Episode 1 Prison - From the Inside


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Episode 1

Exploring the stories behind the crimes of the men and women serving time in prison. With exclusive access to Northern Ireland's prisons and in-depth interviews with inmates.


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Transcript


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This programme contains strong language from the start and scenes

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which some viewers may find upsetting

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I was taking meth and I hadn't known anything would start from it.

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I noticed a knife and just looked at him,

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he looked down at the knife and looked at me and then I grabbed it.

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Stabbed him.

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Know what I mean?

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Better him than me.

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I wasn't getting stabbed. No chance.

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No chance of that happening.

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No chance that I'm getting stabbed my own house.

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No chance of it.

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Karma, is a bitch, you know what I mean?

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I probably have some karma coming my way to get me, but, sure,

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if you're ready, you know what I mean?

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I'm ready for it.

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I choosed him over me and I would do it again and again and again,

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so I would.

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Know what I mean?

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Don't think about him whenever you're off your face, so you don't.

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I didn't think of him whenever I was putting it in and out him,

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know what I mean?

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Through my years of drinking, like, you know,

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I ended up in police cells with a bit of fighting and stuff like that,

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you know, but this is completely different this time, you know.

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It's changed me, it has.

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Being took away from your loved ones each day, you know,

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and time to think about my own life and how...

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The journey to now.

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It hasn't been good, like, you know, but...

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I just don't know, I just don't know.

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I grew up with an older brother

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and my mother and father.

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And my older brother,

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he fell through a roof at the age of ten and died.

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And my mother and father could never...

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They couldn't get over it at all, so they turned to alcohol.

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And from a young age -

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I was eight at the time my brother died -

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all I seen in the house was alcohol and...

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..fighting and violence, you know.

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From a very early age,

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and that's all I can remember from my childhood.

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I would say probably at the age of 14

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I think I took my first drink.

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I just loved it right away, you know, and it made me feel different.

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It gave me more confidence.

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Just made me feel part of the...

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the gang, know what I mean?

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Love is a funny thing.

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I think over the boys' side they would get a better view -

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they would have the animals,

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they would have the goats and sheep,

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so they would have over there to look at, like.

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I have, like, I suppose nothing really over there.

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But, aye, as you say, at least I've got a wee bit of a view.

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Just keep looking there every night.

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And I'll be out. I'll be out.

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I had a good upbringing, really,

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up till the age of 18,

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and then everything started sloping downhill.

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I got involved in the wrong crowd,

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started taking drugs, drank,

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then that period of time went on for a while,

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and then I basically became homeless and at some stage

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I started taking legal highs.

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They turned into big addiction problems for me for about two years.

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I just started off at parties and everybody else was doing it,

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and I thought I'll go ahead

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and take ecstasy, take cannabis.

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They were, like, partying from the Thursday to the Sunday.

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But I came off all them and I was just mostly only having a drink.

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My problem was I couldn't say no to people.

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And that's how I lost my house.

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I ended up feeling sorry for somebody in a hostel,

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basically, and they started to rouse the neighbours,

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and then I got two eviction notes and then I became homeless.

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To feed my addiction, I had to go out to thieve.

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And it wasn't just basically for myself,

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I don't know, it was for other people as well.

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And as I says, I did think these people were my friends

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and when I came off the legal highs, my phone stopped ringing.

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Imprisonment is not, or being in prison is not punishment.

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Coming to prison is the punishment. The deprivation of one's liberty

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taken by the court is the punishment.

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Imprisonment is about understanding how somebody finds themselves here

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and starting upon the journey of rehabilitation.

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Often, people's lives are in chaos.

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There's homelessness, there's hopelessness,

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there's despair.

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There's educational concerns about levels of literacy, numeracy.

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For some, they've got concerns in respect of drug abuse,

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alcohol abuse, domestic violence.

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We've got learned behaviour.

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People have been used to doing something

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for a significant part of their life.

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But we've got to try and break that cycle, we've got to try

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and give people opportunity, give them faith, give them hope.

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We have to rebuild that fracture that's occurred

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while they've been in the community.

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Can we change everybody's lives? No, we're not that good.

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No such person exists.

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My belief is that you can get many people to a point

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whereby they begin to reflect on what they've done.

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I don't believe you make people change their mind,

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I think you take them to a point whereby

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they're awakened themselves to what they've done.

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I've seen and talked to many prisoners about...

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A light starts to glow, and it's how we can build on that.

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But it's like everything else, it's a case of getting people

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to a point where they are far more receptive to it.

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At school I was a bit of a messer.

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The secondary school, they says to my mum

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they've never seen any pupil with a worse record in over 25 years,

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in La Salle Boys in Andersonstown.

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And it's basically just attention seeking, I was,

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just wanting to be the class clown, as they say.

