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Ex-Con Explains The Corruption Of Prison Guards | Informer

Throughout my 20s,
I’ve spent time in prison for guns, drugs, and cannabis cultivation. I’ve been to HMP Birmingham, HMP Ranby, HMP Dovegate, HMP Sudbury, HMP Hewell. Prison is everything bad
that you think it is and more. So if you’re wondering,
“Is it really that bad?” Yes, it is. “Can I really get my face slashed?”
Yes, you can. Nothing can prepare you
for how bad prison will be. And my only advice is
you avoid that place at every cost. Prison officers are one of the main lines of
getting stuff into prison. Prison officers will bring
heroin into the prison, mobile phones, even weapons. [Informer] [Ex-Con] What you’ll do is
you’ll buy a kilo of spice and then get it compressed so that each ounce is
probably the size of a Kinder Egg. Then you’ll put
10 or 12 of them together, and then you’ll get a prison officer
to bring that in for you. So that’s a quick way to make
maybe 10,000 pounds, 12,000 pounds. Some prison officers, I know for
a fact are making five grand a month. It depends on whatever partnership
they’ve got with the prisoner. Most of the time, it was the inmates putting
pressure on the prison officers. So a prison officer might give in,
if you like, after three months or six months of being groomed. But then once they
bring one parcel in, they’ve got to bring another
and another and another. Most of the time, the disputes
between prisoners and prison officers will be prison officers saying,
“Please, please time out.” And the prisoners say,
“No, no, no, no, no.” A couple of years ago,
I was in HMP Birmingham, and at about 8 o’clock,
9 o’clock at night, I heard this whistling noise, like– I couldn’t believe my ears.
I was thinking, “What’s that noise?” There was a drone bringing drugs
to a prison window. So the windows were plexiglass, but in somebody’s cell they had
cut the plexiglass out, a square, and they fished the lining
off the drone. And the drone had ten ounces
of cannabis, phones, spice. In HMP Birmingham, it’s split into two sections: you’ve got the old side
and the new side. When you’re inducted into the prison, you start on the old side,
where the cockroaches are. I don’t think nothing could prepare
you for living with cockroaches and insects in your room. I remember one time in HMP Hewell, there was a disagreement
over an illegal mobile phone. One of the people who was
involved in the argument went into the other person’s cell and started
bludgeoning them in the head with a tin of tuna in a sock. I looked through
the cell observation slot, and there was blood everywhere, all over the ceilings,
the floor, the sink. It looked like someone had been
squirting ketchup everywhere. There wasn’t
an intensive investigation after acts of violence in prison. The typical consensus is: people don’t care if
it doesn’t affect them directly. I think that the general public
should know that prison is a business. And if you are involved in crime, you are susceptible to be an
integral part of someone’s business, which is prison. I saw companies that were operating
within the prison grounds employing prisoners
to further their business. Prisoners were being paid
ten pounds a week to work five days a week
in these workshops. It was beyond belief to me
that these businesses were allowed to operate
on the prison grounds, and then paid as cheap slave labor,
if you like. This is a level of corruption. The prison establishments are not
geared to help prisoners to succeed upon their release
or during their time in prison. I definitely think that
people of African descent and minority backgrounds, I think that they’re
dealt with harsher. I was reading yesterday on the news, somebody who got prosecuted
for third strike burglary received under four years in prison. I received five years in prison
for growing 88 cannabis plants. The justice system, it kind
of doesn’t make sense sometimes. I think in order to
improve the prison system, the prison system needs to be
more focused on rehabilitation. And less focused on
human deprivation and providing cheap labor. So, I mean that there should be a lot
more reading done in prison, there should be a lot more
reform education. So empowering people’s minds, giving people an alternative
way to earn money, allowing people to
gain qualifications and documentation that will allow
them to succeed upon their release. Anything that could
result in my imprisonment isn’t worth my while.
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