We Need To Talk About the Conditions of My Imprisonment
To The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP (Secretary of State for Justice,)
I am 3 years into an 18 year sentence. I have been told 18 years is an approximation, and that it could be a lot longer than this, double, or even triple, depending on the state of the country when 18 years is up. I have been told that if there is no money/jobs/the housing market continues to skyrocket, these are the most likely variables to make my sentence longer. I must say, that living with this uncertainty is the first thing I am writing to complain about, but will deal with that later. I really need to talk about the conditions of my imprisonment.
It was agreed that as a low risk offender (my crime was to have unrealistic romanticisms about what it is like to be a Stay At Home Mum, I was also found in possession of Generic Baby Sleep Maunuals-a crime against humanity,) I would be able to complete my sentence under house arrest, with occasional day release for good behaviour. I was told I would be guarded night and day by 2 guards (they generally don’t bother with night time though, they tend to get drunk on milk and pass out, they only usually wake to make ridiculous demands, usually before passing out again.) It is the behaviour of these 2 guards that I find intolerable, and a total breach of my human rights. Let me take you through a typical day…
The guards wake at a ridiculously early time, and often physically torture me into waking up. They will pull my hair, scratch my face, rub snot and other bodily fluids all over me. Then they will laugh at themselves. I find this an abrupt way to be woken, surely they could be informed that a simple call would do to wake me? They then proceed to torture me for the rest of the day, by going back to bed at various times themselves, and refusing that I be able to sleep. They put me to work straight away to their many tasks that they scream at me to complete. This kind of sleep deprivation is the first of many tortures they inflict upon me.
They generally ask me to make at least three lots of breakfast for them, and never eat any of them, all whilst watching frightening and hypnotic things on the television, which I’m sure do nothing for their mental stability or development in their role as guards. They then spend a couple of hours trying to break into the snack cupboard (it’s locked and they can’t work out how to unlock it,) and fighting each other. If I try to intervene, I will usually be physically assaulted again. I don’t want them to know I have the key to the snack cupboard, as I feel smug knowing I have it, and that gives me a sense of power in a world where I’m powerless.
They usually take me out for my day release mid morning. We usually go to church halls, and other meeting places, to meet other prisoners in similar circumstances, all with their guards too. My guards don’t tend to let me talk much to the other prisoners, I can only presume this is to inhibit any fun I may get from the outing, and to prevent any discussion of plotting a bid for freedom. They also usually let me treat myself to a piece of cake, but just as I go to put it in my mouth, they will scream and say how dare I think I can eat cake in front of them, and they will want it all for themselves. It is uneccessary to dangle a treat like that in front of a person, then continually deny them the pleasure. But, Mr Gove, they don’t just stop there, should they find me in any possession of any food, they will scream and scream until I give it to them. The same can be said for drinks. At the end of some days, I have barely eaten, or taken any fluids, and this is in total breach of the terms of my imprisonment.
When we return from day release, having spoken very little to the other prisoners, and feeling stressed and starving, the guards start getting drunk on milk again, and spend the next two hours taking it in turns to nap, and sleep it off. I’m usually exhausted by then, from the early wakeup, and lack of food, but whichever one happens to be up at the time, will demand I entertain them, usually in the most energetic way possible. And is it really necessary that they accompany me every time I go to the toilet? There is no window in the toilet, I can’t possibly escape, but there they are, every time I need a private moment of any sort, usually acting inappropriately (trying to flood the sink/unwrapping and trying to eat tampons etc) because they know I can’t get up to try and stop them. It’s a disgrace.
For the rest of the afternoon, they appoint me Chief Entertainment Officer for them, which I have to say, I didn’t know was outlined under the terms of my imprisonment agreement. I’m running out of ideas, but I fear for my safety if I do not keep coming up with new and innovative entertainment-as if I wasn’t exhausted enough.
We have the same routine at dinner time, where they demand various foods, and often spit them at me, drop them on the floor and demand I retrieve them… You must know the drill by now. They then spend the next couple of hours going absolutely batshit crazy! It’s like they become possessed by the devil. I am worried for their mental health. I dread this time of day, some of the other prisoners refer to it as the ‘witching hour.’
Luckily, after the witching hour or two is over, they are totally and utterly knackered, and seem rendered incapable of inflicting anymore physical or emotional torture upon me. They usually demand that I clean them, then they get drunk on their milk, and generally leave me alone for a couple of hours. I must say Mr Gove, that this is the only time I get to eat or drink, and do any of the recreational activities that I hear are provided to most people in the actual prisons, for hours and hours daily. I also keep our surroundings clean and presentable, and basically do every household chore whilst in this captivity. I do the work of approximately 100 employees. I’ve heard that in the large prisons, the prisoners get paid for the work they do around the prison. In three years, I’ve received nothing. What do you have to say to that?
I have a roommate, but he stumbles out of the door shortly after the Torture-To-Wake routine every morning, mumbling about tiredness and overwork. I can only assume he goes out to some kind of work outside. When he gets back at the end of the day (he always misses the witching hour, and the cleaning and putting to bed of the guards,) he still just mutters incoherently about his day, then usually falls asleep shortly afterwards. Sometimes he is my only form of adult company, but is usually snoring by the time the guards give us any time to speak to each other. I wish my roommate weren’t so tired all the time, but that is the toll his work, and the strict regime of the guards, is having upon him.
To conclude, Mr Gove, I was wondering if a transfer to one of the actual prisons would be possible? As I’m not sure I can sustain this level of mental and physical torture, starvation, and lack of privacy? I’m starting to fear for my own mental health, as it appears I have Stockholm Syndrome, and I love and identify with the needs of my guards, despite what they inflict on me. Is this normal? I feel moving to another facility, even if just for a holiday, would be appropriate on this occasion, and with regards the massive breaches of human rights outlined here.
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