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I done my level one and two in painting down in Twin Spires,

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and I got kicked out of there for smoking cannabis in the toilets.

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And then I started hanging around with people, like,

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who were into robbing shops

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and burgling houses and stealing cars, car keys, and just...

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Then I seen what they were doing and seen the money

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that they were making and I just joined along with it.

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And liked it.

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It was an experience, it was a buzz,

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it was a good feeling of police chasing us

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and getting away and stuff.

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And then having lots of money at the end of the night

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and having a drink, being able to stay out all night with new friends,

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with having girls and all, having parties and stuff.

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It was just the thing in West Belfast

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that was happening at the time.

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And it was enjoyable.

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INTERVIEWER: Back then, did you think at all about the people

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whose houses you were going into or whose cars you were taking?

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No.

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I didn't think about the people or how they felt.

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All we were thinking about was the buzz at the time

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and getting the key and driving away,

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and going over 100mph and stuff

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and selling it, maybe, the next morning and...

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Getting new clothes and new Nike Air Max and stuff

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and getting takeaways.

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Two well-known men from the estate,

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I'm not going to say who they are,

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but they gave me a warning

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and says if it carries on I'll be severely dealt with.

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And obviously it never took...

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I never took no heed of it and I still carried on.

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I never seen them.

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I was always out during the night working...

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Well, as I say, working.

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Always out on the scope, looking for cars to steal.

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My mum was caught bringing me in drugs.

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I pressured her into doing it, know what I mean?

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She's out now, like, only in two and half months.

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She got early release.

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It's my fault, like, but...

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made sure she was taken care of in here right, know what I mean?

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I'm told she was.

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Everything's good, everything was good.

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INTERVIEWER: Tell me about growing up. Do you have happy memories?

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All happy memories.

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Wouldn't change it. Know what I mean?

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All happy memories.

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To tell you the truth, there's no really bad ones.

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Except from the police busting the house and all the odd time,

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but they never got anything, know what I mean?

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That's it.

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They thought my dad was selling dope and grass and coke and all.

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And was your dad ever in prison, then?

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Oh, yeah, he was.

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He started taking blues and then that just...

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changed him.

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He's stopped taking all that now that he's back out,

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so hopefully that's his last time.

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Know what I mean?

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I grew up without my real dad but I had my stepdad.

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The best thing, like...

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If I didn't have my stepdad, I would have no-one to look up to.

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I call him my real dad, know what I mean?

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Love him to bits, so I do.

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When did you start getting into trouble with the police?

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Just whenever...

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A few boys thought they were acting hard,

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so they were in their wee groups,

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so I started carrying a knife with me.

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Started smoking drugs, taking drugs.

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It all changed for me.

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Can't be safe out there, know what I mean?

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All in their wee groups.

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If you were walking home on your own, "What the fuck do you have?"

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"Nothing."

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It's just dodgy.

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So what age would you have been around this time?

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13, 14.

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Probably before I got out of my teens, you know,

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I had a trip to Crumlin Road.

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Me and another friend, you know, one time, through violence.

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I remember my mother being hysterical, you know,

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when I was took out of the house by police.

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That was just the start.

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The start of my drinking career then was just depression

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and fights and blackouts.

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Didn't remember what I'd done or said to somebody.

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Was took to court for assault and...

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A right few times, you know,

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when I was starting to come out of my late teens and...

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early 20s.

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That kept going on through the years.

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I couldn't really hold a full-time job down.

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Alcohol took care of that, you know.

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Kept not being able to turn up, you know, on Mondays.

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It used to be Mondays, but that kept being Mondays and Tuesdays,

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and people just got fed up with me, you know.

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But there were a lot of good people who kept by me,

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stuck by me over the years and had patience with me.

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But these people also ran out of patience with me too, you know.

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50 years of age now and a lot of time to think here.

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Many's the day and hour I think about when I get out again,

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you know, think about all I'll be able to do without alcohol,

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how I'm going to get by.

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But...

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This time I've come to a real rock bottom, you know, in my life.

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It's going to be a life sentence, what I've done.

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The guilt and the shame I feel, you know, the sorrow.

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That's still not going to bring this man back, you know.

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As I said, this man will never come back again.

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I'm sorry, I just... Sorry, for a minute, just...

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Just the guilt.

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Drugs was the problem the last time but I'm off them,

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Drugs was the problem the last time but I'm off them,

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it'll be a year and four months now.

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This is only over an argument.

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I wasn't even drinking or drunk, so I wasn't.

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I don't feel like me that came in, I was down and depressed a wee bit,

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because it's like, "Oh, no, not this again.

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"Not this whole routine again."

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Not knowing when you're going to be locked,

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not knowing your everyday schedule.

