The Scrubs

I was at Wormwood Scrubs for three months. It was at the same time Ricky Tomlinson was a prisoner.

Victorian institutional buildings have a character, but not one that appeals. The Scrubs was painted a typical institutional green, a colour you would never find on any colour chart and, presumably chosen to demoralise the inmates. It probably demoralised the staff too. Its most memorable feature was the smell. Take the smell of school dinner cabbage, add the stench of the drains and season it with tobacco smoke. The old mental hospitals smelt a bit like that, but they had disinfectant to temper it.

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