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Vpu wing


Vpu wing

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1986
1986
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Just wondering if anyone has any tips/advice  for someone going to prison for the first time? And any personal stories on spending time on the vpu wings ? Day to day experiences, general safety, food. Stories from the court room to 1st night in the cell etc. There doesnt seem to be alot of personal experience stories on being on the vpu wing online and I think it would help alot of people who may be preparing for their time inside including myself. 
Thanks
punter99
punter99
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1986 - 21 Mar 22 11:41 AM
Just wondering if anyone has any tips/advice  for someone going to prison for the first time? And any personal stories on spending time on the vpu wings ? Day to day experiences, general safety, food. Stories from the court room to 1st night in the cell etc. There doesnt seem to be alot of personal experience stories on being on the vpu wing online and I think it would help alot of people who may be preparing for their time inside including myself. 
Thanks

https://stopso.org.uk/first-48-hours-in-custody/
This covers the first 48 hours.
AB2014
AB2014
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1986 - 21 Mar 22 11:41 AM
Just wondering if anyone has any tips/advice  for someone going to prison for the first time? And any personal stories on spending time on the vpu wings ? Day to day experiences, general safety, food. Stories from the court room to 1st night in the cell etc. There doesnt seem to be alot of personal experience stories on being on the vpu wing online and I think it would help alot of people who may be preparing for their time inside including myself. 
Thanks

You would probably be asked by the prison staff at Reception if you want to go on the VP wing, but you can ask if you want to make sure. When it comes to being on the wing, it is prison, so there will be people who were already thieves, etc, so you need to be careful with your property in that respect. Prisons will want to keep you well segregated from prisoners on other wings, and their procedures have been worked out over many years. I did hear of one incident of food adulteration, but the way it normally works is for the officer in charge of collecting the food trolleys to have the choice of which trolley to take, so if the food is seriously adulterated, it might go back to the wing of the person who adulterated it. They would not be popular, and would be dealing with far greater risks than you would ever face on the wing.

In terms of what to take with you, stick to a few items of clothing and some basic toiletries, plus some cash if you have it available. I emptied my bank accounts just before I went in. The money will be counted out in front of you, and you will be asked to sign everything, but that would also be done in the custody suite at the court building anyway. You can't take food, tobacco, vaping equipment, aerosols, anything with a rechargeable battery, a digital watch (I think). You shouldn't take any black clothing, and you're not allowed sunglasses or peaked caps/hats. Don't take any clothing that is branded with a sports team, and expensive fashion brands may make you more vulnerable to theft. You probably won't see any of that stuff for a few days after arrival anyway, and you should be called to Reception to collect it. Feel free to check that with your personal officer once they are assigned, as you might need to apply to Reception for permission to go and get it. Most stuff should be explained to you during Induction, but that only covers what happens after your arrival. It is better to find something to get you off the wing during the day, but the main thing is to be busy, especially if you can find something to fill the evenings and weekends. You should get access to the prison library, and that prison will be connected to the local authority's library system unless you are in a private prison. There will also be courses available in Education, although they mainly concentrate on basic numeracy and literacy with some IT courses offered (especially Microsoft Office). Obviously, all of this is subject to whatever COVID restrictions are still being enforced in prisons.

For some people, the hardest thing to accept is that you rely on other people 100% for everything. You can't open your own door during the night or even in the morning. You will have random drug tests and cell searches. You may also have to pass "volumetric control" as well, where you are given a couple of large boxes and you have to fit all your stuff into them. If you can't fit it all in, some of it will have to go, in theory. There are limits on how much money can go into your "Spends" account at a time, and a ceiling on how much you can have in your account before automatic transfers from your "Private cash" account stop. Do not be tempted to get a savings account within the prison, as that just locks the money away until you are released and does not earn any interest. Prisons are instructed to advise prisoners to have a bank account, so if you don't have one, apply for one while you are inside as it looks much easier than opening one when you get out. Again, all this should be explained to you during Induction, but don't be afraid to ask.

Meals are generally ordered a week at a time, in advance, so you'll be stuck with whatever is available for a few days, and you'll have to be at the back of the queue, unless your wing is really enlightened and the staff can be bothered to work out what will be available without waiting until the end of service. The same goes for canteen (or commissary as the US TV shows call it). You order in advance and collect it on the appointed day, which is once a week, with special arrangements for Easter/Christmas/New Year.

