Monday, December 19, 2011
Open Prison - The First Week Part 1
The uninitiated often assume, if unthinkingly, that a move to Open prison would include something of a culture shock.
After all, there are few locked doors, no barred windows, no security fence...oh, the freedom!
I must disappoint you. Liberty is the natural, default, state and it is confinement which provides the culture shock. And never forget that Open prison remains prison. The lack of bars and fences only serves to highlight the essence of modern incarceration - it is based upon bureaucracy and managerialism. These things remain, perhaps exist in an even stronger form, in Open prison.
Open prison is also mindbendingly bloody boring. Being unlocked all of the time forces us to live an extremely long day, far removed from the fragmented days in Closed prison where we psychologically adpat to bang-up via the medium of sleep or bad TV. With seemingly little to do in these long days, boredom quickly sets in.
As culture shock goes, the psychological effects of moving to Open are no greater than being moved between two Closed prisons. Each has differences and nuances, but the dimension of physical liberty is not hugely significant.
Labels: open prisons