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Prisons are usually large- several hundred prisoners to a prison.

Each prisoner seems hugely separate, there is little sense of community.

The forbidding architecture, the high surrounding walls, watch towers, barbed wire, search lights, dogs and natural barriers like water or moor makes for an unease, a sense of incipient violence.

Prisons are increasingly over crowded with two or more prisoners to a cell and less opportunity for exercise and employment.

The staff and prisoners are at odds, there is no bond, the first task of the staff must always be to maintain security, law and order and to prevent escape.

The warders wear distinctive military uniforms; they issue orders;they are usually male; they are called “sir”; they carry large bunches of keys; and there is a continuous process of locking, unlocking and relocking of doors. The prisoner perceives them as the “enemy”.

The world of Prison is ruled by the bell or siren-to get up, to eat, to work, to sleep.

There is no privacy, no place to hide.

The first time a man or woman enters prison is a dreadful experience, it seems designed to annihilate the human spirit and to cow the soul.

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