There is much truth to the saying that, “You can easily guess what a prisoner has been interred for”. And the place to do that best is in the Remand Yard.
The Remand Yard is, for someone who has never been in one the strangest of prison environments. It is also probably the most dangerous too. It is where prisoners first ‘land’ when put into prison. Technically a Remand prison is a prison full of ‘innocent’ people who are yet to be proved guilty or innocent.
The Remand Yard is also where the infamous ‘Prison Walk’ happens.
Ask any prisoner, ex prisoner or prison worker about the ‘Prison Walk’; it is a peculiar kind of (almost) stomping around the perimeter of the whole yard where the prisoner sort of stares semi-blankly into space totally absorbed in an internal hell that plays out an inner ‘tennis game’ that runs something like this, “did I do it. I did it, I didn’t do it, shall I plead guilty, shall I plead not guilty, there were extenuating circumstances, I’m strung out and doing Cold Turkey, I’m ashamed, I’m embarrassed, I’m angry, I’m lost, I’m dejected and rejected, I wanna kill myself, I wanna get out of here, these c***s in here might kill me”.
This walk can continue on for hours or days non-stop.
Though just about all prisoners go through this ‘prison walk’ stage there can be certain particular behaviours added onto the ‘internal tennis’ and it is those superimposed behaviours that speak of the crime committed. .
Let’s take the case of the wife murderer:
After a period of ‘prison walking’ he settles down on a bench in the yard to stare endlessly into space. He is staring out but not at anything in particular. Interestingly enough stalkers act in a similar way but can be distinguished by the severity of the behaviours. This hopeless and desparing stare is interjected often by talking out aloud.
He may typically say something like, “I never ever hit her except this one time and I was unlucky enough to kill her”. He then goes on to say how, though their life together may have had its difficulties that he never before lashed out.
I personally doubt this to be true but in his current state of denial of except all but the obvious he cannot see this.
It is also apparent that he is grieving – and grieving hard. He has just murdered his best friend and/or his most prized possession.
He is lonely, regretful and remorseful and would dearly love to be able to turn back the clock and bring her back to him. He says out aloud how much he loved her.
Though having painted this psychological picture there are exceptions. Like for instance the man who murdered his wife after he caught her being unfaithful. He is usually far more angry when in the remand stage and he attracts other men around him who are sympathetic to his case and who join in to support and justify his actions.
Women who have murdered their husbands usually have a much higher media presence and their cases get more attention. As such when they first arrive in prison most people tend to know who they are and what they have done. Invariably their stories are filled with stories of horrible abuses they have endured from the husband they have just killed.
They are often given ‘hero’ status from other prisoners and treated well and looked after like some kind of royalty. They also are going through the aforementioned internal ‘tennis game’ and they too are grieving and really missing the person they loved the most in their life.
Spouse murderers of either gender who do not have extensive criminal records for other types of offences tend to live quietly in the general community after their release.