Trevor and I spent this afternoon in prison - as visitors, I hasten to add.
We went through vigorous security checks, lasting for more than an hour. We each took 2 forms of ID, we went through an infra-red machine, were searched thoroughly and Trevor had his thumb-print photographed (required for male visitors only as it was a prison for men). We had our mouths inspected on 3 separate occasions and were checked by sniffer dogs for drugs. Our hands were brushed with some kind of invisible liquid, which showed up on an ultraviolet machine, which served as a permit to exit the prison after our visit. Trevor also had his thumb-print verified on 4 occasions. We had a book, a mouth spray and some tissue temporarily confiscated as NOTHING was allowed in.
All this security and no-one happened to notice the large safety pin I was wearing to attach a poppy to my jacket. It makes you think doesn't it? It's a stringent procedure to prevent drugs entering the prison, which I'm totally in favour of, but sharp dangerous objects? I must admit, I didn't even give it a thought until we were leaving the prison and obviously neither did anyone else.
Safety pins aside, this was our first prison visit and the staff were commendable. They were helpful and efficient and we were impressed.