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I've served a prison sentence
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NCforAMA · 01/08/2022 17:51

I've seen a few threads on here recently where the OPs have basically suggested prisoners are the scum of the earth and are all like the likes of Ian Huntley ect.

I've read the comments and seen a few prison officers defending the prisoners and most posters also defending them, but I thought maybe I would answer some questions so people can understand what it's really like to be inside a prison cell.

Ive name changed for obvious reasons.

Il list a few points that I think would be the first questions;

I'm female.

I'm 33 and I was in jail in 2012.

I received a 12 month custodial sentence. I served 13 weeks in jail, 13 weeks on a tag and the remaining 6 months were served on license at home.

I don't want to say exactly what I was in for as I don't want it to be outing. I will clarify though that it was not a violent offence, not a sexual one before I get abuse from posters. To summarise, I was with a boy who wasn't very well behaved and was basically guilty by association. I was young, stupid and naive. And I absolutely paid the price.

I wish I could change the perception of how people see prisoners.

Anyway, ask away.

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IncompleteSenten · 01/08/2022 17:53

What was it like in prison? Are the prisoners as scary as they are made out to be?
Gangs, violence, bullying etc?

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IncompleteSenten · 01/08/2022 17:55

Also - are you claustrophobic? I am and I would be hysterical if I was locked in a room!

Are prison guards nice or on power trips?

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Louise0701 · 01/08/2022 17:56

The main perception of criminals is just that; they’re criminals. How can you change that perception? You broke the law and were punished.

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Ravenclawdropout · 01/08/2022 17:57

How do women relate in prison? Was there any bullying amongst you? What was most unexpected about being incarcerated?

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NCforAMA · 01/08/2022 17:57

IncompleteSenten · 01/08/2022 17:53

What was it like in prison? Are the prisoners as scary as they are made out to be?
Gangs, violence, bullying etc?

It was absolutely terrifying arriving because you imagine everyone to be a scary gangster. But it's not like that at all, there were quite a lot of child abusers / child killers in there and they would keep themselves to themselves and associate with each other. Then there were a lot in for drug related offences but they would be just 'normal' people.

Someone was once horrible to me and before they'd even finished their sentence about 10 other girls had told her to shut up.

They look after each other, if you needed shower gel, someone would give it to you, if someone arrived with no clothes, everyone would give them something ect.

I still speak to a couple of girls who were in there, they're both completely normal, both have never reoffended, have houses, jobs, kids ect.

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ItoldyouIwastrouble · 01/08/2022 17:58

Best and worst thing about being in prison? Are you still in contact with anyone you met during your time there? Has it continued to impact your life?
I hope things have turned around for you.

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NCforAMA · 01/08/2022 17:59

IncompleteSenten · 01/08/2022 17:55

Also - are you claustrophobic? I am and I would be hysterical if I was locked in a room!

Are prison guards nice or on power trips?

I'm not claustrophobic thank god.

I would say it's 50/50, some are absolutely lovely, some hate their job and only do it for the money, some walk round with clipboards giving you an 'IEP' (behaviour warning) for absolutely anything (walking too fast ect).

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PlanetNormal · 01/08/2022 17:59

How often do you think about the victims of your offences? Have you apologised to them, and made reparations to them?

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NCforAMA · 01/08/2022 18:01

Louise0701 · 01/08/2022 17:56

The main perception of criminals is just that; they’re criminals. How can you change that perception? You broke the law and were punished.

Yes they are criminals but only for as long as their criminal record, most become spent after 5 years.

Do you know how many people are in their for genuine mistakes / stupid decisions, they've been speeding ect. Do you think they deserve to live the rest of their life labelled as a criminal?

Someone was in their because she had murdered a man who had raped her child. Should she be labelled a criminal for the rest of her life?

People make stupid decisions, it doesn't mean they should spend the rest of their life's with a label.

Sorry you're so judgemental, I'm sure you're absolutely perfect xxx

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tobee · 01/08/2022 18:02

Obvious question but are representations of prison in soaps, on tv etc accurate in your opinion?

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NCforAMA · 01/08/2022 18:02

Ravenclawdropout · 01/08/2022 17:57

How do women relate in prison? Was there any bullying amongst you? What was most unexpected about being incarcerated?

There's a lot of same sex relationships, even amongst people who aren't lesbians. They label it 'gay for the stay'.

There was hardly any bullying, you only really saw any bullying against sex offenders.

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NCforAMA · 01/08/2022 18:02

Ravenclawdropout · 01/08/2022 17:57

How do women relate in prison? Was there any bullying amongst you? What was most unexpected about being incarcerated?

The most unexpected thing... THERE WAS A SALON. You could get nails / spray tans / waxing / hair.

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Louise0701 · 01/08/2022 18:03

@NCforAMA judgemental how? You served your sentence and now you’ve, I assume, moved on with your life. I’m asking how you hope to change the perception some have? You’re actually the one being very judgemental.

