Open when… you need to talk

In this envelope I included everything he would need to write to me when he needs to talk about something – a self addressed, stamped envelope with lined paper.


Count down app

There’s an app called Deployment Tracker available in the play store and there’s a similar one called Doing Time available for i phones which create a pie chart type imagine showing you how much time you’ve done and how long you’ve got left. You can enter the start and end date and can change the colours too. It might be useful to those of you who like to see a countdown of how long you have left.

Christmas present ideas

Someone asked me today for ideas of what to send their loved one for Christmas so I’ve had a good think and been doing some googling and listed some ideas for you guys below.
1. You could print out and send in a Christmas tree on A4 paper (you could make it big and split it over multiple sheets of A4) so that he has a tree of his own. If you are feeling particularly artistic you could cut slits in it so that the A4 pages all come together to make a 3D tree. You could send in paper baubles too over the rest of December so he can put those on his ‘tree’.

2. Similarly you could take a picture of the tree you have up in your home and send the picture to him so that you both have the ‘same’ tree.

3. Again, if you’re feeling creative you could make a paper advent calendar with a door for him to open each day with a reason why you love him written behind each day for example.

4. If you have actually bought him something you could wrap it up, put it under the tree and send him a picture. Tell him it’s waiting for him. Maybe take photos of you or your children unwrapping it.

5. Send him pictures of the lingerie you’ve bought to wear for him when he’s out, or even better, send pictures of you in it!

6. Send a picture of you and a picture of your other half to an artist and ask them to draw a new picture of you guys. Given that here in the UK we don’t have photo days in the prisons I’m sure you’ll appreciate the new photo just as much as he will!

7. Send letters on Christmas paper and spray them with Christmassy scents.

8. If your prison allows books, clothes etc to be sent in treat him to some new bits and bobs.

9. Visit him and buy him ALL THE FOOD in the visit centre and use that as your version of Christmas day and Christmas dinner.

10. For something more light hearted cut out a picture of him and take pictures of you and the family with it in the run up to Christmas and on Christmas day – remind him that you’re all thinking of him even though he’s not there.

11. Send the ‘open when’ letters to him that we have previously feautured on the blog.

12. Both organise to watch a Christmas film on TV at the same time so it’s like you’re watching it together.

Let me know if you guys have any more ideas and don’t forget that it’s never guaranteed things will actually get into prisons so bare that in mind when spending time and money making things. 

Something we know all too well but others may not

It is very easy (and comforting) to assume that those who commit crimes go to prison and those who don’t carry on their lives on the outside. Unfortunately, it has been acknowledged that actually, eye witness testimonies are fairly inaccurate. Additionally, police and others involved in the process have been found to be no better than the average person at detecting who is lying and who is telling the truth – often using stereotypes to make decisions. Lie detector tests are also fairly unreliable and so at the minute there are very limited resources to pin point who has done what when it comes to crime. 

This means that people who shouldn’t be in prison sometimes are and people who should be sometimes aren’t. Your average person is unlikely to know the facts and shocking statistics surrounded this issue and so will often laugh if you talk of innocent men and women being locked up – people don’t think it happens. Whilst a majority of those in prisons are there because they have reason to be, statistically there must also be some innocent people amongst them. I have heard many stories myself and whilst it might be small numbers in comparison to the success rate of imprisoning the correct people, that small minority will have their lives potentially ruined. 

It is something that is an issue and more people should be made aware.