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When you have it there, you know what you've got planned,

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what you're going to do that day.

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It's just not a life for anybody to be in, you know.

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But, sure, the law, as it is, you have to be punished for what

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you've done if you've done anything wrong.

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But, no, it's not for me, like, definitely not for me.

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INTERVIEWER: Tell me about the shoplifting.

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What would you do? What would you take? What happened?

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I would take anything, anything that was going.

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I was making bags up and, like, making of ?200-?300 a day,

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like, for five months straight.

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And I was able to control my addiction problem with legal highs,

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smoking 13g because it was a tenner a packet.

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So that's how I was able to do it.

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All sorts of things from deodorants right up to aftershaves,

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perfumes...

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..clothing - anything if it was an easy thing.

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And then what would you do with the stolen goods?

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I would go to the people that wanted them

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and I'd check a list

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and give them out what they ordered.

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Oh, I was always off my head, so I was.

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So I didn't really care what was going on.

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I wasn't even looking where basically the cameras were,

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what was watching me, what wasn't watching me.

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I was just in and out like a whippet, basically,

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to get the job done.

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I just didn't honestly care.

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I was even caught lying straight in front of the person one time

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and I says...

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I had it up my sleeve and all that, I says,

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"Doesn't matter, just go and get the police."

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That's the stage as I was coming to here,

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I just didn't care if I was stealing or not.

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Just explain to me, Helen, what your record is.

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It's mostly all theft.

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A couple of disorderlies for drinking.

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Assaults on police.

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But that can be anything from a tap if you're restrained

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or anything like that.

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And threats to kill, in an argument, basically.

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It's quite relaxing, when you're all on your own.

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Especially when you've a lot of problems going on.

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A lot of problems going on from outside and stuff.

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And then people in here are trying to make time harder

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because they know you're agreeing to the system.

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Because I keep my head down and other people would rather

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take drugs and do their time hard.

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Now, as I'm getting a bit older, I know what way to do my job,

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as I just walk away and just have the benefits of

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what the jail can throw at me.

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Do my time peacefully and carry on,

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crack on and try and get into a better, enhanced regime.

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Can't get much better than having a phone in my cell.

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You just ring and talk away at night or whatever

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to your family and friends.

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You have your CD player,

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your kettle of water and TV with DVD player,

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your CDs.

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But I'm looking forward to getting out and just getting on my feet

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and getting contact with my wee daughter who I haven't met yet.

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So I just hold that thought and just crack on with life in here

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and get out as soon as I can so I can get all the good things

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to come to me with meeting my kids again and stuff.

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So, aye, hopefully get a job also when I'm released.

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That's another main factor, getting a job when I get out,

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going for my lessons

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and getting my driving test instead of driving illegally.

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Want to try and get legal.

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I was basically drunk one night and I was on drugs,

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I was on meth...

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a legal high, and it was just an opportunity

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and I seen a fella getting out of his taxi.

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So I noticed that he'd closed the door behind him

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and I went into the garden and took his key out

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with the car key attached to it and took his car out for a spin,

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and the police observed the car

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going down the carriageway at over 100mph.

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So they put the blue lights on and started chasing me,

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where I then crashed within ten minutes of the...

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the chase I crashed,

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so I was caught on the scene and I pled guilty in court to it.

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It was just a stupid thing to do that night when I was drunk

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and I just thought... Just an opportunist.

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An opportunist.

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Also, I'm in for false imprisonment and AOBH

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along with the burglary and the dangerous driving.

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So I've got three years for each, each set of events.

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I was out on bail for the false imprisonment and the AOBH

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whilst I committed the burglary and the dangerous driving,

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four weeks later whilst I was on bail.

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Anybody could end up in prison.

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One bad decision,

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one bad judgment call.

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And I've seen that in the 28 years I've been in this job

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and I have witnessed families in bits,

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families torn apart.

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Families who'd never come in really under the...

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even looked at the criminal justice system at all,

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never mind the prison part, suddenly catapulted into that arena

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with their loved ones locked up, facing maybe serious charges.

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And I have witnessed and talked to, communicated with, you know,

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people in that position.

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And that can be a scary place.

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I also see people who come in who would be familiar with the centre

0:27:060:27:11

or with the prison and who on the surface seem to cope with it

0:27:110:27:15

a lot better - they'd been in before.

0:27:150:27:19

But in my experience,

0:27:190:27:20

over the years, for people who keep reoffending, the impact...

0:27:200:27:26

..catches up with them.

0:27:260:27:31

It never ceases to amaze me that these records,

0:27:410:27:46

these records just didn't start with a criminal record

0:27:460:27:50

because these people, these youngsters,

0:27:500:27:59

these young men were highly visible for the most part.

