Having a phone in the cell was heaven. I was able to talk to both Tom and Edd on an almost daily basis, and both of them had been marvellous at sending me money, and offering support, and now Edd was coming to visit. I hadn’t seen anyone apart from my lawyer for some six weeks by this stage and I was so excited! The visit was booked for Saturday afternoon, and at 1.30 pm at afternoon movement I was one of the first ones to enter the visit hall.The officer on the door checked my ID, and then they ‘frisked me, before allowing me through to the waiting area.
Eventually at just after 2 pm we were called one at a time, once our visitors had arrived, and allowed into the visits hall, where were relinquished our ID cards to the officer behind a desk before joining our friends and family, who had been through the same process from the other side. The Prison runs a café in the visits hall which serves cakes, soft drinks, coffee, burgers, chips and fried chicken, at outrageous prices, and of only marginally better quality than the muck we get served up on a daily basis. We had a coffee which was almost undrinkable, but that wasn’t what we were here for, and we spent the entire hour and a half chatting non-stop.
It was so good to see him, and hear all the news that we hadn’t been able to talk about over the phones, as calls are regularly monitored and recorded, or so they say. They had also said that they would phone every number we listed before allowing it on our pins to verify that it was who we stated, but twice I had requested wrong numbers and they had been added regardless, so I now assumed they were too lazy to follow this rule also, however one could never be sure with them. We talked about the case, and what the lawyers had said, but I was still pretty much in the dark until we had received all the evidence. Edd had said that if I could get bail, I could stay with him, until I sorted out something more permanent, but I was pretty certain that ship had now sailed. All would be a lot clearer in three weeks time.
We said goodbye, and I queued again to retrieve my ID card, then suffered another frisking as we filed out singly to the waiting room, before being head counted and released to walk back to the wing. Whilst I was standing waiting by the door, a large heavily tattooed fellow with a shaved head came out behind me and walked past me to the corner, where facing the wall, he undid his jeans and shook his underwear, and then picked up the contraband he’d obviously been given during the visit — 4 chocolate bars,a couple of bags of white power and a mini mobile phone.
I stared in amazement as he filed everything back into his pockets, and turning round he caught me watching, winked at me, did up his fly and stood beside me. ‘Should keep me going for a week or so innit!’ he said with another wink. No wonder drugs were so rife within the prison system! He’d obviously stashed everything down his jocks, and when I thought about it, that was the only place the guards didn’t touch when they frisked us.
For the first two weeks after our arrival there had been an ambulance in the grounds to take someone away for ‘man down’ or overdose on spice at least once a day. Not only that, but one of the regular officers on our wing constantly reeked of marijuana, and the colour of his eyes confirmed the usage, although I had to admit, he was one of the easier officers to deal with as nothing ever seemed to bother him, but it was a waste of time asking for anything from him — nothing ever got done!
On Monday morning when I looked at my schedule for the week I was alarmed to notice that I had a legal visit booked for that morning. I had spoken to Linsey on the phone on Friday and she had mentioned nothing about this, but as the visit was for 8.30 am I realised that I wouldn’t reach her in the office before making my way over to the visits hall. It seemed rather weird, as I felt sure she would have told me or written a letter to advise of a visit, and I also knew from Friday that she was still waiting on evidence so there was no point. This sent my anxiety meter racing sky high as it all seemed highly irregular.
After the usual procedure, I walked into the hall and looked around for the table they had assigned me, but couldn’t see Linsey anywhere. Next minute an obese looking bald guy caught my eye, wildly gesticulating at someone behind me. How strange, but as I looked around to see who he was waving at, I realised it was me! I wandered over gingerly, wondering who the hell he was. Certainly no-one I knew. His pink bald head poked out from a grubby overstretched grey polo shirt, over faded bluejeans and neon coloured runners, definitely not anyone I would have been associated with. ‘Sit down, sit down’, he gestured over-zealously. ‘What it is, right, My names Christopher Burns from the Met Police Drugs squad, and we were going to serve you at court…’ I had heard enough! ‘You Fucking sneaky, underhanded cunt! I have nothing to say to you — Fuck off, you’re not going to serve me anything — You want something, speak to my fucking lawyer!’ I bellowed at him in my best bass baritone voice! And with that I turned on heel and marched straight from whence I had come.
Once out in the waiting room again, I realised that I was so nervous and angry that I was physically shaking. I paced nervously waiting to be escorted back to my cell. ‘You OK?’asked the officer. ‘You look a bit shaken up!’ I felt a bit shaken up too! I told him what had happened. ‘Yeah, bastards are supposed to tell us when they book the visit so we can put it on the list, but they don’t normally because they know if you guys know who it is in advance you won’t speak to them. What did he want?’ I had no idea, but I wasn’t about to hang around to find out.
I asked the officer if I would get in trouble for walking out of the visit, but he only laughed. ‘It’s your visit mate, you can do what you like in it. It’s nothing to do with us!’ I was worried that he would serve me in absentia, so to speak, and that then I would have to go back to Highbury Corner court, and would then end up back in Pentonville. Once back in the cell, I rang Linsey, and vented to her, and she also laughed and told me I’d done the right thing. ‘You’re right, he should have contacted me,’ she replied, and assured me that the court case was set for the Crown court so anything new would be tacked onto that hearing. She did think it was strange as there had been no mention of any other outstanding matters, but she assured me that anyway, He didn’t have to serve me personally, he could have just dropped the summons into the prison and they would pass it on, so she reasoned that there was nothing serious to worry about at this stage, but warned me to contact her if anything else happened and told me she would book a visit for the following week.