I think that's all the stuff I wished I'd known at the time, but it was some years ago now, and some procedures might have changed more than once. Most of Failing Grayling's reforms have been re-reformed since then, but some might live on. Pay attention during Induction!

=========================================================================================================

Robert Lightfoot, former head of NASA, said it succinctly in his parting speech in April 2018: Protecting against risk and being safe are not the same thing ... [W]e must move from risk management to risk leadership. From a risk management perspective, the safest place to be is on the ground. From a risk leadership perspective, I believe thats the worst place [we] can be.

1986
1986
Supreme Being
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punter99 - 21 Mar 22 11:53 AM
1986 - 21 Mar 22 11:41 AM
Just wondering if anyone has any tips/advice  for someone going to prison for the first time? And any personal stories on spending time on the vpu wings ? Day to day experiences, general safety, food. Stories from the court room to 1st night in the cell etc. There doesnt seem to be alot of personal experience stories on being on the vpu wing online and I think it would help alot of people who may be preparing for their time inside including myself. 
Thanks

https://stopso.org.uk/first-48-hours-in-custody/
This covers the first 48 hours.

Thankyou that was a good read. Shame he didn't write a book.
1986
1986
Supreme Being
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AB2014 - 21 Mar 22 12:07 PM
1986 - 21 Mar 22 11:41 AM
Just wondering if anyone has any tips/advice  for someone going to prison for the first time? And any personal stories on spending time on the vpu wings ? Day to day experiences, general safety, food. Stories from the court room to 1st night in the cell etc. There doesnt seem to be alot of personal experience stories on being on the vpu wing online and I think it would help alot of people who may be preparing for their time inside including myself. 
Thanks

You would probably be asked by the prison staff at Reception if you want to go on the VP wing, but you can ask if you want to make sure. When it comes to being on the wing, it is prison, so there will be people who were already thieves, etc, so you need to be careful with your property in that respect. Prisons will want to keep you well segregated from prisoners on other wings, and their procedures have been worked out over many years. I did hear of one incident of food adulteration, but the way it normally works is for the officer in charge of collecting the food trolleys to have the choice of which trolley to take, so if the food is seriously adulterated, it might go back to the wing of the person who adulterated it. They would not be popular, and would be dealing with far greater risks than you would ever face on the wing.

In terms of what to take with you, stick to a few items of clothing and some basic toiletries, plus some cash if you have it available. I emptied my bank accounts just before I went in. The money will be counted out in front of you, and you will be asked to sign everything, but that would also be done in the custody suite at the court building anyway. You can't take food, tobacco, vaping equipment, aerosols, anything with a rechargeable battery, a digital watch (I think). You shouldn't take any black clothing, and you're not allowed sunglasses or peaked caps/hats. Don't take any clothing that is branded with a sports team, and expensive fashion brands may make you more vulnerable to theft. You probably won't see any of that stuff for a few days after arrival anyway, and you should be called to Reception to collect it. Feel free to check that with your personal officer once they are assigned, as you might need to apply to Reception for permission to go and get it. Most stuff should be explained to you during Induction, but that only covers what happens after your arrival. It is better to find something to get you off the wing during the day, but the main thing is to be busy, especially if you can find something to fill the evenings and weekends. You should get access to the prison library, and that prison will be connected to the local authority's library system unless you are in a private prison. There will also be courses available in Education, although they mainly concentrate on basic numeracy and literacy with some IT courses offered (especially Microsoft Office). Obviously, all of this is subject to whatever COVID restrictions are still being enforced in prisons.

For some people, the hardest thing to accept is that you rely on other people 100% for everything. You can't open your own door during the night or even in the morning. You will have random drug tests and cell searches. You may also have to pass "volumetric control" as well, where you are given a couple of large boxes and you have to fit all your stuff into them. If you can't fit it all in, some of it will have to go, in theory. There are limits on how much money can go into your "Spends" account at a time, and a ceiling on how much you can have in your account before automatic transfers from your "Private cash" account stop. Do not be tempted to get a savings account within the prison, as that just locks the money away until you are released and does not earn any interest. Prisons are instructed to advise prisoners to have a bank account, so if you don't have one, apply for one while you are inside as it looks much easier than opening one when you get out. Again, all this should be explained to you during Induction, but don't be afraid to ask.

