April Monthly Meeting – Life as a Prison Officer

Life as a prison officerOur April speaker was Pauline Martindale, a former prison officer, who has worked in various roles in the prison service, and at different locations including Holloway and Wormwood Scrubs.

She told us a bit of the history of Holloway which opened as a mixed prison in 1853 and was built to resemble Warwick Castle.   In 1903 it became a women’s prison, and there have been 5 executions there including Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged.   She also revealed details of her ‘encounter’ with the ghostly Grey Lady.

She mentioned some of the diverse characters she met in prison: the repeat offenders, the criminal family ‘business’ members, the young mothers, the violent prisoners and the lawbreakers who used their time inside to get education and made the effort to rehabilitate.   Pauline pointed out that rehabilitation is only complete if there is acceptance on the outside once their prison term is over.

There were plenty of questions afterwards, and we all agreed that she was a very informative and entertaining speaker.

Next month will be our Annual Meeting.   We will be debating the two resolutions to be taken to the NFWI Annual Meeting in Brighton in June “Avoid food waste, address food poverty – The WI calls on all supermarkets to sign up to a voluntary agreement to avoid food waste, thereby passing surplus food on to charities thus helping to address the issue of increasing food poverty in the UK” and “Appropriate care in hospitals for people with dementia – We call upon HM Government and the NHS to provide facilities to enable carers to stay with people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia that have been admitted into hospital.”   We are also holding elections for our committee, and as a reward for all of that, there will be desserts and wine.

New members are always welcome, and your first meeting is free so come and give us a try!

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