09 Oct 08

Women in Prison: From Andrea (Letter 1)

Andrea is a 28-year-old Scottish woman. After suffering years of domestic violence, Andrea was arrested for attempting to murder her partner. The attempted murder charge was subsequently dropped to wounding and she is due to be sentenced next Monday.
Andrea is writing from a women’s prison in England. It is my hope that she will become a regular contributor to Jon’s Jail Journal

As a first time prisoner I was really frightened, as I didn’t have a clue as to how the system worked, or how to work the system. My first steps inside my new home were scary, especially the looks of all of those women. I was wondering if I would fit in or not. I had to figure out who was the leader of the pack.

Living with all sorts of women is far from easy. They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, ages, nationalities and mental states.
The so-called lesbians – really all they are are swingers – try their luck as soon as you walk through the gates for the first time. I never even got time to unpack my things and it had started. I am just so lucky to be as strong-willed as I am to brush them off. They soon got the hint, but they still like to try their luck as time goes on “just in case.”

Finally, you get settled into your cold cell, then all you hear are door knocks and, “How are you? What are you in for?”
All you want is peace is quiet. But you have to talk because you just don’t know what’s around the corner! It isn’t long before you get the gist of it, you don’t have a choice.

In my case it was easy as I got along with everyone, and I will never get involved in any backstabbing as that’s what causes trouble. Women are the world’s worst at that. Men fight their problems out, whereas women bitch and it never stops no matter what the situation.
There’s always the one woman with the big hard mouth, the gift of the gab. But I sussed her out from day one. She's like that because she's scared and lives in fear. Sad really.

I sit and watch all of them – “checking them out” as I say – to see who is really who. Mostly drug addicts. Loud and full of it! Thinking they are big and nobody will question them. They forget that there is always somebody who will do just that.
From what I’ve seen so far the older generation are the dangerous ones. Devious, malicious old women who hunt for the young vulnerable prisoners and bully them into giving them tobacco, etc. It’s funny in a way watching a woman old enough to be your grandmother getting banged up for 28 days for being a bully.

Meal times. It’s like sitting at a table full of animals. It’s disgusting! Food falling from their mouths. Talking while eating, which leads to getting sprayed with food. I choose to eat in my cell, with manners at that. If I did sit at the table, I think I would be sick.

Personal hygiene. I know we are all in prison, but that doesn’t mean to say that you have to stop having a wash! Some of the prisoners seem to have forgotten how it’s done. As for the state of the shower rooms, I wouldn’t let a dog in them! Dirty used sanitary wear lying on the floor. Blood all over the toilet. Unflushed toilets. I just feel for the cleaners.

Thanks for reading my first blog!


As this is Andrea’s first letter for Jon’s Jail Journal, your comments and questions would be appreciated. If you wish to write to Andrea then email me your name and address. She does not have Internet access, so I will mail your comments and emails to her.

Also, I am starting a letter writing campaign for Mike Hunter (Slingblade). I'll be posting more about that with John McCain's address in Washington to Jon's Jail Journal on Monday.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Shaun P. Attwood


Anonymous said...

hello andrea!

what length of esentence are you likely to get?

keep up the writing!


Anonymous said...

Excellent first post Andrea! We welcome you to being a regular poster here on Jons Jail Journal. You will have a loyal following and plenty of feedback and support, from all over the world. Good luck and keep your head up.

Jon, in re: John McCrap, I sent emails to the Associated Press (info@ap.org), a local tv news channel here in San Diego, the CW6 (newstips@sandiego6.com), and the President and Vice President of the local Vietnam Veterans of San Diego (Phil Landis and Harry Guess, both at vvsd.net).

I have yet to hear a reply, but they are getting sent the email with the story pasted (with your permission) to it on a daily basis. Not to the point of continous emailing, just one a day so they see I am genuine and not spamming them. Best wishes to all.

-Jose in San Diego

Jon said...

Thanks Jose!

I really appreciate everyone doing what they can for Mike Hunter. I am stepping up the campaign at the beginning of next week.

Shaun Attwood

Sue O. (aka Joannie, SS) said...

Hi Andrea! I volunteer in a local county jail here in the states, but as far as women are concerned, it doesn't seem to matter where they are incarcerated. I run a 12 step group because of the drug and alcohol-related issues, and the biggest complaint among the women is-everybody bitches and won't their own business. Most in my groups just want to be left alone to wait for sentencing, and that is hard enough. Keep writing!

Anonymous said...

great writing andrea

JM said...

greetings andrea,

hello from chandler arizona usa. I look forward to reading more of your posts and learning about your situation. It is very nice to be able to read about incarceration overseas. I was once locked up myself and can relate and empathize with you and others in lock up. great to hear from you.

~big jason~

Anonymous said...

I think I like Andrea.

Weird Al