Meals are generally ordered a week at a time, in advance, so you'll be stuck with whatever is available for a few days, and you'll have to be at the back of the queue, unless your wing is really enlightened and the staff can be bothered to work out what will be available without waiting until the end of service. The same goes for canteen (or commissary as the US TV shows call it). You order in advance and collect it on the appointed day, which is once a week, with special arrangements for Easter/Christmas/New Year.

I think that's all the stuff I wished I'd known at the time, but it was some years ago now, and some procedures might have changed more than once. Most of Failing Grayling's reforms have been re-reformed since then, but some might live on. Pay attention during Induction!

Thankyou for the advice, what would you advise on people asking why you in? I keep seeing mixed opinions of either "be honest" or "Dont talk about it".
AB2014
AB2014
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1986 - 21 Mar 22 1:09 PM
AB2014 - 21 Mar 22 12:07 PM
1986 - 21 Mar 22 11:41 AM
Just wondering if anyone has any tips/advice  for someone going to prison for the first time? And any personal stories on spending time on the vpu wings ? Day to day experiences, general safety, food. Stories from the court room to 1st night in the cell etc. There doesnt seem to be alot of personal experience stories on being on the vpu wing online and I think it would help alot of people who may be preparing for their time inside including myself. 
Thanks

You would probably be asked by the prison staff at Reception if you want to go on the VP wing, but you can ask if you want to make sure. When it comes to being on the wing, it is prison, so there will be people who were already thieves, etc, so you need to be careful with your property in that respect. Prisons will want to keep you well segregated from prisoners on other wings, and their procedures have been worked out over many years. I did hear of one incident of food adulteration, but the way it normally works is for the officer in charge of collecting the food trolleys to have the choice of which trolley to take, so if the food is seriously adulterated, it might go back to the wing of the person who adulterated it. They would not be popular, and would be dealing with far greater risks than you would ever face on the wing.

In terms of what to take with you, stick to a few items of clothing and some basic toiletries, plus some cash if you have it available. I emptied my bank accounts just before I went in. The money will be counted out in front of you, and you will be asked to sign everything, but that would also be done in the custody suite at the court building anyway. You can't take food, tobacco, vaping equipment, aerosols, anything with a rechargeable battery, a digital watch (I think). You shouldn't take any black clothing, and you're not allowed sunglasses or peaked caps/hats. Don't take any clothing that is branded with a sports team, and expensive fashion brands may make you more vulnerable to theft. You probably won't see any of that stuff for a few days after arrival anyway, and you should be called to Reception to collect it. Feel free to check that with your personal officer once they are assigned, as you might need to apply to Reception for permission to go and get it. Most stuff should be explained to you during Induction, but that only covers what happens after your arrival. It is better to find something to get you off the wing during the day, but the main thing is to be busy, especially if you can find something to fill the evenings and weekends. You should get access to the prison library, and that prison will be connected to the local authority's library system unless you are in a private prison. There will also be courses available in Education, although they mainly concentrate on basic numeracy and literacy with some IT courses offered (especially Microsoft Office). Obviously, all of this is subject to whatever COVID restrictions are still being enforced in prisons.

For some people, the hardest thing to accept is that you rely on other people 100% for everything. You can't open your own door during the night or even in the morning. You will have random drug tests and cell searches. You may also have to pass "volumetric control" as well, where you are given a couple of large boxes and you have to fit all your stuff into them. If you can't fit it all in, some of it will have to go, in theory. There are limits on how much money can go into your "Spends" account at a time, and a ceiling on how much you can have in your account before automatic transfers from your "Private cash" account stop. Do not be tempted to get a savings account within the prison, as that just locks the money away until you are released and does not earn any interest. Prisons are instructed to advise prisoners to have a bank account, so if you don't have one, apply for one while you are inside as it looks much easier than opening one when you get out. Again, all this should be explained to you during Induction, but don't be afraid to ask.

Meals are generally ordered a week at a time, in advance, so you'll be stuck with whatever is available for a few days, and you'll have to be at the back of the queue, unless your wing is really enlightened and the staff can be bothered to work out what will be available without waiting until the end of service. The same goes for canteen (or commissary as the US TV shows call it). You order in advance and collect it on the appointed day, which is once a week, with special arrangements for Easter/Christmas/New Year.

