As a Category A prisoner, I get a cell search every month; including the extra searches they do throughout prisons, that’s over 180, and not once has there ever been anything found to be illicit – yet they still persist in this futile exercise.
This month’s search: I came back to my cell to find that the officers concerned had left out a number of items I keep locked in a cabinet: journals; personal photographs ; medication (paracetamol, etc.); remote controls; and items of financial and/or personal value. This type of disregard is concerning behaviour. Not to mention that I could be placed on report for the medication not being locked away. Plus, anyone could have walked into my cell and made off with the lot; that’s why I keep it locked up.
I discovered it was one of the new recruits when he came back to me. I’m not sure what the Prison Service College is teaching these guys but his response was poor. Starting with: “I hear you’re upset,” is not going to resolve the situation. Then repeating “I appreciate,” over and over again is only going to provoke the prisoner. He told me he had been called away, which is why the items were not locked back up. Really? It’s not because he had dragged everything out and forgot how it all fitted back in the cabinet; or, just couldn’t be bothered?
Either way, this is poor training in terms of how to treat the prisoner’s possessions and how to resolve a situation such as this. Y’know, sometimes all a prisoner wants to hear is “sorry”.
Be safe, be happy.
Graham Coutts, 6th October 2017