Friday, August 24, 2007

Conversation in Class

Location: Prison for Young Offenders in England
Age: 18-21
Sex: Male
Offense: Theft, Murder, Rape, Arson, Threats to witness, Assault and the list goes on...and on and on...

The bunch of lads I had this morning were not the brightest lot. I am not saying they are stupid but the phrase 'lights are on, nobody is home' comes to mind often. As is often seen at this age and in this 'social' group of young men - women are most important. They like to swear on their mum's lives, they live by their 'gals' visit. They keep letters sent to them by the women in their lives close to their hearts and are often driven to self destructive thoughts when they get 'Dear John' letters from home.

This poor soul in my class has been looking surrealistically happy for the past few days. He is not very bright, bless him, but he has a good heart, which was obviously not beating when he stabbed an old woman on the street. He is doing his time in prison so its okay I guess.
This morning's conversation then, without further ado,

Me: What are you looking so happy about?
Him: Oh Miss I cant tell ya.
Me: Go on, tell me, you have been smiling for 3 days in a row now.
Him: I know, Oh Miss I cant wait to get out. I am just itching to get out now.
Me: How long do you have left?
Him: 10 months
Me: So tell me why are you so happy, its not like you are releasing anytime soon.
Him: My gal's pregnant.
Me: Oh Congrats, that is good news, no wonder you have been smiling. When is the baby due?
Him: Christmas this year..
Me: 3 months left to go then. The baby wont be too old when you get out.

(Realization strikes me - violent offense, he cant be on such a short sentence despite the British Legal System's ongoing love affair with prolific offenders)

Me(carefully): So how long have you done now in here?
Him(Kind of proudly): 18 months
Me(a little zapped): At a stretch? or were you out on tag (release) for a while?
Him (Very proudly, chest out, chin up): At a stretch miss, I've been ridin it out like a solja.

I smile back at him and think. God Bless Him, aint the sharpest pencil in the box but hey, someday the penny shall drop...I hope. Till then I shall leave him to his smiles.

1 comment:

Deepak said...

This tells us the fact that all criminals are not cold-blooded; they just did the felony on a moment of clueless sense. They are just as normal as we are, albeit confused.

That said, I sound like a hypocrite, because I'm not sure I will face an ex-prisoner the same way as I do to others.
I don't know whether I'm right or wrong here.