I think that's all the stuff I wished I'd known at the time, but it was some years ago now, and some procedures might have changed more than once. Most of Failing Grayling's reforms have been re-reformed since then, but some might live on. Pay attention during Induction!

Thankyou for the advice, what would you advise on people asking why you in? I keep seeing mixed opinions of either "be honest" or "Dont talk about it".

Most (but not all) people on the VP wing will be there for a similar reason, so they won't be that interested. It's not something I was ever asked by a prisoner in any prison. I did hear that there were one or two of the "specialist" prisons where they like to differentiate between adult victims and child victims, but that is not a distinction that anyone else would recognise. I would expect "what do you think?" to be an effective answer.

=========================================================================================================

Robert Lightfoot, former head of NASA, said it succinctly in his parting speech in April 2018: Protecting against risk and being safe are not the same thing ... [W]e must move from risk management to risk leadership. From a risk management perspective, the safest place to be is on the ground. From a risk leadership perspective, I believe thats the worst place [we] can be.

1986
1986
Supreme Being
Supreme Being (140 reputation)Supreme Being (140 reputation)Supreme Being (140 reputation)Supreme Being (140 reputation)Supreme Being (140 reputation)Supreme Being (140 reputation)Supreme Being (140 reputation)Supreme Being (140 reputation)Supreme Being (140 reputation)

Group: Forum Members
Posts: 10, Visits: 48
AB2014 - 21 Mar 22 1:57 PM
1986 - 21 Mar 22 1:09 PM
AB2014 - 21 Mar 22 12:07 PM
1986 - 21 Mar 22 11:41 AM
Just wondering if anyone has any tips/advice  for someone going to prison for the first time? And any personal stories on spending time on the vpu wings ? Day to day experiences, general safety, food. Stories from the court room to 1st night in the cell etc. There doesnt seem to be alot of personal experience stories on being on the vpu wing online and I think it would help alot of people who may be preparing for their time inside including myself. 
Thanks

You would probably be asked by the prison staff at Reception if you want to go on the VP wing, but you can ask if you want to make sure. When it comes to being on the wing, it is prison, so there will be people who were already thieves, etc, so you need to be careful with your property in that respect. Prisons will want to keep you well segregated from prisoners on other wings, and their procedures have been worked out over many years. I did hear of one incident of food adulteration, but the way it normally works is for the officer in charge of collecting the food trolleys to have the choice of which trolley to take, so if the food is seriously adulterated, it might go back to the wing of the person who adulterated it. They would not be popular, and would be dealing with far greater risks than you would ever face on the wing.

In terms of what to take with you, stick to a few items of clothing and some basic toiletries, plus some cash if you have it available. I emptied my bank accounts just before I went in. The money will be counted out in front of you, and you will be asked to sign everything, but that would also be done in the custody suite at the court building anyway. You can't take food, tobacco, vaping equipment, aerosols, anything with a rechargeable battery, a digital watch (I think). You shouldn't take any black clothing, and you're not allowed sunglasses or peaked caps/hats. Don't take any clothing that is branded with a sports team, and expensive fashion brands may make you more vulnerable to theft. You probably won't see any of that stuff for a few days after arrival anyway, and you should be called to Reception to collect it. Feel free to check that with your personal officer once they are assigned, as you might need to apply to Reception for permission to go and get it. Most stuff should be explained to you during Induction, but that only covers what happens after your arrival. It is better to find something to get you off the wing during the day, but the main thing is to be busy, especially if you can find something to fill the evenings and weekends. You should get access to the prison library, and that prison will be connected to the local authority's library system unless you are in a private prison. There will also be courses available in Education, although they mainly concentrate on basic numeracy and literacy with some IT courses offered (especially Microsoft Office). Obviously, all of this is subject to whatever COVID restrictions are still being enforced in prisons.

For some people, the hardest thing to accept is that you rely on other people 100% for everything. You can't open your own door during the night or even in the morning. You will have random drug tests and cell searches. You may also have to pass "volumetric control" as well, where you are given a couple of large boxes and you have to fit all your stuff into them. If you can't fit it all in, some of it will have to go, in theory. There are limits on how much money can go into your "Spends" account at a time, and a ceiling on how much you can have in your account before automatic transfers from your "Private cash" account stop. Do not be tempted to get a savings account within the prison, as that just locks the money away until you are released and does not earn any interest. Prisons are instructed to advise prisoners to have a bank account, so if you don't have one, apply for one while you are inside as it looks much easier than opening one when you get out. Again, all this should be explained to you during Induction, but don't be afraid to ask.