0:27:590:28:04

They weren't hidden,

0:28:040:28:06

they were in our schools, you know?

0:28:060:28:13

They were known to other government agencies,

0:28:130:28:16

social services, Youth Justice.

0:28:160:28:21

They're known for all the wrong reasons.

0:28:210:28:28

But these are the challenges for our community.

0:28:280:28:34

These are the challenges for our wider society.

0:28:340:28:44

In 2006, in the United Kingdom, more children were affected

0:28:440:28:48

by the imprisonment of a parent than by divorce.

0:28:480:28:51

That's a staggering figure.

0:28:510:28:52

So why is there not a public debate about that?

0:28:520:28:58

And the knock-on effect from that is six out of ten boys

0:28:580:29:00

with a father in custody will come into custody themselves.

0:29:000:29:09

There are many, many aspects of

0:29:090:29:17

an intergenerational multiplier in play,

0:29:170:29:24

not just for those in custody but their immediate loved ones as well.

0:29:240:29:28

It's very much an active multiplier effect.

0:29:280:29:37

That morning...

0:29:450:29:50

..I was drinking through the night.

0:29:500:29:51

I don't think my wife even knew what I was drinking.

0:29:510:29:55

That day, I set out,

0:29:550:30:03

I hadn't got drink on my mind, but...

0:30:030:30:10

I went to that pub that day.

0:30:100:30:11

My wife had given me the keys. She thought I wasn't drinking and...

0:30:110:30:15

I got to the off-licence and I got the carry-out of drink

0:30:150:30:17

and got in the car.

0:30:170:30:18

About 300 yards outside...

0:30:220:30:32

I had hit the kerb and swerved straight across the road and onto...

0:30:320:30:35

a car, a family car, four people and I hit them head-on.

0:30:350:30:45

Erm... The last I can remember is being in hospital.

0:30:450:30:51

And I had my wife and daughter and our close friend there.

0:30:510:30:55

But deep down that day, I had done something terrible.

0:30:550:31:04

And I wasn't told until three days later that somebody had died

0:31:040:31:07

in the car accident.

0:31:070:31:13

And my life just fell apart at that time.

0:31:130:31:16

I was responsible...

0:31:160:31:20

responsible for this man's death.

0:31:200:31:26

This happened two a half years ago now and I still feel the same

0:31:350:31:42

shame and guilt that I did the day I was told about this man dying.

0:31:420:31:52

And...

0:31:530:31:57

All the sorrys I can say to this family,

0:31:570:32:00

it'll never bring this man back again.

0:32:000:32:07

I just pray...

0:32:070:32:10

and hope that nobody else...

0:32:100:32:12

will take this selfish decision what I've made and...

0:32:120:32:15

drink and drive.

0:32:150:32:18

That's what has destroyed a family...

0:32:180:32:22

and took a loved one away from his family and...

0:32:220:32:29

I've thought through this, this last two and a half years

0:32:290:32:36

and the words and the only thing I can say...

0:32:360:32:43

is still not enough.

0:32:430:32:49

It's a life sentence for that family and even to my own family.

0:32:490:32:58

Sorry, that's...

0:33:010:33:09

MUSIC PLAYS

0:33:090:33:19

The only way to provide is by selling drugs. Know what I mean?

0:33:420:33:45

It's a bad way to go because you start selling them,

0:33:450:33:47

you're going to start taking them.

0:33:470:33:49

It's the only way I could provide

0:33:490:33:50

because I have no fucking shit from school.

0:33:500:33:52

You know what I mean?

0:33:520:33:54

And even that, I still find it hard to provide for my family.

0:33:540:34:01

Still find it hard.

0:34:010:34:02

You know what I mean?

0:34:020:34:04

I wasn't a bad person, it's just drugs change everyone, so they do.

0:34:040:34:11

This one time I sat in a room with a girl and this wee boy.

0:34:110:34:15

He said to me... One of my mates was up having

0:34:150:34:18

a few joints in the bathroom.

0:34:180:34:20

He said something. Wee man.

0:34:200:34:22

Just said, "How you doing, wee man?"

0:34:220:34:24

And...

0:34:240:34:27

Stabbed him with a screwdriver.

0:34:270:34:31

Cos he was talking wee man whenever he was off his face.

0:34:310:34:34

Know what I mean? I don't talk wee man when I'm off my face.

0:34:340:34:37

I wouldn't be around him when I'm off my face.

0:34:370:34:40

Just the cheek of him, thinking that he could talk, "My wee man."

0:34:400:34:48

INTERVIEWER: Have drugs been a big part of your life?

0:34:480:34:50

Yes, very big part. Very big part.

0:34:500:34:54

Know what I mean?

0:34:540:35:04

Meth is a very big problem for me. You know what I mean?

