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prison - The W1nners' Club

A quick questionnaire if you will:

  • Do you wake up before 8am on a Monday through to Friday?
  • Is your favourite time of the month anywhere between the 26th to the 30th/31st?
  • Do you own a suit that you have never worn to court?
  • Do you know how to use a calculator?
  • Do you have any idea what a ‘Secret Santa’ is?

If you answered mainly ‘no’ to the above questions, the chances are you’re probably unemployed.

Whilst being unemployed is in itself not a problem as long as you have Netflix, if you don’t, you may need to find alternative ways to entertain yourself until you find a new job.

Have you ever thought of staging your own prison riot?

If the conditions are particularly bad in the prison you’re incarcerated in, it’s the best chance you have of getting out without having to scale any walls or dig any tunnels.

If sitting on a prison roof and making rude hand gestures at the TV cameras pointing up at you from below sounds like it could be a blast, here’s what you’ll need to do to become successful:

1.    Get sent to prison


There are of course many ways to get yourself incarcerated, but for obvious reasons we can’t condone the use of violence of any kind. We therefore suggest you put off paying your TV licence for a few months and avoid paying any resultant fines that are handed down by the courts. If the judge is particularly highly strung, it might be an idea to ask him or her if you can have the number of their wig maker because you’re going to a fancy dress party dressed as a box of Quaker Oats next week – this may also get you sent to prison for being in contempt of court.

2.    Make friends with the other cons


You’re not going to be able to stage a prison riot on your own, so you’ll need the support of some of your fellow lags. If the prison you’re locked up in is particularly grotty and overcrowded, you might be able to persuade some of the other inmates that the time has come to stand up against the regime and demand better conditions for all. NB – make sure you’ve earned a bit of respect first (a few brawls should do the trick) as somebody who’s inside for not paying their TV licence might not be high enough up the food chain to start telling hardened criminals what to do.


3.    Decide where the riot will start


There are various places in prisons that are quite good for starting riots namely: the yard, the chapel or the mess hall – in fact anywhere that involves the congregation of a large number of lags in one place. The showers should be avoided as you may end up spending a couple of weeks outside on the roof so you’ll need to consider the potential for inclement weather.

4.    Decide on a cue to commence the disturbance


Prison riots very rarely begin with somebody forewarning the authorities that a riot is about to take place and you too will need to ensure that you’ve got a decent cue to let your co-conspirators know that it’s time to let all hell break loose. Something along the lines of “Let’s do this!” or “let’s roll!” yelled at the top of your voice should be sufficient, but try not to use a posh term like “Tally-ho!” or you might find that your hard earned respect gets instantly eroded.

5.    Get hold of a set of keys


You’ll need to obtain a set of keys from a prison officer so that you can release more of your criminal ilk from their cells before a full scale riot can take place. The guards usually wear them on their utility belts so you can either fool a guard into handing them over to you by looking over their shoulder as if you’ve just caught your parents in bed together, and then taking the keys as the guard turns around, or you could try hitting them over the head with a heavy, blunt instrument like a fire extinguisher.

6.    Make your way up onto the roof


The biggest problem you will have now that you’ve started a riot is making sure you don’t fall foul of the control and restraint teams that will be sent in to quell your mini insurrection. It’s therefore best if you can make your way up to the roof of the jail as from there you’ll be able to see what’s going on outside and also get your message of protest out to the general public. If you can get your riotous mob to one of the offices that the prison admin staff use, it’s highly likely that the ceilings won’t be secured and from there you should be able to climb up onto the roof.

7.    Start a rooftop protest


Now that you and several hundred felons are gathered on the roof of the jail, you’ll need to make your demands known to the media and by extension the general public if your riot is going to go any way towards improving conditions. You’ll need to make a banner out of bedsheets emblazoned with slogans like “Love u Sharon!” “Up the Reds!” or “Hi Mum!” so that the press know that you have some serious demands to make.

8.    Make your demands known


Now we’re at the business end of things. There’s about 200 riot squad officers in the lower levels of the jail waiting to give you a good hiding but more importantly, you have the ears of the world’s media at your behest. If you can, try and get one of your number to call a national newspaper with a list of demands. We suggest the following:

  • Imperial leather on a rope to be supplied as standard issue.
  • Ball and chains to be made out of paper mache rather than cast iron.
  • Every prisoner to be issued with a Rita Haworth poster and a rock hammer.
  • Prison library reading list to include the following titles: Pole vaulting for beginners, Tunnelling for dummies and How to drive a JCB through 6ft. thick concrete walls.

9.    Wait……


It could be a long one, so you’ll need to make sure that you and your fellow rooftop rabble rousers have got plenty of tins of baked beans at your disposal courtesy of the prison kitchen. The main thing to be prepared for is that you will be kept awake by the authorities at all costs in an attempt to weaken your resolve. Expect to have search lights shone on you from overhead helicopters, riot shields being banged on at all hours and worst of all – I want to break free by Queen being played on loudspeakers to prevent you from getting any sleep.

10.  Surrender


Conditions are bad, but there’s nothing quite like a nice cramped cell that was meant for one person but currently houses three to go home to now is there?

Good luck!


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