened, this is such a trivial matter to an outside observer; but with so little to focus on inside, such small events become a disproportionately large stress creator.

This turns out to be a whole lot of hassle. I find out some weeks later, that it is perfectly acceptable within Prison Service Instructions, to allow one inmate to transfer property to another, providing they are both present. I end up £15 short, minus the duvet I paid for and irritated by obstacles put in my way by a man paid to do his job poorly. This is now the second attempt I’ve made at getting a duvet. Prison bedding comes with hair trimmings, stains and pubic hair; the lice are unlikely to be far away either. Personal bedding is sometimes less a luxury but more a necessity.

Having spoken to my mother she has said she will make a point to have the postal order blocked by speaking to the Governor. I panic, this isn’t high school, a note from home carries no weight here. You can’t just call the Governor and explain these matters, not without both of us having soiled disciplinary record. Sending money in to another ‘Private trading’ is a punishable offence, or so I’m led to believe. With limited phone credit I’m urging my old dear to not chase this up, something so slight is panicking me, I’m anxious and all I ever wanted was a little warmth in bed at night.

With my last 29p phone credit, I call home again. My mind is put at ease, she will drop the matter. I’m furious at myself or putting this extra stress upon my parents. I’ve hated myself for many a year since that first knock on my door by the ‘Old Bill’ – the stress i’ve put them under is to me the sin I regret.

Stress in prison is exacerbated, because there is bugger all you can do about so many issues. Trapped and insulated from so many controls we take for granted in life; the inability to have complete autonomy, makes difficult situations that much harder.

For the men who fear an adulterous partner – they stay awake at night with nothing to appease them but a fractious mind.

For those with family at death’s door – there is no inbound telephone to keep them abreast of any news.

For those with a partner isolated and alone, serving their own sentence of separation – they feel nothing but the impotence of a former provider who is unable to fulfill that role any more.

Yeah, stress is proper rubbish when you’re in prison.



One Response to “Duvet Drama continues”

  1. Carol Clark April 17, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    Like following your diary – husband inside at the moment, white collar crime – it’s good to hear what goes on inside an open prison, but from someone else. Him telling me these details would cause me more upset. thanks.

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