“Will you buy me a birthday card? Tomorrow is my birthday, and I won’t get one. The Gardai told me to call up – they won’t take me in. I enjoyed the bath and the lovely creams – don’t I look better?”

Jean, now 50, has been calling to TRUST for years. Her general appearance has changed since she first called, and she now looks like an old woman.

Special dates still mean something to her – the day her son made his First Holy Communion – she now has no contact.

St Patrick’s Day last year, she hammered on the door of the female prison to get in. ‘Why didn’t they let me in for a bed – sure they know me well? You are lucky, you’ll all go to heaven.’

We, in TRUST, do not apologise for saying we are glad when she is in prison – she is then safe, comfortable, and well cared for. When there, she writes daily, and letters get clearer as her time moves on. Letters to her partner also arrive – he also sleeps out. With the few euros she saves when in prison, she buys flowers and chocolates for us.

Why should prison be the only safe haven for Jean?