I’ve shared with you all before that I have been in jail before. I was there for 2 months. Two long months. Two months is certainly long enough to know what the routines are, what is expected and to miss the things that you take for granted in the ‘outside world’. It’s this experience that makes me pissed off when I see people make flippant remarks about how ‘easy’ criminals have it in jail. It’s certainly easier for a lot of people than being out on the streets, but it’s certainly no walk in the park.
I won’t go into what I did to end up in jail in this post because it’s all in the post I have made before. For ease of conversation however I will say that my crime is categorised by the law as a violent crime. Even though I had no intention of hurting anyone but myself, the law likes to put everything in nice, neat little boxes. I was refused bail and spent three days in a watch house. I went to court once in that time. So it is with great interest that I watch news programs talk about the ‘injustice’ that celebrities (if you could even call them that) receive when they are taken into custody.
Stripping from head to toe in front of two officers is horrible, you feel disgusting but it’s a necessary part of the custody process. While some officers may take their role a little too seriously, this act is not done with the sole purpose of humiliation, despite what the sensationalised media will tell you. It’s necessary to protect both yourself and the people you will be sharing a cell with. Yes there is a high chance that you will have to share.
What are they looking for? Contraband. Once again if you listen to the media then this only stretches to drugs. It’s not. It’s anything that can be used as a weapon, both on yourself or someone else. It includes things like belts, shoelaces, drawstrings, any belongings on your person as well as the more obvious things such as drugs, alcohol and tobacco. These things are not taken off you to make your life more difficult on purpose, they are there to protect you. Everyone goes into the cell with the same thing, stand over tactics are reduced this way.
Another aspect that makes me roll my eyes is the idea that prisoners get 3 hot meals a day. The meals might be hot when they leave the kitchen..an hour before they are served to the prisoners but they are definitely not hot when they are consumed. Ever eaten pasta when it’s stone cold? It’s like eating glue. Far from the five star treatment that the media would like to lead the public to believe. If you live in the residential area, you must get a job so that you can pay for your own food and cook it. Before you get scared about the prisoners being out amongst the public, these jobs are things like mowing the prison grounds, working in the kitchen, jobs within the jail.
For a few of the prisoners that I shared a section with, them being in jail is better than their life outside. They have somewhere to sleep, food is definitely coming and they don’t have to deal with abusive family members. It’s easy to be grateful for little when you are used to nothing.
Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT