ONE blogs — Polmont Young Offenders: ViEWS FROM THE PEN

 And So We Begin

By Bash Wallace

 Today was a gainful day. I left my cell and walked the enclosed pathway to my creative writing class. This pathway, referred to as the route, is six feet wide however us, the prisoners, are restricted to two feet of this, making out walk more like a march. In single file and all sporting short back and sides we resemble soldiers and I suppose in a way, we are. Street Soldiers.


Anyway, I sat in the classroom getting a haircut when martin arrived. He unexpectedly announced that we would be doing this blog. We were all keen to get involved in this as we felt it will give us our voice back, a voice that some have not had in years.


For around 90 minutes we debated the title of this blog. Eventually we decided not what we would call it, but what we wouldn’t. I suggested that we call ourselves ‘Jailhouse Dictators’, which after a long discussion was deemed too controversial. You must understand my definition of the word dictator differs from societies. Some member of the group believed that it was too aggressive and that it would remind you, the reader, a little too much of the likes of Colonel Gaddafi and his exploits. This, I realise, is because of the current situation in Libya.


My argument was that we are dictating what we write, hence ‘dictators’. I also feel it would have given us a sense of freedom, power and choice, all things none of us have while imprisoned. “Sign off”


This Week

 By Alexander Morrissey

Friday – I got ready for my visit on Saturday.

Saturday – My Dad & Girlfriend came to visit.

Sunday – Spent the day worrying about my son, don’t know why, just panicking.

Monday – I had counselling, it went okay. We went quite deep and I was emotional.

Tuesday – I went up to PSDU (Personal and Social Development Unit). We had a good group chat.

Wednesday – Had some bad news, it was hard to take.

Thursday – I got a letter from my Mum, my Nana had another stroke. This was really worrying.

The Worries That Only Time Allows

 By Bash Wallace

The other day I had a dream that there was a large bat or vampire tearing people apart. It is still a bit of a blur but I remember, as it ended, the vampire like creature standing at the peak of a mountain of heads. I don’t recall if I was in the dream, I may even have been the creature itself.


I’m unsure if this dream bares a message but I am puzzled as to why this dream, that I would usually class as a nightmare, didn’t bring out instant feelings of despair or distress once I awoke. I worry this dream is my subconscious signalling my mental deterioration.


These last few weeks have been especially stressful for me as I cant seem to focus on the simplest of things. My mind and thoughts are constantly drifting into deep thinking spells. I’ve been fretting about my life. How will it go? How will I escape or better my life? How do I accept my past and eradicate the demons stoking up raw emotions which are reeking  havoc in my head. Most of all I’m fearing death. Not my own death but that of a family member.


I’ve had this premonition for over  a month and its burden is really starting to take affect. Although I don’t know exactly whose death is due I feel it may be my dad. This is mainly because, for the past six months I have been worried that a conclusion to his 20 years of sporadic drug use is long over due. “Sign off”


Dont Forget Your Own

 By Bash Wallace

The recent riots in London are and have been the topic of widespread debate and, of late, many opinions have been voiced as to why they occurred. Some of these include apparent causes such as it’s “pure criminality” and “it’s just people with nothing to do”. I believe that for the most part it was pure opportunism and even though it was a negative opportunity, its was probably the best prospect many rioters, or people as they are more commonly known, have seen for a long time.


In order to stop this recurring I believe that the government should think twice about spending billions invading countries such as Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan and stop being charitable to other nations e.g. providing 800 million in aid to countries like Pakistan for them to build schools and other buildings with. Although I sympathise with these countries I believe charity starts at home. If there’s young children in this country feeling neglected and feeling like their voice and opinions are not being heard then this will, essentially, have the same effect as parents neglecting their children.


This is why I believe that the money used fighting other peoples’ battles and struggles would give poverty stricken teens the hope and opportunity they so obviously crave, desire and deserve. “Sign off”.


 A  Fathers Love

by Pablo Devine

I spoke to my ex partner on the phone for the first time in a year since splitting up with her last September.  We have a two year old daughter together and her name is Madison. I’ll be honest, it was great to hear her voice again, it brought back good memories, but the whole reason I phoned her is to have contact with my daughter. I’ve not seen my wee girl for a whole year now and when I pleaded with her mother over the phone about getting to see her she didn’t want to know. She didn’t want to hear me out at all.


I’m serving a life sentence with a recommendation of 19yrs for murder and I think, well no actually I know, this is the major factor that is stopping me from seeing my daughter. It seems to me that my ex partner thinks I’m an evil, vicious man. She thinks I went out my way to murder the victim of my crime in cold blood. But she wasn’t there. She wasn’t in my predicament when the situation occurred. She doesn’t know the other side of the story. There is always two sides to every story.


I can’t believe she really thinks of me like that, after all we were in a relationship for two and a half years and the feelings were definitely mutual. I still love her with all my heart and I know she still loves me but life goes on, people change and I wish her all the best for the future. I hope she finds someone who will love her for who she is. Love her like I do.


My whole life has flashed before my eyes. It’s finished before it’s even had the chance to take off. But no, now I have enrolled in a creative writing class and my situation has changed. It’s not the end of the world for me. I’ve grown a lot stronger and I’m a survivor. I’m going to use all of the options put before me, use them to  my advantage and use them wisely. I’m determined not to take these opportunities for granted.


I hope that one day I will be re-united with Madison so I can tell her the truth. It eats me up inside that I’m going to miss her grow up into a respectable young lady with a mind of her own. I look at the photo I have of her in my cell all the time and I speak to her. I tell her how much I love her and that I’m sorry for leaving her. I see a bit of myself in her, she has my big blue eyes and my cheeky smile, she has her mums hair and her strength. I know she will go places in life. The sky’s the limit. I pray she gives me a second chance to right my wrongs and that I can be not only be a father to her, but be a dad. If you ask me, anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad.



©2011 Polwarth Publishing LLP –ALL RIGHTS RESERVED absolutely no unauthorized reproduction, electronically or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Names have been changed and any determinate content removed.


  1. May Brady

    The stories from those writing from Polmont are moving and the dialogue is excellent. Bash Wallace is particularly good, I hope he continues. I wish them all well.
    Best, May

  2. G. Palmer

    I just read all of the writings on this part of your ONE site. BRAVO! All of the men who submitted their written thoughts EACH have a UNIQUE VOICE. I can’t pretend to know how absolutely difficult it must be for each and every one of them. But, as you know, you can beat the rap and create a better life for yourself with strength and perseverance. It’s always good to have the support of friends or family, but when that does not exist, each individual has to pull themselves up and GO FOR IT! Blah. Blah. Blah. Easy for me to say and difficult to do. But, the easy work in life has little value. It’s pushing through the brick wall of pain and bad experiences to get to the sun on the other side that is difficult, difficult, difficult – BUT, it’s so worth it and rewarding. I wish all your talented writers the strength and belief that they can change their lives and the courage to do so. Best, G. Palmer

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