I had a sentence plan meeting this week. This is where the prisoner is set targets to complete for the year. You have an ‘Offender Supervisor’ inside prison and an ‘Offender Manager’ outside (Probation). Usually, it’s just the OS at the meeting but this time OM attended by telephone. Apparently, she had been my OM for the past 18 months. You don’t write, you don’t call… I won’t go into too much detail as I am still waiting for a copy of the sentence plan itself; however, I had a lot to say about how pointless this is in my case. The same targets get achieved every year yet here I am, nearly 14 years on and still a Category A prisoner with no prospect of progressing. Pointless.
Of course, predictably, they did their best to convince me to continue engaging with these processes. This is how it works; they give you just enough hope for you to think maybe, just maybe, if you keep engaging, you might become the first Category A prisoner, who maintain their innocence, to get downgraded to Category B at HMP Wakefield. Being referred to as “in denial” really didn’t endear me to them; not how to build trust and rapport.
Plus, a lot of the information my OS had was either out of date or inaccurate; targets that had been removed, risks levels that had been reduced, file entries which were untrue. On that last one: my OM made a comment about “perception”. What she failed to consider is that maybe certain staff just are not up to the job of interpreting human emotion and behaviour; or that sometimes there can be a malicious agenda.
I’ll blog about this again when I get a copy of the sentence plan.
Be happy, be safe.
Graham Coutts, 29th January 2017