Booked it, Packed it – Escaped

15 May

Quality weather and I spend the day doing little but nattering. An induction orderly has escaped and as I write this he is homeward bound on a plane to South Africa. RP as he is known (He isn’t but knowing he will have to spend a good many years looking over his shoulder, I shan’t make it anymore difficult for him) is 16 months into a 4 year sentence for handling stolen goods. He has a little more than 6 months until he can leave and he has gone on his heels. That said, escaping isn’t difficult, not from an open prison. Given the time left of his sentence, once he is back in Africa, extradition is hardly likely and if he is happy to never return to the UK then I guess it was only ever a matter waiting to happen.

As he took the new batch of inmates around on a tour of the prison, Spence chats to him in the Travis Perkins workshop. He is lingering back from his crowd of newbies and is looking noticeably ‘Beefy’. RP, is a big geezer generally, years of steroid abuse has helped him get that way; but on a warm morning it looks strange to a few eagle-eyed acquaintances why he has donned some extra layers.

On arrival new inmates undergo the induction I have spoken of. Part of this is a guided tour around the jail, the tour ends here today as RP informs them to head back across to their billets and ‘Chill out’ until after lunch now. The big South African makes some small talk and then slips out the back door and behind an industrial unit. He rips off his outer layers, the prison greens and stands there with a few last-minute salutations in his personal clothing before walking over the perimeter and into a nearby industrial estate.

Over in the estate, a non-descript car pulls to a halt and our boy jumps in. The door slams shut and the tyres screech. On his way to the airport to grab one of the handful of direct flights to Jo-Burg. With no roll call for a few hours, he shall be on board a jet by the time his disappearance comes to light. The absence of any ears to the ground, mean half the prisoners learn of his escape HOURS before the screws do. Being such a trusted inmate and one who greets newbies, it’s a bit of an embarrassment to them. We get locked down after lunch, I look up at the deep blue sky and wonder if I will see his carriage high above us, rocking by.

On a Friday afternoon I can sit in the education office at a desk without any interruptions; it’s a great time for me to catch up on writing. It’s so quiet around, I like the little haven of solitude. The gym is closed today – understaffed, a problem that will rear it’s ugly head all weekend. I shall spend my days jogging and skipping instead; they wonder why so many inmates do a runner. (The technical term is absconding) Give them an open door, no prospects of rehabilitative training and then make them bored – it doesn’t take a genius to tell you what will happen with society’s proven poor decision makers.

In the evening we knock up a game of ‘Hold ‘Em’ Poker, using jam, sugar and butter (effect) sachets as chips. I win, sadly the prize fund is 3 bars of EuroShopper 50p Chocolate bars. Still, it killed an evening and bonded a bunch of bored blokes.

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