Prison Showers – First Time Taking A Shower in Prison
Prison Showers – What is it like showering in prison UK? What is it like going into the showers for the first time in prison? This was one of the first questions that i wanted answering. You hear so many horror stories about what goes on in the prison showers that it puts you off ever wanting to take one if you find yourself heading into prison. But what is it really like showering in a UK Prison?
In the induction unit, the showers were all open, like you would find at an old swimming pool or campsite where it was communal. They are normally a dirty place and prepared to queue for a shower. People were just as nervous as I was walking into the shower for the first time.
It was one of them stereotypes that, if I was going to get raped in prison, the showers were the ideal place. I have to tell you; I came away from my prison journey unraped. Even in the induction unit, people were just as nervous about it as I was and majority showered in their boxers and gave them a good wash at the same time.
As you progress through the prison system, other wings have barn doors on the showers to hide your modesty.
Due to most of the prison estate being of Victorian Era or just dilapidated, a lot of the showers have 2 modes, hot or cold, cold usually being the more regular of temperatures.
The showers are filthy too, when people have finished with their shampoo bottle or shower gel, instead of putting them in the bin, they just throw them on the floor. The prison also issue sachets of shower gel and shampoo which are littered around you as you shower. This is why it is a good idea to take flip-flops into the shower with you, I never showered barefoot.
Barely any incidents happened in the shower apart from people getting irate of people taking too long in the shower or having to wait in the queue for ages.
I wrote a book on my time in prison called the secret prisoner. This is an extract from my diary about what it was like showering for the first time in prison.
Walking in, the floor was littered with sachets or used shampoo and gel, and the room looked like a shower from a public swimming pool back in the year 1750!
To my surprise, everyone showering wasn’t naked. Due to being an induction wing, most people on E block were new arrivals too and regardless of the hard exterior, must have shared the same reservations as everyone stood showering in boxers.
One became free, I got in and got on with it, giving the boxers a good rinse at the same time as everybody else did. The general conversations going on was about how bad in was in this hell hole compared to other prisons they had been in. Like hearing a real-life TripAdvisor for prisons! Food is better in that prison, accommodation is better in this prison and if you get to this said prison, you get a duvet on arrival.
10 mins later I was done, jumped back into the prison clobber and was back in the cell just in time for them to lock the door behind me. The first experience out in the wild was over. I was still intact.
A sense of relief came over me. The perception I had of prison and inmates was poles apart from what I had just witnessed. Although, there was still an underlying current that things could go sour pretty quickly, so I wouldn’t be dropping my guard any time soon”
This was my first time ever been in the shower in prison, other wings had barn style doors on them so you had more dignity and when you progress through to CAT D prison they are more private shower cubicles. All prisons are different such as rochester you have your own shower inside your cell. My experience originally was Wandsworth prison so i expect more victorian style prisons are like the one i describe above.
I think the stories or stereotypes that you hear are from American style prisons, the ‘dont drop the soap’ saying etc is just stereotyping and nothing i witnessed or heard of during my stay gave any truth to this saying what so ever.