Meals are generally ordered a week at a time, in advance, so you'll be stuck with whatever is available for a few days, and you'll have to be at the back of the queue, unless your wing is really enlightened and the staff can be bothered to work out what will be available without waiting until the end of service. The same goes for canteen (or commissary as the US TV shows call it). You order in advance and collect it on the appointed day, which is once a week, with special arrangements for Easter/Christmas/New Year.

I think that's all the stuff I wished I'd known at the time, but it was some years ago now, and some procedures might have changed more than once. Most of Failing Grayling's reforms have been re-reformed since then, but some might live on. Pay attention during Induction!

Thankyou for the advice, what would you advise on people asking why you in? I keep seeing mixed opinions of either "be honest" or "Dont talk about it".

Most (but not all) people on the VP wing will be there for a similar reason, so they won't be that interested. It's not something I was ever asked by a prisoner in any prison. I did hear that there were one or two of the "specialist" prisons where they like to differentiate between adult victims and child victims, but that is not a distinction that anyone else would recognise. I would expect "what do you think?" to be an effective answer.

Thanks, hoping more people share their advice and stories as it definitely  helps to give a reasonable view on what to expect and help prepare.
JASB
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1986 - 21 Mar 22 2:49 PM
AB2014 - 21 Mar 22 1:57 PM
1986 - 21 Mar 22 1:09 PM
AB2014 - 21 Mar 22 12:07 PM
1986 - 21 Mar 22 11:41 AM
Just wondering if anyone has any tips/advice  for someone going to prison for the first time? And any personal stories on spending time on the vpu wings ? Day to day experiences, general safety, food. Stories from the court room to 1st night in the cell etc. There doesnt seem to be alot of personal experience stories on being on the vpu wing online and I think it would help alot of people who may be preparing for their time inside including myself. 
Thanks

You would probably be asked by the prison staff at Reception if you want to go on the VP wing, but you can ask if you want to make sure. When it comes to being on the wing, it is prison, so there will be people who were already thieves, etc, so you need to be careful with your property in that respect. Prisons will want to keep you well segregated from prisoners on other wings, and their procedures have been worked out over many years. I did hear of one incident of food adulteration, but the way it normally works is for the officer in charge of collecting the food trolleys to have the choice of which trolley to take, so if the food is seriously adulterated, it might go back to the wing of the person who adulterated it. They would not be popular, and would be dealing with far greater risks than you would ever face on the wing.

In terms of what to take with you, stick to a few items of clothing and some basic toiletries, plus some cash if you have it available. I emptied my bank accounts just before I went in. The money will be counted out in front of you, and you will be asked to sign everything, but that would also be done in the custody suite at the court building anyway. You can't take food, tobacco, vaping equipment, aerosols, anything with a rechargeable battery, a digital watch (I think). You shouldn't take any black clothing, and you're not allowed sunglasses or peaked caps/hats. Don't take any clothing that is branded with a sports team, and expensive fashion brands may make you more vulnerable to theft. You probably won't see any of that stuff for a few days after arrival anyway, and you should be called to Reception to collect it. Feel free to check that with your personal officer once they are assigned, as you might need to apply to Reception for permission to go and get it. Most stuff should be explained to you during Induction, but that only covers what happens after your arrival. It is better to find something to get you off the wing during the day, but the main thing is to be busy, especially if you can find something to fill the evenings and weekends. You should get access to the prison library, and that prison will be connected to the local authority's library system unless you are in a private prison. There will also be courses available in Education, although they mainly concentrate on basic numeracy and literacy with some IT courses offered (especially Microsoft Office). Obviously, all of this is subject to whatever COVID restrictions are still being enforced in prisons.

For some people, the hardest thing to accept is that you rely on other people 100% for everything. You can't open your own door during the night or even in the morning. You will have random drug tests and cell searches. You may also have to pass "volumetric control" as well, where you are given a couple of large boxes and you have to fit all your stuff into them. If you can't fit it all in, some of it will have to go, in theory. There are limits on how much money can go into your "Spends" account at a time, and a ceiling on how much you can have in your account before automatic transfers from your "Private cash" account stop. Do not be tempted to get a savings account within the prison, as that just locks the money away until you are released and does not earn any interest. Prisons are instructed to advise prisoners to have a bank account, so if you don't have one, apply for one while you are inside as it looks much easier than opening one when you get out. Again, all this should be explained to you during Induction, but don't be afraid to ask.

