Former Prisoner Explains What Life Was Like Behind Bars In Lockdown
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A former prisoner has revealed what life was like behind bars during Covid-19 lockdowns. Watch her explain why she went to prison and talk about her experiences inside below:
Rhe, from Coventry, UK, was sent to HMP Eastwood Park in July last year and spent 11 months in prison after she was arrested for supplying class A drugs.
Following her release, the 26-year-old has been opening up about her experiences behind bars on TikTok.
And while Covid-19 lockdowns have been hard for all of us, Rhe claimed it heightened prisoners' isolation.
In one of her videos, she said: "You're locked in your cell for 23 hours in the day, no visits, no association time, gym.
"Some people say 'But you're in prison' - it's not good for anyone's mental health to be locked in a 6x9 prison cell."
Rhe added that most inmates could order items such as chocolate bars and fizzy drinks on a £20-a-week budget from the canteen.
And while fights happened, the former prisoner said they were not as frequent and large-scale as those often depicted on the screen.
As for sex in prison, Rhe claimed depictions in films and movie are closer to the truth, with relationships between women commonplace - even women who have husbands on the outside.
Indeed, maintaining relationships on the inside can be difficult, as Rhe herself knows, having been dating current girlfriend Michelle while in prison.
Opening up about the obstacles, she said in another video: "I'd say me being in prison did cause a bit of stress in the relationship, it wasn't easy.
"From my point of view you'd get stressed out about stupid things inside there and then you'd end up taking it on the outside, the people closest to you, it wasn't easy was it?
"But we made it, we made it!"
Rhe has quickly amassed more than 21,600 followers on TikTok, where she answers questions from followers about life in a women's prison.
And while people have been stunned by her stories, Rhe has been equally shocked by the response.
She said: "The reactions from my videos were bigger than I expected.
"There are a few negative comments as expected but I have had a lot of positive comments from people.
"I think people are most shocked about the fact that inmates were locked in the cells for so long due to Covid-19 and the fact people who commit petty crime are sharing with murders and paedophiles.
"I have only been out of prison for three weeks so far, so I am just enjoying my freedom spending my time with my partner and family and trying to get back to a normal life."
HMP Eastwood Park has been contacted for a comment.