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What must prison be like

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At any time, let alone now? This lockdown really shows how tough the deprivation of liberty is, doesn't it? 

 DaveHK 22 May 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Going on a previous thread Krikoman will be along shortly to tell us prison doesn't seem to do people much harm and so we should all be far more willing to accept COVID-19 related restrictions...

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 Rob Parsons 22 May 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

Prison isn't supposed to be easy. But, 'if you can't do the time, ...' etc. etc.

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In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Maybe because of the lockdown, prisoners feel, proportionately, less different and therefore prison may not feel as bad?  A bit like people with certain mental health conditions (e.g. anxiety) feel more 'normal' because most peoples anxiety has increased and feeling more 'normal' can improve their mental health (heard this discussion on 5 live recently).

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 Timmd 22 May 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

You may or may not find the proportions of people in prison who can't read, have grown up in care, or have been sexually abused as children to be enlightening. Homelessness makes one more likely to end up in jail too.

It's not a balanced level of factors across the population to do with people ending up in there. 

Post edited at 13:46
 Stichtplate 22 May 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> At any time, let alone now? This lockdown really shows how tough the deprivation of liberty is, doesn't it? 

Whatever you think deprivation of liberty in your own home is like, however many prison documentaries, books or news articles you've read over the years, closed prisons are orders of magnitude worse than they appear from a comfortable distance.

I like to read and don't mind my own company and had always been of the firm belief that if some terrible calamity befell me I'd be OK with a couple of years banged up in choky. I've had 4 or 5 jobs in prisons now, none requiring me to remain on the premises longer than an hour but that's been plenty long enough to utterly disabuse me of my notional ability to cope with a prison sentence.

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In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Prison I guess is approx. 1000 times worse. (I spent the worst four hours of my life in a police cell once.)

PS. I live in a v comfortable terraced cottage with a good view, have nice neighbours, and a good food (and drink!) supply system. My partner, who lives c 100 metres away has a nice garden, and when the weather is nice we sit out there for an hour or two in the evening. Meanwhile, it's been a good opportunity to get on with my latest book that's been taking me for ever. 

Post edited at 14:07
 DaveHK 22 May 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Prison I guess is approx. 1000 times worse. (I spent the worst four hours of my life in a police cell once.)

I must've liked it the first time because I repeated it...

In reply to DaveHK:

Never, never again. I was very silly, but I was never charged with anything (there wasn't really a case). I may write a novel about it one day, but heavily disguised, e.g. set in a different country, like Russia.

 DaveHK 22 May 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

My 2 incidents were falling foul of a recently introduced local by-law about public drinking and throwing snowballs at policemen.  It was a long time ago and like you I wasn't charged.

L Grantin 22 May 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Prison is sometimes a choice for people, just like some people live only indoors, even during times of freedom, strange world eh?

1
 Roadrunner6 22 May 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Prison isn't supposed to be easy. But, 'if you can't do the time, ...' etc. etc.

In an uncivilized society no.

In a civilized society which cares about re-offending rates it should be an experience to rehabilitate and re-educate. However, yeah lets keep this cycle going. It's working well..

 DancingOnRock 22 May 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

I’ve worked in prisons too. For weeks at a time. 
 

You really don’t want to get sent there. It’s incredibly oppressive. Just the amount of locking, unlocking, searching, being questioned and counting of tools in and out is bad enough.
 

Last month’s marathon Talk interview with John McAvoy. Starts at 41:00. Worth listening to if you want to know what it’s like in prison at the moment. 
 

https://marathontalk.com/shows/episode-537-john-mcavoy/

 Blue Straggler 22 May 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

You realise you can’t use Russia now, don’t you, because a few UKC readers will remember this thread 😃

 Blue Straggler 22 May 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Is this lockdown really showing you what the deprivation of liberty is like, though, as per the OP? 😃

 Rob Parsons 22 May 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> In a civilized society which cares about re-offending rates it should be an experience to rehabilitate and re-educate.

It is obviously that. It is also a necessary mechanism for protecting the rest of society from people who are dangerous at the time. And it is also a punishment

> However, yeah lets keep this cycle going. It's working well..

