Welcome to the Jailhouse Moose Website.
“What’s it really like inside Britain’s jails?”
Prison is a clandestine experience and generally those who have first-hand knowledge of today’s UK prison system don’t really want to advertise that fact. It’s a bit of a problem as the only people who know what it means to serve time in English jails either don’t want to talk about it or are those who will grossly exaggerate and sensationalise their accounts.
During my three years as an Insider, (A prisoner who is trained to be confidential point of contact for other prisoners), on an induction wing I was the first point of contact for somewhere close to 10,000 men who arrived for their first night in an English prison. They were a mix of first-timers, prolific repeat offenders and those on the circuit from one prison to another. Each had his own story, his own problems and his own coping strategies. Through being in this relatively unique position I have met the people behind the sensational newspaper headlines. More recently I have watched some of the ‘Prison Porn’ documentaries that are now in vogue and seen the distorted picture that they paint.
For the 12 weeks between January and March 2019 an ITV film crew was operating in my prison. I fully expect that hundreds of hours of footage will be cut down to 90 minutes of sensationalism. I do not dispute that violence, disruption and drug taking are a huge problem in prison, but to suggest that anything more than a disruptive minority are responsible for the vast majority of issues in prisons is a complete distortion of reality.
I guess that is the main reason that I started this blog (after almost a year seeking approval from The Ministry of Justice Press Office). I wanted to balance the narrative.
The ‘My Prison Journey’ stories have two principal themes. First there are allegorical anecdotes of incidents and everyday life behind bars in England. Second are factual, diary-style pieces – un-embellished accounts of what serving time in a British prison is actually like. These stories are mostly autobiographical and based on real events, although I have had to change the names of key players and sufficient other details in order to preserve anonymity.
It is my hope that this blog might be of some relevance for those of you curious about prison, worried about the risk of doing time in prison or concerned about a loved one inside. Through this section I will try to give a fair, honest and realistic account of a life behind bars in the UK.
The ‘Life through Prison Objects’ series is fairly self-explanatory. Having come into a UK prison naked as the day I was born I started to re-examine the physical things that I encountered along the way. Things that, in the outside world seem commonplace, but have greater meanings behind bars. This section will also feature accounts from some of my peers, visitors and even prison staff.
The other elements of this site are comprised of fictional writing, short stories, scripts, magazine articles, commentaries and historical pieces. Your feedback is valued, your questions will be answered and your own experiences of prison would be welcome.
Please use the site menu on the right to view the various categories, or click the ‘Posts’ link above to see the latest post uploaded.
Jailhouse Moose can be contacted via the ‘Contact’ page but please bear in mind that there is a 2 week turnaround for replies to any questions.
The Jailhouse Moose is a prisoner in the U.K. prison system. He writes under a pseudonym, not only to protect his anonymity, but out of respect for those who have been affected by his crimes. Jailhouse Moose does not profit through either direct or indirect payments for his writing. No details about Jailhouse Moose or his crimes will be divulged. Neither will we divulge geographical information or timelines of offences or prisons. While some of the Blogs and writings may contain biographical elements, the names and descriptions of other persons, including but not limited to prisoners and staff, have been changed. Dialogues quoted may have been partially edited and/or altered. All work published remains the intellectual property of the writer and may not be reproduced, distributed, re-published, or otherwise disseminated without the express prior consent of the author