UK
11/03/2013 15:09 GMT | Updated 11/03/2013 15:48 GMT

What Chris Huhne And Vicky Pryce Can Expect In Prison

Leaving their multi-million pound homes behind, Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce will find themselves at the heart of a riches-to-rags tale as they are both locked behind bars.

Huhne is likely to be taken to the "Victorian hell hole" Wandsworth prison, in south-west London, while Pryce is expected to be taken to Holloway prison in north London.

vicky pryce

Vicky Pryce in a prison van leaving Southwark Crown Court after sentencing

When Huhne arrives at Wandsworth he will be placed in a large reception cubicle - effectively a giant cage - with around 50 other prisoners from across the south east.

He will then be taken through a humiliating induction procedure - he will be photographed, fingerprinted, strip-searched and subjected to ultra-sound searching.

Next up, the former MP will be issued a prison number before he is given the opportunity to make a telephone call and and then he will have a shower.

Huhne can forget about sharp suits and ties while he is doing time - he will be fitted with standard issue prison clothes - blue jeans and a blue and white shirt.

Mark Leech, an ex-convict turned prisons expert and editor of inmates newspaper, Converse, said Huhne will then be assessed by mental health teams and believes the MP will be deemed at risk to self-harm or even suicide and placed in the prison hospital.

Mr Leech said: "He has fallen an incredible distance from grace in a very short space of time, until recently he was in complete denial of his offence and this is his first time in prison - as such he bears on his face all the classic hallmarks of a person susceptible to self-harm and suicide."

wandsworth prison

Chris Huhne may spend his first few weeks in Wandsworth prison

After his mental health has been assessed as safe, he will be moved onto the main prison wing where he will share a cell with one or maybe two other prisoners.

Built in 1851, Wandsworth is the largest prison in the UK, currently able to hold 1,665 prisoners. The cells are 12-feet long and seven feet wide with a window high in the back wall and a toilet and washbasin behind a small modesty screen in the corner.

Huhne will have to leave fine-dining behind for now, as he is presented with typical Wandsworth grub, such as a stew dubbed the "mystery bowl" and a cup of a bitter tea known as "diesel".

Mr Leech expects Huhne to be mocked by his fellow prisoners and even by the prison staff - with jibes about his privileged background almost inevitable.

Mr Leech continued: "Life as he has known it before today will never be the same again, its important to his safety that he doesn't put on airs and graces, he's a convict now, no different to anyone else in the prison and he needs to knuckle down, accept his fate and get on with progressing through the prison system."

It is likely that Huhne will be considered as a category-D prisoner and transferred to an open prison within a month, Mr Leech said, where he will have access to education, outside work opportunities, town visits and home leaves.

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