0:35:040:35:07

I just take meth every day. Seven by seven, seven bags of it a day.

0:35:070:35:14

Know what I mean?

0:35:140:35:15

Gives you the best buzz of your life but look where it led me, like.

0:35:150:35:23

Why do you think violence has been such a big part of you?

0:35:230:35:27

Because it's all around me.

0:35:270:35:28

I grew up rough estate, grew up in a rough town.

0:35:280:35:30

Just the way it has to be.

0:35:300:35:32

If you aren't violent, people are going to try and fuck you about,

0:35:320:35:35

fuck your family about, so I'm not having it, know what I mean?

0:35:350:35:38

Not be happening in my family.

0:35:380:35:40

Not happening to me, either.

0:35:400:35:44

So...

0:35:440:35:45

Everyone's violent,

0:35:450:35:46

so you have to show them a wee bit of violence back.

0:35:460:35:51

What would you say to people who said, "I grew up in a difficult

0:35:510:35:54

"town, difficult estate and they didn't resort to violence?"

0:35:540:35:58

Fair play to them, fair play to them.

0:35:580:36:08

Then I would ask them if their father, were their

0:36:120:36:15

dad in jail and their wee brothers and all got took off them

0:36:150:36:18

and I was not allowed to see my son for a while,

0:36:180:36:21

were they not allowed to see their son?

0:36:210:36:23

Blah, blah, blah. Ask them that.

0:36:230:36:24

Did they take drugs? Ask them the same thing?

0:36:240:36:26

I would ask them, what would they do if someone came at you with

0:36:260:36:30

a knife and dropped it right in front of you?

0:36:300:36:32

I guarantee you, they would say the same answer as me -

0:36:320:36:35

I'd lift it and use it.

0:36:350:36:36

I think anyone would if they were feared.

0:36:360:36:38

Know what I mean?

0:36:380:36:44

What would you do?

0:36:440:36:53

Here's your discharge paperwork.

0:36:530:36:54

That's your notification to the social security to say that you've

0:36:540:36:57

been here and this is your money.

0:36:570:36:58

Sign there, please. There, yes? Mm-hm.

0:36:580:37:08

Thank you, that's great.

0:37:150:37:16

5, 15, 25, 45, 55.

0:37:160:37:20

My ears feel like they're getting sorted, thank you.

0:37:510:37:55

LAUGHTER I've got my ears back.

0:37:550:37:57

My mum and dad, they don't even know I'm in this time round.

0:37:570:38:00

They're strongly against all of that,

0:38:000:38:02

all the things that I've done, basically.

0:38:020:38:05

They wouldn't be happy at all.

0:38:050:38:07

They don't know I'm in, so I just kept it...

0:38:070:38:09

Make a phone call, make sure they are all right,

0:38:090:38:12

as long as I hear in their voice they're all right and they hear my

0:38:120:38:15

voice and are aware everything is going well.

0:38:150:38:21

And are you in a relationship, Helen? Do you have children?

0:38:210:38:25

No, no relationship.

0:38:250:38:27

I've got a child but I don't want to get into that, so I do.

0:38:270:38:31

She's in foster.

0:38:310:38:33

Maybe next year, it'll start face-to-face contact with her

0:38:330:38:36

again, writing letters.

0:38:360:38:42

It's her emotions, she can't say the goodbye part and I don't want

0:38:420:38:48

to get her upset when you've got her at the stage when she's doing

0:38:480:38:52

so well at school, getting her education behind her that she needs.

0:38:520:38:56

She's brilliant, so she is, she's doing really, really well.

0:38:560:38:58

My mum and dad keep me posted with that.

0:38:580:39:00

So I don't want her schoolwork sloping down.

0:39:000:39:03

I definitely do not want her to end up turning out the way I have done.

0:39:030:39:08

I recognise she'll be back, hopefully, in her teenage years,

0:39:140:39:18

so hopefully I'll clean up everything, I don't need...

0:39:180:39:20

There was more addictions to legal highs and that was the main thing

0:39:200:39:24

but I'm off them a year and four months, so...

0:39:240:39:28

If I could stick what I'm doing and not go down trying to

0:39:280:39:32

follow into anybody else's paths,

0:39:320:39:39

I'll have her back within a couple of years, I'm hoping so.

0:39:390:39:43

I want her to achieve things and go a lot further like I could've had

0:39:460:39:49

it all but I just didn't think...

0:39:490:39:54

I didn't want that. But this is her chance.

0:39:540:39:57

I want her to come out the best for her.

0:39:570:40:02

Are you all right, girl? Yeah. I didn't know you were back in.

0:40:020:40:05

Yeah, last time. Never again. When were you in?

0:40:050:40:07

Since July. Two and half months.

