Stories and testimonials from inmates
«I started working outside the institution four days a week. Now the weight of prison life has decreased... »
Here in prison, the time passes slowly. It is marked by a heavy dose of routine: every day that passes is the same as the last. The fact that I am one of the few people lucky enough to have a career path thanks to a nonprofit that operates inside the prison helps the time pass more quickly.
Having surpassed this small obstacle, you begin the regular routine of an inmate. The day begins at 8:00 a.m. with the first count of the inmates where they verify that we are all present, and above all, that we are all alive (…).
Let’s say that sport and physical activity are very important for your health, but mostly they help you to pass the time and relieve the stress that accumulates every day due to the precarious situation of not knowing where you’ll end up once you’re released.
(…) Two months ago thanks to the organization and Art. 21, a recognized prison mandate, I started working outside the institution four days a week.
Now the weight of prison life has decreased, including the stress and anxiety. In fact, it is all gone, and I am left to think only about the future and how I will use this opportunity going forward.
«Can prison rehabilitate you? In my opinion, this might be the case, but nowadays I don’t believe so.»
Can prison rehabilitate you? In my opinion, this might be the case, but nowadays I don’t believe so. According to my personal experience, there needs to be more training courses, in the sense that a prison should help you to not only serve your time and follow the rules, but also help you to live in harmony with the external world and above all yourself. Many prisons are lacking in this aspect.
(…) Once you have resigned yourself and recognize how much time you will have to spend in prison and that you will have to eventually leave at the end of your sentence, you start to think about how to support yourself (financially, of course, but more importantly, also physically and mentally) and how to spend your time in the best way. You are lucky if you are able to work on a very difficult task—if you are that lucky, then you can start planning your day, and in time, your day-to-day life. In my opinion, once you are locked in that cell for a certain period, you start taking accountability for yourself and commit to building something.
(…) As far as practicing sports is concerned, if you are lucky to use a gym or play a sport during your time outside time, it is fundamental, as you are almost able to keep your nerves in check.
«Working inside the prison is the only outlet and potential for growth that inmates have to occupy their days.»
Working inside the prison is the only outlet and potential for growth that inmates have to occupy their days.
Fortunately, there are organizations inside prisons which are like an invisible thread, linking the world of inmates to real life and the reality of outside work, preparing and supporting us as women. This is the message I want to emphasize, which I hope all women will pick up: the negative experience of prison can allow them to give sense to their futures by exhibiting grit, courage and… finally, the possibility to start living life as a free person.
«Being in prison is a particularly bitter defeat, but working and having job satisfaction for me is a big win.»
Working in prison is a great opportunity, which helps give purpose to my existence.
In prison, I am deprived of so many things: it is like a separation “of life, from life.” Being in prison is a particularly bitter defeat, but working and having job satisfaction for me is a big win.