Meals are generally ordered a week at a time, in advance, so you'll be stuck with whatever is available for a few days, and you'll have to be at the back of the queue, unless your wing is really enlightened and the staff can be bothered to work out what will be available without waiting until the end of service. The same goes for canteen (or commissary as the US TV shows call it). You order in advance and collect it on the appointed day, which is once a week, with special arrangements for Easter/Christmas/New Year.

I think that's all the stuff I wished I'd known at the time, but it was some years ago now, and some procedures might have changed more than once. Most of Failing Grayling's reforms have been re-reformed since then, but some might live on. Pay attention during Induction!

Thankyou for the advice, what would you advise on people asking why you in? I keep seeing mixed opinions of either "be honest" or "Dont talk about it".

Most (but not all) people on the VP wing will be there for a similar reason, so they won't be that interested. It's not something I was ever asked by a prisoner in any prison. I did hear that there were one or two of the "specialist" prisons where they like to differentiate between adult victims and child victims, but that is not a distinction that anyone else would recognise. I would expect "what do you think?" to be an effective answer.

Thanks, hoping more people share their advice and stories as it definitely  helps to give a reasonable view on what to expect and help prepare.

Hi

A lot of sound advice has been provided my AB2014, though it all depends on your own attitude, life experiences etc. 
You will be tested by both inmates and staff. Remember everyone in an establishment has an agenda which is personal to them. Inmates might be desperate for friends because they may have been alienated by other inmates or they want something from you. I was conned over food within days because I was sympathetic to a story....
Be wary of stepping into an incident to help someone as that is the staffs responsibility and your actions maybe misunderstood.
If you wish become a "listener" or other official supportive person and definitely get a job. If there are benefits to the job DO NOT allow yourself to pass them on to others.  
You will find everyone is innocent, had a bad solicitor or judge etc. Plus everyone has money in the bank and a porsche in the garage.  Just treat everyone with respect, and use your gut feelings the same way as you would on the outside.

The most important advice I can give you is:
Forget about time as you understand it as it does not exist inside


Outside you have control and expectations over time. Inside you do not. For example an officer with say they will get back to you. Do not expect voluntary updates and be polite when asking them.

Try to be organised and keep a diary of events, requests made especially who to, date and time and reply.
There is so much more but that is the book you mentioned, but then your diary may be that book.



Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope is for tomorrow else what is left if you remove a mans hope.
1986
1986
Supreme Being
Supreme Being (140 reputation)Supreme Being (140 reputation)Supreme Being (140 reputation)Supreme Being (140 reputation)Supreme Being (140 reputation)Supreme Being (140 reputation)Supreme Being (140 reputation)Supreme Being (140 reputation)Supreme Being (140 reputation)

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JASB - 3 Apr 22 4:37 PM
1986 - 21 Mar 22 2:49 PM
AB2014 - 21 Mar 22 1:57 PM
1986 - 21 Mar 22 1:09 PM
AB2014 - 21 Mar 22 12:07 PM
1986 - 21 Mar 22 11:41 AM
Just wondering if anyone has any tips/advice  for someone going to prison for the first time? And any personal stories on spending time on the vpu wings ? Day to day experiences, general safety, food. Stories from the court room to 1st night in the cell etc. There doesnt seem to be alot of personal experience stories on being on the vpu wing online and I think it would help alot of people who may be preparing for their time inside including myself. 
Thanks

You would probably be asked by the prison staff at Reception if you want to go on the VP wing, but you can ask if you want to make sure. When it comes to being on the wing, it is prison, so there will be people who were already thieves, etc, so you need to be careful with your property in that respect. Prisons will want to keep you well segregated from prisoners on other wings, and their procedures have been worked out over many years. I did hear of one incident of food adulteration, but the way it normally works is for the officer in charge of collecting the food trolleys to have the choice of which trolley to take, so if the food is seriously adulterated, it might go back to the wing of the person who adulterated it. They would not be popular, and would be dealing with far greater risks than you would ever face on the wing.

