Jailcraft – What Is It And How To Do It!
A quick guide to the essentials!
Ready Bag contents:
Socks x 5
Underwear x 5
Books x 5
Cash (£50 max for phone – any amount for account)
*Not wire ring books
Pens – may or may not get through
Vegan Info (Membership card)
Some cigarettes (we were allowed ours)
1. If you go in with co-defendants try and stay in multiples of 2. They liketo ship you around the prison this way.
2. When you go to the induction wing, everything will be in short supply, even pens and washing up liquid! Hustle around and hoard everything: Toiletries should be available from your landing office.
3. Get to know the wing cleaners, hot plate workers, kit orderlies (all cons who are employed).
4. Keep clean and sharp. Clothes are in short supply. 1x prison t-shirt, 1 x tracksuit bottoms, 1 x sweat top (all changed with bedding every Saturday).
Hair clippers are available from landing wings. Get together and cut each other’s hair. Sometimes the ‘barber’ will charge a tin of fish! Fuck that. DIY!
If in doubt, strip wash every morning and wash clothes in hand basin. Also use basin to wash cutlery and plates after every meal.
5. It’s not that bad. Inside. After a few weeks you will settle into a routine. Local B cats are totally disorganised and the screws and staff don’t give a fuck, or don’t have the answers to questions. Be prepared for them to tell you one thing, and people on the outside something else!
You have to get your ‘jailcraft’, i.e. blagging/hustling skills sorted ASAP. Most cons will answer craft related questions. The better screws will become apparent as you go along. Address them as ‘Miss’or ‘Guv’ until you get to know their name. Then it’s Mr ‘Screw’ or ‘Miss’ Screw.
Jailcraft is best leant by observing and listening to others. Mimic the good parts of what you see going on. Good luck!
Recommended reading list:
1. Screwed – Novel by Ronnie Thomson
2. The Archer Prison Diaries trilogy
Thanks to L, Leeds ABC and of course J.
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A Prison Dispatch From Jeff "Free"
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Two Short Letters From Jerome
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The Licence Period For Political Prisoners