0:40:070:40:10

I didn't know you were back in. Did you not?

0:40:100:40:13

I can't even remember your wee face, anyway.

0:40:130:40:15

I suppose you don't want to remember.

0:40:150:40:18

Because if you're not coming back, I'm not bothered.

0:40:180:40:21

Definitely not coming back. OK, doll? Yes.

0:40:210:40:23

INTERVIEWER: How do you see your future?

0:40:230:40:28

I don't know, I don't know how to describe it but I think I'm

0:40:280:40:32

going to go far. I'm going to go far.

0:40:320:40:34

I've got a wee bit of faith in myself and I don't know where

0:40:340:40:37

I'm going to be but I won't be down the lines of drug or alcohol.

0:40:370:40:41

I'm just going to get out of the area I'm living in,

0:40:410:40:45

move house and maybe start fresh again.

0:40:450:40:52

Freedom.

0:41:090:41:16

My God.

0:41:160:41:24

We need to be careful that when we embark upon the journey of

0:41:270:41:32

rehabilitation, often with men and women who are broken,

0:41:320:41:41

that would give them a level of expectation which is legitimate.

0:41:410:41:44

What we don't do, is we set them on a path of false belief and

0:41:440:41:47

expectation on what they can achieve.

0:41:470:41:51

I've heard, in my career, too many men and women who have said,

0:41:510:41:54

"This time next year, I will be..."

0:41:540:42:01

And it'll be a successful businessman or,

0:42:010:42:02

"I will be in a job earning a very good rate of money."

0:42:020:42:06

They don't realise that society is not engaged in a place to be

0:42:060:42:09

able to welcome ex-offenders willingly back into society.

0:42:090:42:19

The chances of a person not finding employment is significant.

0:42:270:42:31

The chances of a person not finding stabilised accommodation

0:42:310:42:37

is equally significant.

0:42:370:42:43

That person having an opportunity back in society that they

0:42:430:42:51

think they have got a right to,

0:42:510:42:53

because they've served their time in prison,

0:42:530:42:54

may well find that a difficult position for them to engage in

0:42:540:42:58

and that might then send them back into, again, a spiral of decline

0:42:580:43:03

where they go back to committing offending and then, unfortunately,

0:43:030:43:06

find themselves back in the prison from which they just recently left.

0:43:060:43:08

MUSIC PLAYS

0:43:080:43:13

There is no one factor that says,

0:43:280:43:29

that's going to mean that that individual will come back into

0:43:290:43:32

jail because there are individuals who do live difficult lifestyles,

0:43:320:43:38

who don't come into jail.

0:43:380:43:41

Part of it is choice, people who make bad choices and who

0:43:410:43:44

consistently make bad choices will and can end up back in jail.

0:43:440:43:47

Certainly, the short-term prisoners have chaotic lifestyles

0:43:470:43:49

categorised by low educational attainment,

0:43:490:43:50

lack of stability in their home lives,

0:43:500:43:53

either in terms of relationships

0:43:530:43:54

where they live and also characterised by substance misuse,

0:43:540:43:59

and have limited, if any, job prospects.

0:43:590:44:03

I don't subscribe to the concept of a criminal underclass

0:44:220:44:25

or anything like that.

0:44:250:44:35

You know, the prisoner population here is reflective of society.

0:44:410:44:43

But the hope is that every person is capable of change and I think,

0:44:430:44:47

more importantly, is if they come back never to be disappointed

0:44:470:44:50

but to continue to try.

0:44:500:44:51

You know, at the end of the day, the role of a prison officer

0:44:510:44:59

is at a time when everyone else has given up.

0:44:590:45:05

He or she doesn't and continues to try.

0:45:050:45:10

INTERVIEWER: And how long was it then to the trial?

0:45:240:45:27

Two years.

0:45:270:45:29

Two years of...

0:45:290:45:32

depression...

0:45:320:45:35

and going in and out of mental hospitals for me

0:45:350:45:42

because I couldn't cope with what had happened.

0:45:420:45:49

Actually didn't want to live at that time.

0:45:490:45:56

My... My wife and daughter had told me that they'd be there for me.

0:45:560:46:01

That's the only reason I'm here, living today.

0:46:010:46:09

Did you see or speak to the victim's family during the court proceedings?

0:46:130:46:22

No, I hadn't got the opportunity to...

0:46:220:46:25

speak, stand up and speak to them.

0:46:250:46:27

The barrister done that.

0:46:270:46:33

My own pastor and a great friend is

0:46:330:46:39

going to come down and visit me here in prison

0:46:390:46:41

and I'm going to try and...

0:46:410:46:44

write a letter to the family, you know.

0:46:440:46:53

Just try, try somehow to tell them how sorry I am.

0:46:530:46:59

That's the only thing I can do.

