Letters from Prison #2

Letters from Prison

08/05/06 Continued…

Thursday morning they put us into 8 Yard (remand). A triangular yard with 4 tables and also about 20 other blokes. I kept to myself for a while and every now and then someone would come and ask me for a smoke (I got a ‘reception pouch’ when I arrived, White Ox, papers & matches).

I can’t deny anyone a smoke so by the end of the day, which ended at 2.30pm when they lock you back up in your cell, I had gone through half a 50 gram pouch. The rest was gone by Friday. You get that. So all the next week I was picking up bumpers and also bludging when I could.

The weekend before Anzac Day was pretty uneventful. I got in with a crowd who would give me smokes and I was starting to settle in. On Anzac Day we were all talking about what it would have been like at Gallipoli and I happened to mention that there was a Gallipoli in Italy. Well you never seen so many blokes turn on a person so quick. They were calling me a fuckwit and moron and stupid (just to name a few) and the group wouldn’t let me sit with them. I ended up with the nickname ‘Italy’.

After nearly two weeks of copping shit I thought ‘Fuck it. I’m going to prove it’ so I went to the library and got an atlas, booked it out & took it into 8 Yard the next morning (last Wednesday) I walked straight up to ‘their’ table, slammed the book down, opened it to a map on Italy and showed them. One of the blokes (Thommo) said ‘Well fuck me sideways & call me Uncle Fred!’ Ha! Redemption.

They were all apologetic, promising me smokes next buy-up and giving me coffees etc. I ended up with over 30 coffee sachets but never got smokes because buy-up is on Sunday and the Screws moved me to X-Wing that Wednesday afternoon.

Anyway I got ahead of myself. Tuesday after Anzac Day (which was Monday) it was the Screws’ Public Holiday so we had a lock in (that is where the convicts, for want of a better word, get locked in all day. I mean ALL DAY). A- and I sat in our cell with no smokes, no coffee, no food (except dinner) &, because I finished my book the previous night, no entertainment (Did I mention there was no T.V. or radio in the cells unless you buy them on ‘Activity Buy-up’). Everything was alright, all day, apart from A- searching through the bin looking for bumpers.

I fell asleep early as there was nothing to do. I woke up with a start because A- had buzzed up (called the Screws over the intercom) I looked at him and saw blood on his arm. Thinking that he had cut his arm on something in the cell (everything is metal, the cupboards, the bed, the sink, the toilet. Everything!) I said ‘What did you do? What happened?’ He said ‘I can’t cope. I need my medication’. I said ‘You’re not even ON medication!!’ What he had done was… while he had been looking for bumpers he found a coke can ring-pull, somehow managed to get a sharp edge, and cut his arm (left arm) to shreds.

The screws came on the intercom ‘What’s wrong?’ I said ‘My cellmate has cut himself up! Send for a doctor!’ The screw said ‘How bad is he? Is there any blood?’ I was freaking. ‘His arm is all cut up. There looks like a lot of blood’. Well, not even 5 minutes later 3 Screws were at our cell. They opened the door and the one in charge asked ‘Is there any blood on the floor or you?’ I said ‘No.’ He said ‘You, S- [A-‘s surname – Ed], get to the back of the cell’.

I sat on the bed while they ascertained the situation. Then they took him out and I didn’t see him again for 3 days. It took a long time to get to sleep because he could have attacked me. All he had to do (remember I was asleep while he did this) was hold me down and slice me across the neck.

The next morning I told everyone in 8 yard and, about lunchtime, the Screws came & got me & took me to Psyche (the psychiatrist) who asked me if I was O.K. and if I wanted any pills to help me sleep. I didn’t take any. I asked if A- was alright and the ‘psyche’ said that he was just seeking attention. Apparently, the doctor didn’t even put a band-aid on his wounds. I laughed & after I told ‘8 Yard’, we all had a good laugh, calling him ‘Tripper’ and ‘Psycho’ etc. As I said he didn’t come back for 3 days. The Screws kept him in Obs (observation) all that time.

To be continued…

One Response to “Letters from Prison #2”

  1. It’s interesting to hear what it’s really like. Thanks to the letter-writer and to the webmister for this section of the website.