Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The moving finger writes - again!

The moving finger writes and, having writ, moves on. That's how I do it you know - one finger on the typer keys. I've got the fastest finger in the prison system.

It will be remembered that I said, "Watch this space" - well, I was right because there are a couple of interesting items up for discussion in the last seven days.

The person from the Tactical Management department came to see me at last the other day. Actually she's quite nice and is just as much at sea in all this as I am. She even said, "It's never been done before!" - and I replied that if everybody had said that we would all be sitting in caves waiting for someone to invent hot meals.

She has written to my solicitor to explain (as far as she can of course) about the delays in transferring me to open nick. It's not just me - the system is full of fellows who are stuck  in prisons that they should have been moved out of long since. However, as usual the prison service has proved to be incompetent, yet again, and created a massive log-jam, so to speak. Transfers have now been taken over by the Population Management Section and transfers to open prisons are now managed by this PMS - as fine an acronym as you'll find anywhere.

I quote from a document supplied by the Tacman:

Transfers will be managed over a period of up to 9 months and prisoners will be prioritised for transfer under the following criteria:
Prisoners whose(sic) tariff has expired will take precedent over pre-tariff prisoners. Post-tariff prisoners will then be prioritised in line with the length of time they have been waiting for transfer to open conditions. The date the S of S (Secretary of State) approved the  move will be the basis upon which waiting time is calculated.
I have contacted PMU (Prisoners' Management Unit) to find out how long it will be until Mr Wilkinson gets transferred out of Long Lartin, they estimate that it should be around January 2012. Please contact Population Management Section for further information.
This is all taken from a letter sent (apparently) to my solicitor, although he doesn't seem to have received any such missive. However, he has been getting to much the same answer himself via other routes because I had a letter from him the other day too, in which he says much the same thing but without the January timescale. He says that the criteria given means that I should be relatively high on the transfer list to move to open prison/conditions, given that my GPP is ahout to commence. The GPP is the Generic Parole Process, for those who care about these things. Personally I think acronyms should be completely outlawed - they are only used so that those who are involved can feel superior to the rest of us peasants.

My solicitor has then written to the PMS (Come on! Keep up! The Population Management Section) at the Ministry of Justice and he has asked for a timescale for my transfer in the light of the facts - GPP  due to begin and all that kind of thing. Actually, the GPP has  already begun because at least two of the reports have been done that I know of. They will probably never see the light of day because they are not what the Parole Board wants to hear about. All anyone can say is that I have shown great fortitude and patience in waiting without losing the plot. (Great word that, fortitude - it has a cadence about it, a strength. Feel free to use it any time you like, it's not copyright.)

So, in amidst this dry, humourless guff, what's the bottom line? The prison is no longer responsible for my transfer and I should be in open prison by mid-January. By that time it will be eight months since my last parole hearing and four to go to the next.

Heigh Ho, onwards and upwards, as they say - the moving finger writes and, having writ, moves on.

I was expecting to be gone from this place by Christmas - so did a lot of other people (expect me to be gone that is), but it looks like I'll be spending my last yule-time here at the Lazy L, and may God have mercy on my soul.

I may celebrate. It will be my last Christmas in prison - never again to be locked up at night - no more sleepless nights - never again to wear a pair of gyves, handcuffs, bracelets - and back in the welcoming arms of Boudica, who will continue torturing me where the prison service leave off.

Oh yes, I may celebrate - I may buy some nuts!

The Voice In The Wilderness

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