"....... was jailed for a maximum of .... years". The final closing words of the reporter who intermittently covered just the bones of the case. And with these closing words it seems that we have now satisfied society in 'putting away' a most heinous criminal. Case closed, society is satisfied, and the media should be applauded because they have successfully tried another man by media.
And with that, my husband is taken from the dock in handcuffs to prison. I manage to give him one last hug, before the guard pulls him away, the glares and stares are still coming from the 'otherside' who have bought a support army along with them to ensure that 'justice is served'. I'm in absolute shock of the sentence and crying uncontrollably. He is gone, and I have a handful of friends there telling me its going to be ok..... but I know its not. Im still waiting for the our story to come out, our lawyer didn't even turn up to sentencing, she was already on holiday spending our $100K. All I want to do is go and see him and I can't.
I go straight to the maximum prison - he has been residing here since they moved him from the MAP. I had to go there to put some money into his prison 'spend account'. He is allowed a $140 per month, for purchasing of some food items at the prison canteen and another $50 per month for phone calls. The guard at the front counter asks for his CRN (criminal record number) and I give it to her, she inquires as to if he has been sentenced yet, and I proceed to tell her. In the next instance there are several guards standing there listening. When I say to them he got over 10 years on the top, one guard states. 'Jeezus, we have guys in her doing less time for murder, and that's with severe intent'. The look of disbelief on their faces echoes my thoughts. Then one breaks the silence and says, 'Nicole you need to go and see ...... (name withheld)', 'they are lawyers that represent many of the guys and get a result'. It was so surreal, speaking to the guards, them telling me what to do whilst in the back ground the tv shows my husband being taken away.
Now contrary to what people will tell you about prison guards, first and foremost you need to know that the people that work in these jails, once you remove them from a uniform, they are just any other person walking in the street. And like any business in operation there are good employees and not-so-good employees. And with prison guards you get this also. Some prisons are privately run in Victoria by American based companys. Those guards that work there are following the policies and procedures of the management that operate the prison. And whilst this maximum security has many flaws within its operational procedure, the people that work there I must say still show an element of common sense and compassion to the families of people who they know should not be there.