Sigh.

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 Roadrunner6 22 May 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

The punishment is the loss of liberty.

theres no need to make it anymore unpleasant. Many live in a severely broken society, there are many born on a path to prison. We should see prison as an opportunity for them, a chance to show compassion, learn life skills, get the mental health and addiction treatment they require. 

I Volunteer to go to prisons to talk to prisoners, some of them had no chance and have little chance when out. A number are actually grateful of the opportunity prison has given them. There’s no need to make it anymore unpleasant.

and that’s ignoring that many are in jail haven’t been convicted yet. At least in the U.K. pre-trial detention isn’t so common (it’s still 1 in 9 prisoners are pre-trial) but in the US thousands are locked up for minor offenses, so they deserve no punishment. It’s just a corrupt immoral business.

Post edited at 15:17
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 off-duty 22 May 2020
In reply to Timmd:

> You may or may not find the proportions of people in prison who can't read, have grown up in care, or have been sexually abused as children to be enlightening. Homelessness makes one more likely to end up in jail too.

> It's not a balanced level of factors across the population to do with people ending up in there. 

Absolutely.

But with all this focus on prisoners, let's not overlook victims who may also be unable to read, have grown up in care, been sexually abused as children, be homeless....

 Rob Parsons 22 May 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> The punishment is the loss of liberty.

Which is precisely what this thread is all about, and which is precisely what I meant when I wrote that "Prison isn't supposed to be easy."

> theres no need to make it anymore unpleasant.

You are going off on a tangent entirely of your own making. It might be important, but you are mistaken to drag me into it.

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 Roadrunner6 22 May 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> My 2 incidents were falling foul of a recently introduced local by-law about public drinking and throwing snowballs at policemen.  It was a long time ago and like you I wasn't charged.

But we’re lucky. Others won’t get released and are then locked up until a trial. I’ve likewise had that experience (not throwing snowballs at the police though..), I’ve no doubt that me being white and educated it is a very different experience to a black person with little income. They will quite easily see themselves face long term detention, with associated loss of their job, a prison record etc. 

And because of Covid these stays are now much longer and much riskier. Here we’ve been donating to projects like the bail project to get as many pre-trial detainees out.

 Roadrunner6 22 May 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

You are the one who brought up the experience not being easy..

 Roadrunner6 22 May 2020
In reply to off-duty:

> Absolutely.

> But with all this focus on prisoners, let's not overlook victims who may also be unable to read, have grown up in care, been sexually abused as children, be homeless....

It’s not at either or though.

 baron 22 May 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

How many people end up in prison in the UK without having been through the system.

They’ll have been on the receiving end of numerous interventions and will have received help from numerous sources.

They’ll have been given numerous chances in the way of warnings, fines, ASBOs, community service, etc before ending up in prison.

At the moment my sympathies lie with those enduring social isolation through no fault of their own and with no end in sight.

At least if your banged up in prison you’ll have someone to talk to and a release date to look forward to.

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 Timmd 22 May 2020
In reply to off-duty:

> Absolutely.

> But with all this focus on prisoners, let's not overlook victims who may also be unable to read, have grown up in care, been sexually abused as children, be homeless....

Of course. On a recent course, three of the four people who'd been to prison had done so because of drug use (or related crime) used to mask the legacy of sexual abuse - the forth didn't talk so much, but yes of course, any victims are absolutely important. 

There's certain people I think I'd like to see locked up for longer than they are, from having seen the damage caused, as it happens, but I've cheerier things like gardening to focus on just now, or UKC will kill my lock down productivity. 

Post edited at 15:33
 Roadrunner6 22 May 2020
In reply to baron:

12% are pre-trial.

 Roadrunner6 22 May 2020
In reply to Timmd:

The cycle of sexual assault is brutal. We’ve just not managed to stop it yet.

In reply to Blue Straggler:> You realise you can’t use Russia now, don’t you, because a few UKC readers will remember this thread 😃

How will that work if I'm 'a Russian author translated into English'?

In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Is this lockdown really showing you what the deprivation of liberty is like, though, as per the OP? 😃

No, not really. Still have a huge amount of liberty in almost everything that matters.