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CaptainBeakyandhisband · 01/08/2022 18:03

I was on jury service recently, and I also know someone who has been to prison. The person we found guilty was truly terrifying, a very violent individual, whereas my contact made a stupid decision and was punished for it. I’ve never asked him but I cannot imagine what it must have been like for him amongst some really threatening people. How does your experience compare?

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nounderwire · 01/08/2022 18:03

Does your time in prison have any bearing on what you do now - does it affect you getting jobs, etc? At what stage do you disclose (if at all!) the fact you've been in prison to new friends, colleagues, relationships etc?

Thanks for this thread OP, a really interesting subject and I think you're right when you say the world mostly has one general (perhaps misinformed) opinion of ex-prisoners. Looking forward to learning more.

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Quitelikeit · 01/08/2022 18:04

How long was she serving for murdering the guy who did that to get child?

if someone did that to my child I imagine I’d saw their penis off tbh

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yellowcarpetflair · 01/08/2022 18:06

As someone with IBS, the toileting in prison terrifies me - both as the person needing to go in front of others and as the person having to experience other people going next to my head.

Is toileting as horrific as I can only imagine? (Sorry to lower the tone!)

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NCforAMA · 01/08/2022 18:07

ItoldyouIwastrouble · 01/08/2022 17:58

Best and worst thing about being in prison? Are you still in contact with anyone you met during your time there? Has it continued to impact your life?
I hope things have turned around for you.

Thanks for your kind message.

Best thing; I was in a bad place before I went, I don't think I would have lasted much longer in the world tbh. It gave me a wake up call as to how much I wanted to go home and live my life.

Worst thing; the heartbreak I caused my mum. I knew she worried about me every single minute whilst I was there and I've got tears now just thinking about it.

Yeah it impacts my life now, but only because I punish myself. I have a good job and they are aware of what happened but they couldn't have been nicer about it. I have a house, lots of friends ect, holidays ect. But I would do absolutely anything to go back in time and change my actions. I regret it so so much and I punish myself all the time.

I still speak to 3 girls from inside. They live normal lives, have houses, jobs, families and absolutely do not engage in any criminal activities.

I also used to speak to another but she's chose a life of crime so I distanced myself and we no longer talk x

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Etinoxaurus · 01/08/2022 18:09

I worked with young women leaving prison- looking at the time frame you could have been one of my clients. Without exception they fell into 2 categories:
•drug related offences, ie stealing or behaving badly on drugs.
•boy related, being manipulated by a male, usually a partner, sometimes family member.
I noticed great solidarity amongst the women and respect from the staff- women were called by name, wore home clothes, had keys to their room (not called cells) and were called young lady if staff didn’t know their name. etc.
I’m glad life is good for you and get the impression that my clients in the second group have also gone on to have fruitful lives.

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NCforAMA · 01/08/2022 18:09

PlanetNormal · 01/08/2022 17:59

How often do you think about the victims of your offences? Have you apologised to them, and made reparations to them?

There weren't any victims as such. I know people say there aren't any 'victimless crimes' and I appreciate that every crime has a victim somewhere down the line but there wasn't a direct one.

I did make an apology in my letter to the judge and I've since volunteered in homeless kitchens as a way of repaying the public.

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NCforAMA · 01/08/2022 18:11

tobee · 01/08/2022 18:02

Obvious question but are representations of prison in soaps, on tv etc accurate in your opinion?

It's not far off, obviously anything on tv is exaggerated and dramatised. There was a drama called 'time' and I was in floods of tears watching that as it was very real and brought back feelings from when I arrived. Another girl I was there with text me saying The same thing too

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NCforAMA · 01/08/2022 18:12

CaptainBeakyandhisband · 01/08/2022 18:03

I was on jury service recently, and I also know someone who has been to prison. The person we found guilty was truly terrifying, a very violent individual, whereas my contact made a stupid decision and was punished for it. I’ve never asked him but I cannot imagine what it must have been like for him amongst some really threatening people. How does your experience compare?

This is exactly what it's like! Some people have literally stolen a few things from B&M bargains, and others are child murderers, peadophiles ect! And you all 'live together'. Some are terrifying but it's more the 'normal' ones that group together as friends and the 'scary' ones are kind of by themselves, so they can't bully everyone because they're outnumbered if that makes sense.

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Benedictcucumber · 01/08/2022 18:13

Was there any member of staff that particularly helped you when you were in prison? And how did they help?

What was your mindset like when you were in there?

Did you have a single cell?

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tobee · 01/08/2022 18:13

Thank you for your reply.

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Onlyhereforthebatshitneighbours · 01/08/2022 18:14

I might have a question later but just wanted to comment on your bravery in doing this AMA. I think it is brave to speak up and offer to answer questions.

I'm really glad you're doing well now Flowers

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