In terms of what to take with you, stick to a few items of clothing and some basic toiletries, plus some cash if you have it available. I emptied my bank accounts just before I went in. The money will be counted out in front of you, and you will be asked to sign everything, but that would also be done in the custody suite at the court building anyway. You can't take food, tobacco, vaping equipment, aerosols, anything with a rechargeable battery, a digital watch (I think). You shouldn't take any black clothing, and you're not allowed sunglasses or peaked caps/hats. Don't take any clothing that is branded with a sports team, and expensive fashion brands may make you more vulnerable to theft. You probably won't see any of that stuff for a few days after arrival anyway, and you should be called to Reception to collect it. Feel free to check that with your personal officer once they are assigned, as you might need to apply to Reception for permission to go and get it. Most stuff should be explained to you during Induction, but that only covers what happens after your arrival. It is better to find something to get you off the wing during the day, but the main thing is to be busy, especially if you can find something to fill the evenings and weekends. You should get access to the prison library, and that prison will be connected to the local authority's library system unless you are in a private prison. There will also be courses available in Education, although they mainly concentrate on basic numeracy and literacy with some IT courses offered (especially Microsoft Office). Obviously, all of this is subject to whatever COVID restrictions are still being enforced in prisons.

For some people, the hardest thing to accept is that you rely on other people 100% for everything. You can't open your own door during the night or even in the morning. You will have random drug tests and cell searches. You may also have to pass "volumetric control" as well, where you are given a couple of large boxes and you have to fit all your stuff into them. If you can't fit it all in, some of it will have to go, in theory. There are limits on how much money can go into your "Spends" account at a time, and a ceiling on how much you can have in your account before automatic transfers from your "Private cash" account stop. Do not be tempted to get a savings account within the prison, as that just locks the money away until you are released and does not earn any interest. Prisons are instructed to advise prisoners to have a bank account, so if you don't have one, apply for one while you are inside as it looks much easier than opening one when you get out. Again, all this should be explained to you during Induction, but don't be afraid to ask.

Meals are generally ordered a week at a time, in advance, so you'll be stuck with whatever is available for a few days, and you'll have to be at the back of the queue, unless your wing is really enlightened and the staff can be bothered to work out what will be available without waiting until the end of service. The same goes for canteen (or commissary as the US TV shows call it). You order in advance and collect it on the appointed day, which is once a week, with special arrangements for Easter/Christmas/New Year.

I think that's all the stuff I wished I'd known at the time, but it was some years ago now, and some procedures might have changed more than once. Most of Failing Grayling's reforms have been re-reformed since then, but some might live on. Pay attention during Induction!

Thankyou for the advice, what would you advise on people asking why you in? I keep seeing mixed opinions of either "be honest" or "Dont talk about it".

Most (but not all) people on the VP wing will be there for a similar reason, so they won't be that interested. It's not something I was ever asked by a prisoner in any prison. I did hear that there were one or two of the "specialist" prisons where they like to differentiate between adult victims and child victims, but that is not a distinction that anyone else would recognise. I would expect "what do you think?" to be an effective answer.

Thanks, hoping more people share their advice and stories as it definitely  helps to give a reasonable view on what to expect and help prepare.

Hi

A lot of sound advice has been provided my AB2014, though it all depends on your own attitude, life experiences etc. 
You will be tested by both inmates and staff. Remember everyone in an establishment has an agenda which is personal to them. Inmates might be desperate for friends because they may have been alienated by other inmates or they want something from you. I was conned over food within days because I was sympathetic to a story....
Be wary of stepping into an incident to help someone as that is the staffs responsibility and your actions maybe misunderstood.
If you wish become a "listener" or other official supportive person and definitely get a job. If there are benefits to the job DO NOT allow yourself to pass them on to others.  
You will find everyone is innocent, had a bad solicitor or judge etc. Plus everyone has money in the bank and a porsche in the garage.  Just treat everyone with respect, and use your gut feelings the same way as you would on the outside.

The most important advice I can give you is:
Forget about time as you understand it as it does not exist inside


Outside you have control and expectations over time. Inside you do not. For example an officer with say they will get back to you. Do not expect voluntary updates and be polite when asking them.

Try to be organised and keep a diary of events, requests made especially who to, date and time and reply.
There is so much more but that is the book you mentioned, but then your diary may be that book.


Some good points there I will take on board, Thanks again.
GO


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