Due to my mental health problems the judge said he felt I was unsafe to be around known people to me. This is the first offence I have committed, so to be given a 99 year sentence was quite a shock to the system. I have sat 3 paper parole hearings and been knocked back each time due to unfulfilled sentence plan and poor behaviour.
After a difficult start to adapting to prison life, I have now settled into a routine. I’m considered to be a respected prisoner, with many responsibilities. These include: Being a diversity rep for the LGBT focus group, a reading mentor with Shannon Trust, a learning support assistant and storybook mums editor. I’m also doing a distance learning course and have been given a book deal.
As you can see, I’m not sat idly twirling my fingers. I get involved with all I can to help the lives of other prisoners and my own.
For the past 2 years I have been trying to get into Foston Hall to do a personality disorder course called CAMEO. For reasons now fully known to me, Foston Hall have been refusing me entry to the prison, despite being accepted onto the course. It’s the last course I need to do in order to get my parole. If I had gained entry 2 years ago, my next parole hearing – April/May 2017 – would find me ready for open conditions where I would be rehabilitated back into society. I’m way behind on that prospect now!
Being IPP I tend to get forgotten about or treated like the worst ‘criminal’. Who cares about someone who could potentially be inside for 99 years? Answer – not many!
I have had some support within HMP Peterborough – where I currently reside – but even these people have had no luck. I’m apparently under review by NOMS to find out why I am still inside. But to me, this means nothing.
I just want to be out of prison now. I’ve serves more time for my offence than was necessary. It’s time people like me are given a voice. Support the cause, help get us out!
7th October 2016