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Poetry on prisons

Recently in CRI3001 Crime and Punishment we’ve been exploring prison poetry drawn from the volumes published by the fantastic Koestler Arts (some examples and inspiration can be found here). Students were inspired by this to write their own poems on prison and you will find some excellent examples below.

Moonlight

I sing to all of the spiders on the wall
They comfort me from my fear of the unknown
All the sounds outside as I lay here petrified
Of the consequences that lay ahead

Time is far behind my state of mind
Deprived myself of the will to fight
For peaceful nights

Noran

Moving on

Longing for the past,

Wanting to go back,

To change our future.

Living with regret,

Feeling sorry for hurting you,

Living in isolation,

Needing to hear from you.

Wondering if you’re doing well,

Do you remember me?

Are you moving on?

Do you like it?

Living on the outside?

Outside of these four walls.

These grey walls entrap me,

Every day I feel smaller.

Unimportant. I’m suffocating.

I hope the world hasn’t changed.

I hope everything stays the same.

So that one day, maybe

I could come back to you

Danique

Trapped,

Between four walls for life.

Non-existent,

I am but a shadow of my past self.

Detached,

No amount of WIFI can ever reconnect what was lost.

A

Prisoner’s Perspective

Prison is an escape, prison is a relief, prison is warm, prison is secure. Prison is easier than the cold, sleepless, torrid nights. Prison is not a punishment. Prison is a consolation.

Prison is lonely, prison is isolated. Prison does not help; it does not rehabilitate. Prison stops the time. Prison fails us.

Prison is opportunistic, prison allows me to be a leader, prison allows people to live in fear of me. Something I never was in the outside world.

Prison isn’t a one fits all, prison is individualised offender to offender. Does prison work? Is Prison effective? Is prison the way forward?

Saiya

I Created This

Pulled up and stopped

Big iron gates spiked with fear and dread

he shouts “Clear” and gates open

with rumbling vibration

Why does this feel like the beginning of the end

Queueing quietly waiting turn for changing clothing

Wishing the view was slightly different

This is my home, the world is now distant

Showers cold and beds so hard

Waiting for the order from the guards

“Dinner served” I hear them shout

Hoping it’s not just bland

Thinking about roast dinners

This is my life, I created this

Given the chance, time and again,

But now this is my life, I created this

SKM

Poetry and other forms of literature offer the opportunity to explore criminological issues in a different medium. They allow for ideas to develop in a more natural way than academic conventions usually allow. As you can see from the poems above, our students rose to the challenge and embraced the opportunity to think differently about Criminology.

UCU Strike 1-3 December 2021

More information around the University and College University [UCU] and the Four Fights Dispute can be found here.

Information about the Northampton branch of UCU can be found here and here.

Gymtastic

Last year when the new year arrived, like lots of people, I joined a gym.  I wanted to get fit (as in I can run a marathon, not fit as in good looking) and I wanted to look like some of those Love Island fellows on tv.  I had other reasons to join, family were pressurising me to join, it’s what everyone else is doing and the tv and everyone else says you need to be fit and look good to get on in life.  I’m not sure I really wanted to join a gym, but I went along with the idea.

There are lots of gyms near where I live, some more expensive than others and I went to lots of ‘see what we can offer meetings’.  The most impressive was the gym I’m at now.  They have lots of brand new weight stuff, a sauna and steam room as well as a swimming pool and best of all they have a bar where you can get alcoholic, as well as boring drinks, and they do food, pie and chips and all that sort of stuff.  They also do lots of quiz evenings and music and stuff and they’ve got Sky Sports so I can get legless on a Saturday afternoon whilst watching the footie.

I was given a personal trainer when I joined, seems alright, but over the time I’ve been there, he keeps trying to get me to do stuff that is hard, I mean really hard.  The other day I had to run for five minutes on the treadmill, he said it was more a jog, but I can tell you it was like proper running.  And, get this, I have to cut down on my 10 pints of beer a week and cut out the starchy foods.  I don’t know what he expects, after that run I needed a pint and something to eat.  I did cut down last week because the Guinness was off, I complained about that.  Anyway, I am also supposed to try a bit of running in my own time at home, he gave me this schedule and told me to read up on diets and things.  I googled quite a lot and got some cool diets and stuff from America.  But I’m beginning to think this gym malarkey is boring and not only that, I can tell you now I’m not getting any fitter and my body is more ‘Michelin man’ than ‘Adonis’ (apparently, he’s a really fit person).  I don’t think my personal trainer is any good and I’m paying for this ****.  To be honest, I haven’t been to the gym the last few weeks, I don’t see the point.

Funnily enough, I was in the pub the other day talking to my mate Billy, he goes to the same gym, and he said my personal trainer was pretty pissed off.  It had something to do with the fact that people turn up and then don’t bother trying and anything he asks them to do or think about doing before the session just isn’t being done.  But get this, I almost feel sorry for him, laugh, he gets it in the neck from his manager, I mean really in the neck like proper shouting and stuff, when his clients (apparently, we are clients now) don’t reach their fitness goals.  He has some sort of review every month and Billy says he might not get paid because they measure how many people are close to or at their goals and how many are failing.  Serves him right really, if he can’t get me fit then who is he going to get fit.  Billy says the same, he’s going to complain because when he got weighed at the gym last time he had put on weight, not lost it.  He says its something to do with the weighing machine or the weight the gym instructor gave him.

Anyway, I’m going to be like Forrest Gump and say, ‘that’s all I’ve got to say about that’.

Disclaimer:
The gym and characters are purely fictional and any resemblance to an institution near you is purely coincidence.
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