Meanwhile another week had passed and Mark had still had no word from his case worker about his Sentence Plan. He was getting grief from his wife on the one hand because she was having to manage his horse agistment business as well as her own workload, was really down and miserable because of his situation, on top of having a daily battle to get answers, and when he messaged the case worker she would either ignore him, or answer with a full stop, which was really helpful, but I guess on the system it must have ticked the box that she had answered the email. The catch 22 staff were basically social worker interns, and as such were probably paid peanuts, and God knows how much the Government were paying the company to outsource this ‘Offender Management Unit, but I can guarantee it wouldn’t have been loose change!
Mark and I discussed all of this at length,and both came to the same conclusion — that the government had no idea at all what was really going on at the coal face and that whilst in theory these measures and procedures should have worked, the people running most of them within the prison system were more criminal than the criminals they were trying to help. In the end they were just out to take whatever they could and there was no real duty of care or responsibility whatsoever.
I had been advised by a couple of other seasoned drug offenders on the wing, that I should get myself onto the list for the Turning Point workshops and programs, which were basically the same as what Phoenix Futures had done at Pentonville, as they assured me that whatever else was in the sentence plan, I could guarantee it would have something to do with addressing my addiction issues. I couldn’t understand why they automatically assumed that everyone who was involved with drugs had an addiction. I might have had a lot of other problems, but I was starting to realise by now that the drugs were not the problem, they were a desperate attempt to mask the problems, and my real issues were stress depression, and anxiety. If I had been able to deal with those, I wouldn’t have become so heavily reliant on the drugs, and therefore wouldn’t have been here in the first place. I was pretty sure that this was true of a number of people here.
I also realised that I would not get away without following the rules and ticking the boxes, so when they eventually caught up with me and assigned me a ‘case worker’ I was resigned to my fate, and went willingly, and besides, it helped to fill the day and pass the time. Apart from that, they were no better than the phoenix futures crew, and it turned out to be yet another revenue raising exercise, just like theirs had been. I went to a lecture on safer injecting, as if I didn’t already know enough about that, but actually what they told me was a shock. Firstly, according to the team leader, the only drug you could inject, was heroin. Well, I was living breathing proof that this was not the case and I told her so! She stared at me wide eyed as I showed her the track marks on my arm, and then recounted to her how many different drugs I had managed to inject over the past 12 months, all of their effects, qualities and disadvantages, and what mixtures gave you the best buzz. She honestly had no idea that Cocaine, Crystal Meth, Ketamine, Mephedrone, & MDMA, could all be injected with outstanding success, and those were only the ones I had tried. I had stopped short of heroin, but there were probably others which were just as successful, that I had yet to discover. I don’t know whether that afternoon had any bearing on her decision but she left the following week.
It was at the induction for the Scar course, which was a two week boot camp on drug addiction awareness, which really would have been about as interesting as watching paint dry, that I started to hear some real stories about prison rehabilitation and reducing offending, or lack thereof. One of the guys in the class, had a serious heroin addiction problem and having been on methadone since his incarceration, had been doing quite well, but as he’d been in prison for over two years, the council had taken away his flat, and he had lost all his possessions. He had begun resettlement sessions where yet another case worker was supposed to work with him to assist him in gaining employment, finding somewhere to live, and finding support for his addiction once he was released. There had been no jobs available, and those that were, had been taken by the time the caseworker had finally got around to opening her email an sending his CV, as all application had to be sent through her. She had done nothing to assist him in finding accommodation over the entire 12 weeks of the resettlement sessions. He was terrified of going back to his parents home because his brothers were all still using, and he felt the temptation would be too much for him to resist. He desperately wanted to stay clean. His release date was looming closer and closer and he was becoming more and more anxious over what would happen to him, but still there were no solutions, so finally, in the end, the day before release, she told him there was nothing she could do but she would meet him outside the gate on his release and walk with him down to the housing office. They’d had two years to get something sorted, and had done nothing. Of course when they arrived at the housing office there was no solution at such short notice, so he had no choice, and the case workers insistence, but to go back to his family. He lasted two days clean, and was back in prison for breach of bail within two weeks, because he figured it was his only way of staying away from the drugs.
Double Bubble is the third book in The Chemsex Trilogy — a series of books written by Cameron Yorke about his experience with Chemsex, addiction, and imprisonment in the UK.
We are serialising Double Bubble on Mainly Male. This is the tenth instalment in the serialisation.
We want to hear your opinion
How do you masturbate?
We ask men to share with us their jack-off techniques.
I caught up with Twitter buddy Suffolk Lad and asked him a few personal questions.
Can you remember the first time you jacked-off?
I’d probably just turned 13. I can remember I was still sharing a bedroom with my brother. We had bunk beds. I remember I was rubbing my hard penis on the duvet.
How did you feel when you first jacked off?
The very first time I came was quite a shock.
Did you talk about it with anyone?
It was never spoken about. Wanking felt like my dirty little secret. I never discussed it with anyone. That was over 20 years ago — it’s just how things were.
Did you try any different techniques in those early years?
I tried a few different ways but ended up sticking with what gave me the most pleasure.
Can you remember the first time you talked to someone else about jacking off?
The first time I spoke about wanking was with a guy that I met online — we’re great friends now. We chatted for ages about the pleasure it gave us and how we did it. Obviously we had a bit fun from there.
What’s your preferred way to jack-off currently?
I enjoy I straight forward wank. I play with myself a bit — balls, nipples — and I have a bit of porn to hand. Then I just bust one out — it’s the best way.
What jack-off hints or tips would you give a young guy just starting to explore his sexuality?
Enjoy yourself. It’s all about self-pleasure. Do it as you feel you need to. There’s no right or wrong way.
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