Like a lot of preconceptions, prison was completely different in reality. There were no steel bars and the view was beautiful from the manicured gardens.
The most visible differences from the world on the outside was the fact that these men all looked at their physical peak. Their exteriors were so well turned out.
Many of the men had girlfriends visiting but where were their dads, brothers and mates? Is that the reason these men are here inside, there are no male role models for them? It seemed that could be the case.
Apparently the majority of prisoners do not even get visits so perhaps the gender of the visitor is in fact irrelevant, just knowing that someone cares should be enough? We all need a hand to hold no matter how strong we appear to be on the outside.
The correction centre had the disciplinary air of a school and yet these were grown men. You knew who was in charge and you certainly didn’t want to step out of line. There was also the obvious hierarchy amongst the prisoners which kept fear alive and eyes twitching.
For some this is just ‘fattening up for the next run’. There is no other way of life, no one to help them, no one that has penetrated their mental walls, nobody that has shown connection whilst they are on the inside.
What struck me most and I guess what we observe in everyday life is how lonely prison must be. But then so many of us choose to be lonely even when we are on the outside.
What I experienced was a tiny example of this walled society. A taste of the outside in or inside out!