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Caught Out | by JamesWired
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Caught Out

A photo through the window in the door of one of my long time friends who got himself thrown into a punishment cell just before my release. He told me he'd missed 'apel' (roll call). I didn't ask him where he'd been instead. The guard must have been in a really bad mood to have got him locked up for two weeks. Often if someone misses apel, they can pay the guard a bribe to forget the incident. While my friend rarely had money, he probably could have borrowed it if the guard had been so inclined.


Before being locked up, my friend has had his head roughly shaved and been slapped around. This was common practice, with the level of 'slapping' depending on the severity of the offence.


Despite living above them for the past four years, this was only the second time that I'd ever been into the dark, smelly corridor of punishment cells. The first time had been to visit my friend, Boy. Not surprisingly, conditions are really harsh in them and food very limited. Friends can take food and cigarettes in if they pay the guard on duty enough money.


I remember being woken up one night a couple of years earlier by very aggressive yelling. At first, I though it was one of the mad guys who were frequently locked up for months on end in the cells. It then became obvious that there was more than one person involved in what sounded like a drunken fight. This then turned into screams of pain. It went on for ages, waking everyone in the building up. Next morning I discovered, much to my disbelief, that two of the prison officers had been drinking for several hours with some of the guys being 'punished' in the cells. It seems that the guards had turned on one of the prisoners beating him badly. I sometimes felt I was living in a world without reason or logic.

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Taken on November 27, 2011