Saturday 7 September 2002
Woke up this morning around 5am. Can't sleep very well. Haven't
been able to for quite some time. WHY??? I've been here 7 weeks
and it feels like 7 years. Every day is much like the last. There's
no change in routine, which is why things seem to go so slow all
the time. I have a tendency to think that if things don't change,
Leicester now - the highest prison walls in the country
never will. I mean I've been coming to prison on and off now for
the last 18 years. I just can't seem to break out of the rut I've
got myself into. To be truthful things couldn't get any worse. I
mean, 18 years ago when I first came
into prison, I thought things couldn't get any worse. They put me
in a cell with two other people, the cells was only 12' x 9' x 6'.
So things were pretty cramped to say the least. The whole prison
was the same. Overcrowded is quite an understatement. That was 18
years ago and to be truthful things aren't much better 18 years
on. All right, we now have toilets and sinks instead of buckets
and bowls. But the prisons are still overcrowded Apparently theses
cells are supposed to be for one person
two or three like some are. I will admit that some things are better
these days. The food
of a better standard. Plus now, you are subject to
incentives and privileges. This means that if you behave yourself
to gain certain ext ra
privileges, e.g. after 4 weeks being here you can go on an enhanced
where you get 1 extra visit a month You're able
to spend £15 instead of £10 a week out of your own private
spends. You also have a telly put into your cell. But if you don't
behave yourself you may lose privileges, which means you go on basic
regime, £2.50 wages a week, £5 private cash and only two
and a half hours closed visiting
a month. This is the same as most prisons. But Leicester Prison is
about the only prison in this country that is still quite away behind
the rest. For instance, in most other prisons you are given a cell
with a telly already in it.
life in 1955 - sewing mailbags at Leicester
Get to know your local gaol:
Leicester is also known round these parts as Welford Road Prison.
is a local prison, receiving prisoners directly from court on remand,
or newly sentenced prisoners.
It was originally intended for 199 prisoners. It now has 371 - mostly
two to a cell. It only houses men over the age of 21.
of Leicester's inmates are local to Leicestershire and Rutland,
serving sentences from 14 days to life.
Welford Road prison is a category B prison that takes offenders
of all crimes.
It contains prisoners for whom the highest security is not necessary,
but for whom escape must be made very difficult.
our crime quiz for fun
For more on HMP Leicester, listen to BBC Radio Leicester 104.9FM
between 6am and 9am on Crime Day, Wednesday 18th September. The
Good Morning Leicester programme with Ben Jackson will be broadcast
from the prison.