Thoughts from prison

Sir -

On a date in early August of 2011 I was arrested by Limavady P.S.N.I. and taken to Derry Court - one of many occasions.

Due to my homelessness I have been in front of Mr. McElholm many times and have been given custodial sentences. He said for me to avail of the services provided by the prison.

I have a long-term alcohol addiction and to my disgust the sentences handed to me have not been long enough for me to be provided with proper help for my alcoholism. My homelessness hasn’t been dealt with either.

I have committed minor offences, such as shoplifting, not for profit, and disorderly behaviour. No crime is acceptable but I always pleaded guilty hoping for prison to get off the streets.

For my last offence on 13th August, 2011, I received seven months for disorderly behaviour. I went up scaffolding and refused to come down until I was re-housed. The police said they would help, in front of a priest. I ended up being arrested.

Now on 25th November, 2011, I will be released and I have nowhere to go. I’ve been told I am on the housing list but that I don’t have the points. Once again I am forced to live on the streets.

I can’t afford to pay for private housing. I can’t afford the ‘Derry Journal’.

Three alcoholics murdered in Limavady alone. I don’t want to be the fourth.

I would be grateful to you if you could help in any way.

Yours,

Desi McClements,

Magilligan Prison,

Derry.