After 9 months in Londo, a tough prison, he gets sent to an open prison.But more than that, after the total sensory overload horror that is the first few months of his time in andsworth, Chris floats effortlessly to the top of the internal prison class system.Yes, at the bottom of the pile we have self-harming drug-smoking illiterates with very few life skills, and at the top we have white white-collar criminals who help to run the prison and therefore get many many privileges not available to the scumbags.HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF LEARNING HAIRDRESSING? You don ’ t warm to this guy Chris Atkins much.
( See Yes, Minister, The hick of It, Porridge, The Office, and so on.) Cynicism does seem to be the only sensible response, but it kinda gets wearing.The jolly jokiness constantly crashes into the horrible pain that prison often is.
Jon does not flinch from describing the awful misery of many prisoners, but the flippancy and well-what-would-you-expect this-is-like-a-Samuel-Beckett-play is never far below the surface.
Nick is here going from cell to cell to get prisoners to sign up to do courses to improve their skills.
Prison staff and mental health services were cut.
Staff shortages in a rison like Wandsworth leads directly to 23 hour bang-up – you can guess this means prisoners locked in cells for 23 hours per day.This leads to the highest ever prison suicide rate ( 119 in 2016) and an outbrea of self-harming incidents.
This false narrative fostered a public perception that the prisoners were all living the life of Riley… By 2017 violence, death and self harm were at record levels, but the tabloids still perpetuated the myth that prison was an easy ride.
There was no objection to this polytheism as the religious leaders taking the services were paid, it was thought, per head, and no one wished to rock the boat.HOW TO STRANGLE A GOOD IDEAChris describes the governor of Wandsworth inventing a new progressive scheme to get a select group of prisoners to do basic admin duties to free up prison officers so the prisoners did not have to be banged up for 23 hours.
The governor is so far removed from daily life in his own prison that he does not know the scheme has not started yet.