Going to prison for the first time is overwhelming , through the process of losing control of your life to the language used in the environment all of it can be stressful not to mention downright intimidating. Below is an excerpt, taken (with permission) from a diarised account, of a first time offenders own experience of losing their liberty in 2018. This 200 word short story scribbled as part of a creative writing programme and included in the diary, was written after the author had experienced three months of a 21 month sentence in one of Her Majesty’s prisons.

“Entering this vile, alien environment, saw my rather naïve, mainstream thoughts veer uncontrollably towards a new viewpoint. One which after half a century of quiet, family oriented lifestyle shocked me to the core.

The loss of control in life, the separation from the most loving family, the abject feeling of utter failure attempts to re-align your daily thoughts. The struggle to focus on your core values is challenged massively every day but as each week passes that focus and those core values fight valiantly back. I realise those values chiselled and honed over fifty years of wonderful life will always be with me. They will continue to shape me as a person and the life I choose to lead when I, God willing, leave this hell.

The idiocy which saw me land unceremoniously on this alien planet will never be repeated and the prospect of a return trip is as appealing as rubbing sandpaper across my finger tips.

My peer group in life has remained constant however these past few months immersed in a new culture has ignited skills I never knew existed.

Perhaps in the future I should enrol with a dramatic society as acting seems to come easy.”

It is beyond argument, having spoken with the author, that there is great benefit to be gained for someone facing their first prison sentence to have the opportunity to speak with someone else who has been through what lies ahead. The smallest and seemingly insignificant insights can make a huge difference. Sharing personal experience takes great courage and we hope that those who face similar challenges can draw strength from the thoughts shared

We will include additional items from this diary in the coming weeks and months as they give real perspective on prison life for the first time offender. The author is also available to speak with those facing a similar predicament or to work with solicitors, or any representative tasked with pre-prison services, seeking to add value to their client relationships.

Thanks for taking the time to visit www.firsttimeinside.co.uk



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