Sunday 17 March 2024

Prisons and prisoners


Fortunately I’ve never been in prison and furthermore hope I never will. However, I have recently seen and read about this topic and it has made me think about the the whole institution

Firstly, I watched Prisoner, a danish production of 6 episodes on BBC4 and iPlayer. This follows the stories of four prison officers and their interactions with the inmates while they are striving to keep the prison from shutting down to keep their jobs. At the start of a shift, the prison officers greet each other with “Have a boring day” wishing for calm in an environment like a pressure cooker where anything could cause an explosion. Sometimes brutal, often thought-provoking and always compelling.

Next, I read a book by Andy West entitled The Life Inside A Memoir of Prison Family and Learning. This gives a different take on prison life. The author comes from a family with members who have done time. Andy teaches philosophy in various prisons and uses ideas from philosophers to initiate discussion with the prisoners about their lives inside and and listens to their emotions. In parts sad, in parts funny, it makes you consider the demise of prisoners and prison officers and even empathise with them.

I do enjoy reading about topics that broaden my outlook and written from the point of view of others and outside my experience. How about you?

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