"Where Next on Policing and Criminal Justice": Ian Blair's 2019 Longford Lecture Read Now

Arcade Behind Prison

By Joseph Spencer

from HMP Leeds

 

On the eve of your release

Your apprehension and excitement

Pumping your arms in the air

Showering the cell with sweat

Your head and neck roped with thick veins

How does it feel to be getting out?

He lays his hands on his lap

And stares blankly at the future

No one expects to get out of prison to fail

Watch out for that arcade behind prison.

 

On the day of your release

Extremely nervous, more than ever

Wild hope blossoms in your chest

No time for headache to taint your release

Waiting for the officers to extract you at dawn

What’s the first thing to do when you get out?

He tilts his head and eyes

Glistening with emotion at years lost

No one expects to get out of prison to fail

Watch out for that arcade behind prison.

 

On the day after your release

Other emotions overshadowing your happiness

The stress of exiting into the world

Being pushed to your psychological extremes

Prejudices out there to face and manipulate

What’s more to life than the pursuit of money?

Bracing ahead with the conviction of his own morality

Crossing the line again will land you back in prison

No one expects to get out of prison to fail

Watch out for that arcade behind prison.