Australia's National Prison Newspaper

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ISSUE NO. 1

JULY 2024

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JULY 2024

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ISSUE NO. 1

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Letters

'Free your mind'

By James

James was incarcerated across NSW.

From Paper Chained

Hi my name is James. I had a traumatic childhood and from the age of six I had issues with anxiety. At 15 years old I started drinking alcohol and immediately I felt relief from my anxiety when I had alcohol in my system. 

It was really weird to me how I would party and have fun just like my friends but I was one of the only people that would drive when I had alcohol in my system. I just felt like it was convenient to me to get myself home with my car. I never planned how much I was going to drink or how I was going to get home and that got me into a lot of trouble. 

I first went to jail in 2012 for 10 days after my ICO was breached for not attending community service. No new charges so I only had 10 days. Four days in Surry Hills and six in MRRC. I thought at that time the sheer horror of experiencing jail was enough for me to never come back. But here I am now. 

In the last three and a half years I’ve spent two and a half years in jail. In the past four Christmas and New Years Eves I’ve had three of them in jail. All drunk laggings. Last year I got out after serving eight months on the bottom for drink driving. I had a 16 month top and while on parole I got drunk and yelled abuse at some police. After they cautioned me I let them cuff me and when they searched me I resisted. In the scuffle I was taken to the ground and I spat on one of the officer’s arms. I got charged with assaulting police without ABH. Five months on the bottom for that and now I’ve been out for two weeks. 

There are a few realisations that I’ve had about myself. 1: I’m an alcoholic. If I drink I get in trouble. 2: I have resentments towards authority and police in particular. And 3: if I drink, I amplify my resentments and create a whole lot more problems for myself. If I drink I will most certainly end up in jail and police deal with 100 of me every day so I’m not gonna show them by getting drunk and abusing them. 

So for now I am focusing on myself. I’m taking a pill called Antabuse that makes you sick if you consume or come into contact with alcohol. I’m going to counseling and I’m getting help. I’m enjoying some small wins every day like getting to the gym and eating some healthy food. In jail we are so limited to our foods. For carbs I would eat Mi Goreng, Vermicelli or rice. Protein as we all know is mainly tuna and Serena if you’re cashed. Fats are only almonds, walnuts or peanut butter. Now I’m enjoying the freedom I have for my training and my foods. I’m getting proper recovery from my training such as ice baths, sauna, good protein and massages. 

I won’t give the police any reason to look twice at me. I’m just a normal bloke now trying to live a well balanced life and achieve some of my career and relationship goals. To all my brothers and sisters in green: let go of your resentments to the system. Free your mind and when your body is free again you will find a better way. 

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