0:46:590:47:05

Did you see them at the trial? Yes, I've seen them, yeah.

0:47:050:47:07

It was very, very hard, like, you know.

0:47:070:47:11

It was very hard to look their way, you know, and...

0:47:110:47:14

I could see the pain.

0:47:140:47:22

Could see the pain on each one of their faces, you know.

0:47:220:47:26

MUSIC PLAYS

0:47:260:47:34

I just don't know at the minute how I'm going to cope with the

0:47:390:47:43

future, you know, and...

0:47:430:47:47

At the minute, I just can't see one.

0:47:470:47:50

MUSIC PLAYS

0:47:500:47:55

INTERVIEWER: What happened to come back in?

0:48:400:48:44

I fell out with a boy and he rang me, told me to come down, meet him.

0:48:440:48:49

Me, full of coke and I grabbed a machete.

0:48:490:48:52

Put it down inside my trousers and walked down to meet him

0:48:520:48:57

and two police cars were sitting on the kerb. Police cars.

0:48:570:49:02

I run out and hit him with it and they grabbed me.

0:49:020:49:05

As soon as he grabbed me, I didn't know it was a pillar so I swung

0:49:050:49:09

it back and nearly clipped policeman with it and then I noticed...

0:49:090:49:13

and ran.

0:49:130:49:17

Then I hid the coke, threw the machete away,

0:49:170:49:19

threw the phones in the bin.

0:49:190:49:21

Swallowed the two sim cards.

0:49:210:49:25

Didn't want them knowing my business.

0:49:250:49:31

Madness. So why did you have to get rid of the phones?

0:49:310:49:38

Just... Just knew I had to get rid of them.

0:49:380:49:43

And the machete? It's quite a weapon. Yep.

0:49:430:49:53

So they recalled me and done me for possession of an offensive weapon,

0:49:550:49:59

causing an indictable offence, common assault, erm...

0:49:590:50:02

And that's it. I'm in breach of license, in breach of everything.

0:50:020:50:07

Failed the breathalyser, failed drug test, all that shit.

0:50:070:50:13

Back in.

0:50:130:50:16

I have 11 months left and then I'm out.

0:50:160:50:18

Can't do fuck all about it, so they can't. Smile every time I see them.

0:50:180:50:22

Even give them the odd wave too, know what I mean?

0:50:220:50:27

Let them know I'm about. Fuck them, I hate them.

0:50:270:50:33

Why do you hate them? They're just scumbags. Just scumbags.

0:50:330:50:41

Can't do nothing out there.

0:50:410:50:45

I bring my wain to the park or something and I'm getting searched.

0:50:450:50:48

Maybe if they're in a bad day or their wife didn't give out,

0:50:480:50:51

or something, that night, I'd be down for a strip search.

0:50:510:50:55

They find nothing on me. I went to the shop once

0:50:550:50:58

and got three police cars, three different searches

0:50:580:51:00

five minutes down the road, know what I mean?

0:51:000:51:02

I reported it to the Police Ombudsman,

0:51:020:51:04

nothing done about it. Know what I mean?

0:51:040:51:07

Every time they see me, they stop me.

0:51:070:51:09

I know I have my past but people move on from the past.

0:51:090:51:12

It's them that's stopping and searching me every day.

0:51:120:51:16

Maybe they need to go out and get drunk or sniff meth,

0:51:160:51:20

to fucking deal with all the shit that's going on.

0:51:200:51:22

I've had enough shit to deal with

0:51:220:51:24

instead of the police stopping me and searching me every time,

0:51:240:51:26

know what I mean?

0:51:260:51:28

MUSIC PLAYS

0:51:280:51:33

Four children, three boys and one girl.

0:52:040:52:07

I've two boys to one girl, she is now living in Birmingham.

0:52:070:52:17

She gave them up, so she did.

0:52:170:52:19

And then I have another one to another girl, another son.

0:52:190:52:22

The two ex-partners with the two sons, the relationship was volatile.

0:52:220:52:26

A lot of jealousy going on, so there was.

0:52:260:52:30

And on both sides, on my side and their sides.

0:52:300:52:36

And the social workers got involved and started saying what I had done,

0:52:360:52:40

that I had pled guilty to assault on her when she was

0:52:400:52:43

six months pregnant and stuff like that.

0:52:430:52:52

I contested the next day but the barrister told me if I wanted

0:52:520:52:55

to get out, the last time I was in, that I would have to plead guilty.

0:52:550:52:59

If I didn't, then they would find me guilty because of previous...

0:52:590:53:02

previous records, previous...

0:53:020:53:07

INTERVIEWER: So you were convicted of assault on your ex-partner? Yep.

0:53:070:53:15

And had that happened before?

