Life in prison looked like a new story inside the real-life that exists out there. Born and brought up in Takshi village, having the Takshi prison in a throwaway distance was a nightmare that never ended. From childhood to my youth, I grew in fear of what prisoners could do in the natural world that they needed to be secluded to a deserted place to mingle with people of their kind (Mauer et al. p.78). A young boy I was in my tender age meeting prison wardens, taking guard of the big electric fenced camp was a regular sight that could be defined as a routine. The loud prison bells waked the entire village, if not my age mates, to attend classes.
Curiosity did not kill the cat only as I was the next victim to give in the best part of my interest. I pursued my studies in line with the police force with the hope of watching the large gate of the Takshi prison and became a nightmare to kinds of the next generation to be brought up in the village. Time is known for the transitions and changes it impacts in our lives, and I was in no time qualified to be in the police force aligned to be posted to the various prisons and to take guard of the most significant fear life ever offered to me. It was a choice for one to make to be posted in a comfortable place to serve the nation in comfort, and I got my acceptance to be part of the Takshi prison wardens.
Glimpse to Quench my Curiosity
Life away to answer our wishes and quench the thirst for what we desire the most, and I could have a glance at what life inside a prison is like but lucky enough not as a prisoner. The prison bells no longer woke me up to run to school but inside the prison premises to have a long day with prisoners. I was amazed by the distance rules that were stated on my first day at work as Declan shouted, 'you are not prisoners, but you are the eyes of the imprisoned.' I did not imagine that being inside the prison would still leave me hanging as I did not get the direct answers, but at least I was in the right place to make my inquiries (King et al. p.67). A proper schedule was made that required the wardens to inspect the prisoners' residential areas, and my days started getting better than expected.
Four by four meters square, rooms with hardly enough space to breathe were someone's residential area for a jail term of over forty years Jacob the older man from Malka who had stepped on the hot calls of an unfortunate life. Well, lighten corridors and pathways that a non-occupant would not hesitate to enquire why. A lengthy life opinion was at last acceptable as the life of darkness did not need to be lit as the same actions that engraved the prisoners in the small square rooms were still their part of an inside presence. The environment was suspiciously clean as the interior rooms disapproved. Pieces of mattresses, metallic objects like spoons old bathing soaps, and old prison uniforms were lying all over in the places. Surprisingly, the faces seem to enjoy the environment and act as if that is their life destination.
The Prison Environment
Takshi prison was an old walled prison, with broken windows, filthy toilets, and all walls covered in writings by either a chalk, charcoal, or marker pens with messages that directly seem to attack the enemy whom we were to the prisoners (Telisinghe et al. p.110). My shallow knowledge of the prison facts landed me with an old prison worker from the kitchen who explained to have been in service for 20 years. "The figure of the insiders is two thousand prisoners and one hundred staff members in action, the only prison in Takshi County and with poor management' expressed the bitter words of Kin. The painful aspect of his speech stirred me to go ahead to various offices to quench my thirst as quickly as possible. It wasn't a long wander in the wilderness before my eyes landed on a prison handbook with my fast fingers directing me to the prison premises' challenges.
Prison strikes were unheard cases outside the prison gates, but here I was, reading that as the main problem affecting the prison I longed to serve in. The previously strikes had destroyed the wretched prison services like the doors and the prison mattresses. The demonstrations began in meal sessions with the prisoners pouring the food everywhere and to everyone without fear of anyone as they were in the deepest holes a person who has offended would be. Others would attack the wardens and hurting them as others directed their anger and fury to their prison enemies. I had to stop the reading from helping my heart regain its average pace and gather some courage to be a loyal prison servant.
Takshi prison routine was familiar to me as I joined the workers at my reporting hours. The notice boards were big enough even to pass a blind man's visions. Every corner of the prison had a sparkling whiteboard that was continually reminding the prisoners on their daily assignments and routine (Mauer et al., p.78). Being a part of the passing smoke, a little time under the whiteboard reflection, quickly gave me a clue of the morning roll calls that enable the administration to keep data of the prisoners' population without underestimating their ability to escape the well-guarded walls. It was also well defined that breakfast hours were immediately after the roll calls, and the prisoners would line up for their filthy meals in the kitchen served by their fellow inmates.
The prison leaders among the prisoners did distribution of various assignments by directing them to different roles, either cleaning, cooking, attending to the poultry areas, and also arranging the television room for the inmates. The duties were well distributed in favor of no one either in a short or in long jail term. Later in the evening, it was evident that the prisoners would earn an hour of sun drying and rest in the fields as the bright yellow and oversize uniforms were all over the prison gates appearing to be a flower plantation before they suddenly disappear. The next time you could observe the costumes' diversity from the prison, watching towers would be an hour before the supper meals. They could assemble in different pitches and courts to take part in daily activities in various games as I packed my green uniform and leave the prison to my home.
Freedom in Prison
"People are never bad enough unless they misuse a second chance of opportunity," the thick sound of David my routine partner would be heard every evening in the field as he supervised the prison sports. The prisoners were allowed to take part in various competitions that they believed they could do better in. The big, muscular, and well-built could participate in the boxing arena as others would join in volleyball and football as directed by David, the overall coach (King et al. p.67). The closest point of revelation was only one advantage weekend. I was allowed to take the prison football players across the fields to take a challenge from a village school from the Takshi environs where I managed to talk to the captain who seemed to obsess with the sport that the jail term.
The captain claimed that the sports gave them hope to be free someday and join the outside world and show that the jail was not a punishment all the way but a place to meditate and decide which way to go if a chance ever avails freedom. I was only a prisoner of the mind, with my curiosity guiding my whole life career and direction. Still, I had no clue how an actual prisoner would feel about a jail term, so all I could do was listen rather than take part in a dialogue of a night without a torch to lighten up the way.
Prison as a Life Changer
'We live to fight tomorrow' was common writing in bold black in the prison walls. Maybe tomorrow never came, and people needed some encouragement to see a new day and believe in the hope of salvation. Anyone would quickly tell that the Sunday priests in the prison chapel were the best thing for the prisoners as a cloud of loud voices singing would fill the environment. It was almost impossible to tell to whom each voice belonged to, but ideally, one could read a voice crying for hope and another desperate for freedom all in the same hall. Sundays were scarce prison days with the inmates maintaining a glittering face all the way and wrinkles of hope curved all over the foreheads. It was easier to misjudge that everyone was going to pack their thing that afternoon and leave the prison with a life-changing attitude only to resume the crude routine that did not care about hope or freedom but eventually paying for the sins of the past.
Despite the job jurisdiction of observing our line of duty, it was a more laborious than one could imagine being contained after noticing a secluded area behind the prison rooms with free space for exercise purposes fully occupied by the prisoners (Carroll, p.30). The prisoners had made their area for gym purposes that is where the boxing participants would enable their skills by consistent practice with the rest of the group cheering all over the prison area. It was a weird realization that the wardens also enjoyed the privilege of watching the internal sporting activities that involved the people they watch over every day, taking them through a brutal system without consideration of any consequences. The urge for prison knowledge was no at the maximum capacity, but I still could not tell what side I would choose to support.
Carroll, Leo. Hacks, blacks, and cons: Race relations in a maximum-security prison. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1974.
King, Roy D., et al. The future of the prison system. Farnborough: Gower, 1980.
Mauer, Marc, Ryan S. King, and Malcolm C. Young. The meaning of" life": Long prison sentences in context. Washington, DC: Sentencing Project, 2004.
Telisinghe, Lilanganee, et al. "High tuberculosis prevalence in a South African prison: the need for routine tuberculosis screening." PloS one 9.1 (2014): e87262.
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