Hello friend,

Well, at the time of writing, I am still at HMP Wakefield. What I have found out over the past few months is that the Scottish Prison Service is over capacity and, as a consequence, transfer priority is being given to prisoners already located in Scottish prisons – that took a Freedom of Information Act request to find out why I still had not been transferred.

Since then, my mother wrote to the Scottish Justice Minister; she received a reply from the SPS apologising and explaining the delay, and that they think they may have found a way forward (whatever that means). I also received a letter from them saying “the transfer may take place at some point in 2019”. The word “may” is a bit of a concern but my fingers are crossed that won’t be too much longer. Of course, as a Cat A prisoner, I will not know until they come to my door and say: “Pack your bags, you’re going.”

Ironically I had a videolink with my Brighton based probation officer to update my file. I didn’t know him and didn’t even know I had a videolink until the morning itself. Why ironically? Because, for the first time ever, I actually connected with someone from probation – he had a lot of positive things to say about me which I am not used to hearing from people in his position. After 16 years, I finally get a decent probation officer when I’m about to get transferred.

I can’t seem to catch a break.

Be happy, be safe.
Graham Coutts, 11th June 2019

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