On the other hand, were these dilemmas more theoretical than real? Surely friendships and emotional attachments are part of everyday life – there is no real environment in which people can make decisions in a ‘professional bubble’ as it were. Was the instinct to separate the two colleagues and move them to other wings just about the prison’s or my anxiety about sex or a censorious attitude to sex? Certainly, the staff on the wing at the time appeared to side with the couple and oppose their being moved, whilst the prison governor clearly supported my judgment that move they must.
I remember this time as one of the most painful experiences in my professional career. It all but ruined a summer break which came at the time the dispute came to a head. I had to endure the fury of the people involved and their staff colleagues, all of whom saw me as rigid and ‘moralistic’. Worse, I had to endure the suspicion in my own mind that they may be right.