Man down e1616691618318 - Prisoner Training & Placements


Some time ago (quite some time ago), there was a bit of an incident, one Friday afternoon in January…

Three men managed to get themselves all upset and decided to try and take it out on another. I got in the way, to restore calm, I had to – I was on my own in those days.

That weekend I purchased 4 wooden figures (I think they were Christmas characters going cheap in a post-Xmas sale, they all had white beards and were rather small).

Monday morning and the five of us sat down.

Each man chose a figurine to represent himself. My thinking was the dolls, being existential representations of themselves, would come together and be able to talk freely, able to express the pent-up emotions that had caused the difficulties on Friday.

Encouragingly, everyone seemed to be taking it quite seriously and the figures started nodding at each other in recognition. Then the dolls just kicked the sh#t out of the original man’s doll!

After a rather awkward silence and the last boot had stamped on the ‘man down’s’ head, begrudgingly, talk started, getting to the nub of the issue. Man-down was a misfit and “just needed a slap”…

In the end (thankfully) the dolls got into a circle and hugged it out.

I have used my wooden friends many times since.

Recently with a man who feels he is a misfit. His wooden figure explained that he had no family support, only criminal associates, and he asked what would a normal person do in his situation…

“I’ve not got any work cos of Covid, I put money on my electric, it’s run out and now my money’s all gone, and I don’t get benefit for two and a bit weeks. What am I supposed to do?”

“Err, well” I was trying to formulate a reply. To gain a bit of time I put it back on the doll, “what do you think is the way to sort this out?”

The doll’s crystal-clear answer was to rob a bottle of gin on the way home and sell it to raise funds to put money on the electric card.

“No, don’t do that!” I blurted out, accidently knocking dolls over.

“Ohh, would I be better, judged more ‘normal’, if I just robbed a dealer (drug dealer), then it is doing some good?”

Ahh, this was going to need a bit more than the dolls just hugging it out.



25th March 2021

Man down 3 e1616692037997 - Prisoner Training & Placements

Man down e1616691618318 - Prisoner Training & Placements

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