2019 – 31 – safer custody
“I love the smell of effluence in the morning,” he said, whilst walking through a fine mist of human waste.
Okay, I’ve a little dramatic licence; nonetheless, the past 12 months (or so) has seen a noticeable rise in violence. It’s been a combination of bog (no pun intended) standard fisticuffs, assaults on prisoners, assaults on staff; there have been weapons used on some of these assaults; they are sometimes spontaneous events over some trivial matter (maybe ‘the straw’) and sometimes (more disturbingly) pre-meditated; and, sometimes multiple assailants are involved.
Every time the alarm goes off and you hear the cacophony of staff boots thumping their way down the landings, either to get off this wing to another or vice versa, you wonder if they are running to a life threatening incident or “maybe it’s just a false alarm.” You breath a sigh of relief when you see them meander back to their respective wings – false alarm.
Whilst it would be true to say it’s not a daily occurence, there were recently 6 incidents in just 13 days-just on my wing. I’m sorry to say that I have witnessed some of these incidents. One last year was so horrifying to me that it caused me to have a vaso-vagal attack reaction – cold, clammy sweats and close to fainting; my eyes started fuzzing over.
Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does – this time, I’m just a few feet away.
More to follow…
Be happy, be safe.
Graham Coutts, 21st July 2019