In reply to Blue Straggler:

Also, my name would be almost impossibly well disguised, like Gordonov Stanifortovitch

 fred99 22 May 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> In an uncivilized society no.

> In a civilized society which cares about re-offending rates it should be an experience to rehabilitate and re-educate. However, yeah lets keep this cycle going. It's working well..


Doesn't the USA effectively use prisoners as a cheap labour source ?

The Land of the Free - don't make me laugh (or should that be cry ?)

 fred99 22 May 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> You realise you can’t use Russia now, don’t you, because a few UKC readers will remember this thread 😃


But only Pefa will bother.

 Roadrunner6 22 May 2020
In reply to fred99:

Yes and it’s a massive economy too.

 climbercool 22 May 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Never visited a prison so i guess this coud be utterly naieve, but.......  A decade back i did a couple of 3 months stints of 70-80 hour weeks in order to save cash fast, i'd finish work, cook dinner, sleep and repeat the next day,  I hated it!  I often used to think how much worse what i was doing was than prison, I had no life.  I love reading, i love sleeping, bit of snooker or gym time occasionally, presuming I dont get sexually assaulted i really cant see how hard a 3 month stretch could be.  If you gave me the choice of going back to 80 hour weeks or 3 months in prison for the same money, it would be a no brainer. I have 2 friends that have been inside and neither refer to it as the harrowing expericence others on this thread mention. they also both made a great deal more money than i ever did in 3 months! in conclusion, crime pays! 

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In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

I had a discussion about this with one of my guys who did a 5 year stint (I work with a prison outreach program to get ex offenders in work). 

He is adamant that prison was far easier than the last 10 (he was coughing so isolating 2 weeks before lockdown) weeks stuck on his own in his flat. 

In prison he worked in the gym and had interaction with a lot of other people, on lockdown he walks his sisters dog and watches TV. 

 Siward 22 May 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Get back to work!

Is ukc the reason for your unfinished book by any chance?  

In reply to Siward:

Perhaps we'll just have to start ignoring Gordon until he's finished?

 off-duty 22 May 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> It’s not at either or though.

I agree that's why I mentioned the other side of the equation of criminality.

In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

I think I've read somewhere that the consequence of the need for precautions against the virus is that prisoners are spending 23 hours out of 24 in their cells. Does not bear comparison with lockdown in one's own home surely. None of us has to eat in our toilet.

In reply to Siward:

One reason why I've not been on UKC much for about the last month. 

 Neil Williams 22 May 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> No, not really. Still have a huge amount of liberty in almost everything that matters.

Seeing family really matters, and I have effectively zero liberty on that at present (understandably, but that wasn't the point).

 abr1966 22 May 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

I once visited a mate in Strangeways...a harrowing experience. It was terrible just as a visitor.

I also did 3 months in Broadmoor as a student/trainee....less restrictive but more menacing, it wasn't somewhere I'd want to work. 

Some.people strive to be lo ked up though...or take it as an occupational hazard....makes you wonder how grim their life must be on the outside!

 krikoman 22 May 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> Going on a previous thread Krikoman will be along shortly to tell us prison doesn't seem to do people much harm and so we should all be far more willing to accept COVID-19 related restrictions...


I said, it doesn't make all prisoners have mental issues, so please don't misrepresent me.

This was in relation to some hyperbole regarding our mental health from lockdown, of course prison will be worse, it's not exactly a relaxing atmosphere. Indeed many people wouldn't want it to be, for some there needs to be punishment, but again it's not necessarily true that you go to prison you come out damaged mentally.

Why not post your own opinion, instead of what you think mine is?

 SteveX 22 May 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Depends, I have areas at my home that get full sun from 7am to 9pm,  I can walk the moors from my door step, but TBH have been regressing and getting all upset  and going back to my anxious state of depression and lets be frank feeling sorry for my self, because I cannot roam the world as I wish.
Over the last couple of days though I have told myself to pull myself together and count my blessings, and I am smiling again.

No, its not like prison, though I do take your point.

Post edited at 21:18

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