So prison life really IS bru­tal, fear­ful and hos­tile


MOST doc­u­men­taries about Bri­tish prisons are a bit of a let­down – all kindly screws and gen­tle, mis­un­der­stood lags.

But Her Majesty’s Prison Ayles­bury, on ITV1, bucked that trend.

Within two min­utes, we were watch­ing some bru­tal fights. Within ten, a cou­ple of head­cases had taken an­other in­mate hostage, strip­ping him naked and threat­en­ing to rape him.

Both north­ern lads, they were pissed off at be­ing trans­ferred to a prison down south and so de­lib­er­ately mak­ing trou­ble in the hope of be­ing moved back to the north-west.

Typ­i­cal north­ern­ers, eh? They were prob­a­bly con­cerned they would not be able to get a de­cent pint, with all the prison hooch wa­tered down to shandy.

Weirdly, the screws were not shy about don­ning the riot gear and go­ing in for a scrap – but they had to be po­lite about it. So while they were pin­ning one scrote down to the floor, they were also ask­ing him: “Have you got any com­plaints about your treat­ment to­day?”

This de­cent doc­u­men­tary made it clear that prison is not a “hol­i­day camp” but a place of fear, in­tim­i­da­tion and the sim­mer­ing threat of vi­o­lence.

OK, so that is a bit like a hol­i­day camp I went to in Rhyl once – but it was mainly Mancs and Scousers fight­ing each other. REA­SONS why than num­ber 935: DI­A­LOGUE. With Kylie para­noid that David will cheat on her while he’s away on a hair­dress­ing course, she moans to Gail: “There’ll be more tarts on that course than in Gregg’s front win­dow.”

“A straight man on a hair­dress­ing course?” replied Gail.

“it’ll be like the end of Benny Hill.”

Bril­liant. Two big­ger laughs in one 30-sec­ond ex­change than Al­bert Square has de­liv­ered in TEN YEARS.

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