Prison blues

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Visiting jail is such a weird experience. It’s the most normal abnormal thing EVER.

Everyone is so polite and friendly and smiling … in the most horrible place in the world.

It really messes with your head.

As I walked out into the sunshine after visiting Kathleen Folbigg yesterday afternoon I felt drained and sad.

It’s a relief to escape that cold, hard place and all the misery and damaged people it contains.

It’s not the first time I’ve written about how much it rattles me. I’ve mentioned it before in Jailhouse Blues and Jail Break.

Yesterday’s visitors were a mild mannered lot, aside from one child that screamed the whole time (apparently most of the family are in jail and the general prediction is that the screamer will be too in a few decades).

But you do get to meet some interesting types along the way, as noted in Bingo, Murder and Fuzzy Bed Socks. Now THAT was a freaky visit.

Here’s an excerpt:

Yesterday there was woman wearing fuzzy bed socks and chain-smoking. Between puffs she discussed her time doing jury duty. It was a case involving parents who left their sick three-month old baby in the care of her nine-year-old sister while they played bingo. When they got back the baby was dead. The fuzzy bed sock woman was outraged that the parents were found not guilty. So when she got called up for jury duty again reecently, she told them: “Look, my daughter’s in jail for f@#kin’ murder. I don’t feel like being on a f@#kin’ jury right now. And they got straight back to me that I didn’t have to f@#kin’ do it.” Also listening to her tale – it was a bit hard not to, fuzzy bed sock woman didn’t have volume control – was a terrified nun. At least I think she was a nun. She was wearing sensible brown shoes, her hair was in a bun and she had a big, silver Jesus medalliony thing around her neck. She gave tiny flinches every time the “f” word was uttered, which was quite often …


The jail birds are the little white blobs in the trees, I’d have gone for a closer shot, but the prison guard was popping blood vessels.

The “jail birds” are the little white blobs in the trees, I’d have gone for a closer shot, but the prison guard was popping blood vessels.

You’re not supposed to take photos once you’re there, but sometimes I can’t help myself. I got into big trouble when the prison guards caught me once.

There’s a limited amount of stuff you can take to people you’re visiting in jail to save on heinous postage costs. But there are so many rules I’ve given up (see Prison Jammies for an example), other than a handful of gold coins to buy Cheezels and Maltesers and Diet Coke from the junk machine.

You have to drink your Diet Coke out of a styrofoam cup – a prison guard had a fit yesterday because I was sipping mine from the can. I really should have asked why, but I was too busy being friendly and polite.

So much weirdness.

Yesterday was weird for many reason other than Diet Coke rules … because on Thursday decisions will be made about what to do about the very strong case that’s been made by a legal team in Newcastle about the lack of evidence that Kathleen Folbigg killed her children.

It was pretty hard to talk about much else. Normally we’ll have a laugh about the outrageous stuff happening either within the four walls of prison or in my mad life. But we weren’t in the mood yesterday. Too much tension in the air. Too much at stake.

Although we did have a bitch about the person who cost me my job – she gave an interview to a magazine filled with lies about Kathy and I had a spack on the blog about it … and got sacked – being back in the protective wing.

I’ve done two interviews about the case that will probably air this week. I’m scared about them. I’m media – I know how these things can go down.

I asked Kathy’s forgiveness in advance in case I’ve screwed it up.

I hope I haven’t screwed it up.

Please let me not have screwed it up.

Song of the day: Mumford And Sons “Little lion man”





4 thoughts on “Prison blues

  1. I just read your other blog about Kathleen. What a horrendous journey for her. Hope Thursday goes well. Look forward to reading an update blog about it!

  2. Im reminded of Eastman, Andrew Mallard, Graham Stafford, Chamberlain, and other cases where significant time in custody were factors. Hard to swallow losing that amount of time, but still, the right results prevailed for them. I think it would need to be shown , why there shouldn’t be a review here. What would the reason be?

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