My sentence to me at first was full of denial. I felt, and still feel, I did not deserve an IPP [Imprisonment for Public Protection – eds.] sentence, but I did deserve some prison time.
My sentence has helped me with alcohol, relationship issues – me and my wife talk more instead of argue and leave rooms, or have sex to avoid the issues. It has helped me realise I have issues that needed to be resolved.
But it has also put me in negative situations. I have seen a lot more violence, been around drugs, frequently self-harmed and have a lot of mental health issues, some only diagnosed since I have been in prison. I have been around a lot of people I would never choose to be around in the community and my mistrust with people (including staff) has gone through the roof. It is going to take me a lot of time to recover back to normalcy upon my release. Overall, it has been a very negative experience, which has had a negative effect on most aspects of my life.
But if I hadn’t come to prison, things would have spiralled out of control and I would have caused hurt to more people. I probably wouldn’t still be married and I would have been alcohol dependent. I really don’t know which I would prefer. (Obviously, though, now having learnt from courses, victim impact, I would not want to cause any hurt/upset to anyone in the community.)