by Sue Davy
Posted on February 20, 2018
Comments Off on First Impressions of Prison Visiting
First Impressions of Prison Visiting – Compiled by Gale Bailey MBE who became a British Embassy Volunteer Visitor in August 2005 and recruited the below BWG members.
Michele Savage and Justine Rea
Justine and I volunteered to go on a prison visit with Gale as her usual crew were absent. Neither of us knew what to expect and approached with some trepidation. I always think there is a fine line between ‘doing good’ and being ‘do gooders’ and we both wanted to get this visit right and not let Gale down or the men we were visiting. We visit on behalf of the UK Embassy and as expected there is the usual Thai bureaucracy.
If you have watched Banged Up Abroad visiting the prison is nothing like this and although it is a challenge to get to see the men and a bit of waiting round, we were made to feel appreciated by the three men we visited. Neither of us had appreciated that the prison visits really are the only contact that the men have with the outside world. We weren’t sure what we would be expected to talk about but the conversation flowed naturally and we talked about everything from current affairs to the weather (cos we are British!) had a good laugh.
One of the men Justine visited, had only had 3 visitors apart from the official embassy visit in the 3 years he had been in prison. The visits have a very positive impact on the men and we both came away having enjoyed great conversation and feeling that the time spent getting there was well worth it. Justine has now done 3 visits and I will be going again in a couple of weeks.