0:53:150:53:21

It has happened before.

0:53:210:53:22

With the social worker also getting involved

0:53:220:53:24

where she dislocated her shoulder.

0:53:240:53:29

So there was a lot of violence? A lot of violence, yeah.

0:53:290:53:39

Is it something you think back on now?

0:53:430:53:44

Yep.

0:53:440:53:45

What do you think about it now?

0:53:450:53:47

Just wish I had dealt with it better back then.

0:53:470:53:50

I would've took two steps back and took deep breaths and

0:53:500:53:52

probably wouldn't have the convictions on my record today.

0:53:520:54:02

MUSIC PLAYS

0:54:080:54:11

Looking forward to having the positives in my life

0:54:110:54:13

that are going to change my life.

0:54:130:54:19

Don't look back on the past because the past will only haunt me.

0:54:190:54:26

It was very hard, so it was, and when I came in,

0:54:310:54:37

I was taken a party drug called Magic and my head wasn't in

0:54:370:54:40

the right state of mind and I was trying to commit suicide.

0:54:400:54:50

I was tying ligatures on my throat

0:54:520:54:53

and trying to strangle myself to death,

0:54:530:54:55

and on three or four occasions,

0:54:550:55:02

I was put on the safer cell for at least just over two months.

0:55:020:55:06

And I...

0:55:060:55:07

I got a lot of help off the staff back then.

0:55:070:55:11

I've been drugs-free from coming into prison now near 13 months

0:55:110:55:14

and just hope when I get out,

0:55:140:55:24

that I won't be tempted, that hopefully it all works out

0:55:260:55:29

for me when I get out and just

0:55:290:55:31

stay away from people with criminal records and stuff.

0:55:310:55:33

Focus on my life with my kids and my family and myself

0:55:330:55:36

trying to get myself independent and stuff.

0:55:360:55:38

Aye.

0:55:380:55:42

Tell me about the football when you were young. North End.

0:55:470:55:54

Played for them when I was younger over at Preston for nine months.

0:55:540:55:57

Played there, had a few good games. Actually all of them were good.

0:55:570:56:02

Good bit of craic, good coaches, know what I mean?

0:56:020:56:07

Were you good? Did you have trials? Aye, yeah, I was good, like.

0:56:070:56:10

I was good.

0:56:100:56:15

But then things change. Can't do nothing about it.

0:56:150:56:21

MUSIC PLAYS

0:56:210:56:24

My uncle died and it just changed me, know what I mean? Changed me.

0:56:280:56:33

Couldn't deal with it.

0:56:330:56:34

I was always with my uncle, always stayed with him.

0:56:340:56:41

Just the best uncle you could ever ask for.

0:56:410:56:43

Best person you could ask for. Just changed me, know what I mean?

0:56:430:56:48

It's like having someone in your life for all them years

0:56:480:56:50

and then disappearing.

0:56:500:56:52

Know what I mean? Mad.

0:56:520:56:58

Few years later, I was on drugs. Fucked me up, like. Fucked me up.

0:57:030:57:11

Madness.

0:57:110:57:12

I was self-harming. Always doing it.

0:57:120:57:14

Just the way of coping because I didn't have the right medication,

0:57:140:57:18

so I thought it was the best way to cope. Know what I mean?

0:57:180:57:25

I came off the meth and was just cutting, just to cope.

0:57:250:57:28

If I had heard something bad, like a bad phone call,

0:57:280:57:35

I'd be straight in my room.

0:57:350:57:37

Cut for just a release. Know what I mean?

0:57:370:57:44

So what was it? Anxiety, depression? Anxiety and drug-induced psychosis.

0:57:440:57:52

Like whenever I take drugs,

0:57:520:57:54

I start hallucinating and seeing stuff, know what I mean?

0:57:540:57:58

I just am a complete different person whenever I take drugs.

0:58:010:58:03

I scare myself sometimes.

0:58:030:58:06

Do something really shit

0:58:060:58:09

and I'm in jail for years and years and years.

0:58:090:58:11

Know what I mean?

0:58:110:58:13

Some of the shit I have done should've landed me in

0:58:130:58:16

for a good, long time, but...

0:58:160:58:17

Know what I mean?

0:58:170:58:18

They say karma is a bitch. Catches up on you.

0:58:180:58:24

Fuck it! Madness.

0:58:240:58:30

MUSIC PLAYS

0:58:300:58:39

You've made it this far.

0:59:100:59:12

Don't leave it to chance.

0:59:120:59:15

Leave it all on the pitch.

0:59:150:59:16

No holding back,

0:59:160:59:18

no half measures...

0:59:180:59:19

Revealing documentary series that explores the stories behind the crimes and imprisonment of the men and women serving time in Northern Ireland's prisons.