Rowan wasn't asked to any more Board Meetings. She had no doubt that meetings
were being held, she'd seen the rest of the Board in the building. She
concluded that it probably served her right for being so opinionated. Rowan's
current duties were flogging the rapidly dying horse that was the current
"Governor Stevens, is there any part of your prison at all that is unaware of Prison Life? Does everyone know we film there?" Rowan asked the Governor of F1 Secure Facility. "We need to observe, sir. We need to observe your inmates without them knowing that we're doing so."
"It's quite big news, Miss Hall." Stevens retorted defensively. "It isn't every day one gets a chance to appear on national TV."
Governor Stevens missed the point by so far that it vanished into the distance. The best of it was, it wasn't actually the prisoners as much as the staff that were to blame. They all spent more time beaming into the cameras than they did going about their jobs, watching the inmates! Short of rendering the staff unconscious before hand, and thus preventing them from alerting the prisoners to the cameras, Rowan was running out of ideas.
Rowan was almost in tears as she sat in her office and watched a re-run of the most recent episode of Prison Life. The officers may as well have formed a chorus line in the exercise yard and the prisoners executed a near perfect production of West Side Story. No wonder viewers were tuning out. It was getting embarrassing to watch. There was no other thing for it, they were going to have to leave F1 behind. That meant a huge upheaval to 'prepare' another institute, an upheaval that was going to be resented by the Board.
Rowan left her office in utter dejection to relay her terminal prognosis on Prison Life in F1.
"Rowan!" Brian Charlton came striding through the double glass doors that linked the second floor hallway with the offices. "Assignment from Mr Adams." He held up his briefcase. "Shall we?" Brian walked into Rowan's office without waiting for an answer.
"What sort of assignment?" As though it mattered. It was better than Rowan's pending wait in the unemployment queues.
"It's a branch off from Prison Life." Brian explained, taking folders of notes from his case. "It's to be filmed away from F1 and thus free from the buffoonery that's developed there. Basically, it's the filming of a prisoner in transit."
Rowan looked doubtfully at the papers. Would that be interesting enough?
"Transit from where?"
"From the public sector, probably courts or police cell, to F1's remand wing." Brian showed Rowan one sheet after another.
"We aren't allowed to film remand prisoners." Rowan pointed out.
"A point I brought up too. It seems that technically, they aren't remand prisoners until they're in the prison system. Their confinement while they await trial doesn't start until they're booked in at F1." Brian shrugged. Rowan wondered if she'd have time to look into that herself. It wasn't that she didn't believe Brian, but Rowan was a very big believer of reading, and interpreting, things first hand. That way there could be no 'I was told' or 'he said she said' backlash. "And this idea has been endorsed by the Board?" Rowan asked doubtfully. "Watching some bloke get a lift to prison in a cop-van?"
"According to the police we consulted, it's very entertaining indeed. Do you think they just sit there and smile about it?" Brian said.
"Well no, but a whole Show's worth? Even if they kicked off from start to finish, it still would end before the running time did. Or have we resorted to clips a-la-candid camera mode?" Rowan shook her head.
"This is exactly why I spoke out against you being asked to the Board meeting." Brian said starchily. "An outright negative comment like that would have set the lot on a downer, and you out on the streets. Are you even going to read that? I suggest you do."
"Do I need to? I don't really have alot of choice but to take it, do I?" Rowan said irritably. "The cast from Grease, there, is a dead loss." She wafted her hand at the dvd screen.
"Well obviously we aren't going to waste recording time on a ten minute jaunt from the police station to F1, Rowan. Get a grip. F1 is a major secure facility. It has a very large catchment area for remand prisoners due to it's proximity to the High Courts. We're observing the transportation of one of them from the next jurisdiction." Brian pointed to a printed map. "See?"
"All worked out, eh?" Rowan said sarcastically.
"More or less, yes." Brian answered flatly. "You get to sit up front with the cop-van driver."
"Deep joy." Rowan muttered. "Van rigged with cameras, I presume?"
"Yes. One of the officers in the van is a real officer, obviously, the other one is a camera technician." Brian informed her. "You're to get yourself up to the station on the 7am train, oversee the whole thing by just sitting in the van and doing nothing at all, then getting all the credit for it. I don't think I've ever seen such a skive in my life, Rowan, and there you are with a face as long as a fiddle." He preached.
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