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Brandon Lee O.

Ermitanio

This was my first time visiting a correctional facility. From the entrance the place is well
quite good. There were trees and enough space grounds,the facilities or buildings are in
good conditions. I am surprised that the provincial jail is like a small community than a
stereotypical prison of hard concrete floors and thick metal bars. The inmates like a
captured wild animal at the zoo but not. There were basketball courts, stores and
dormitories all around. The inmates at the Visiting House were ready to interact with us as
we shivered in the corner. They were wearing orange t -shirts as their uniform. The inmates
at the Visiting House acted more like street vendors that a stereotypical hardened criminals.
The fact that they were enclosed in a space with us students meant that the guards trusted
them enough not to hurt us. It was a terrifying situation at first, groping for a common
ground with people we don’t usually interact with.

As we walked towards the cells, I expected awkward silences and tensions upon meeting
the inmates.But some greeted as with good afternoon.Almost 30 individual inmates are
contained in a cell.We also interviewed somee inmates and we were surprised to know that
the povincial jail provides all their needs like food, work for them to make products and later
on receive payment in exchange. Thee inmates have strong bonds together that they often
help each others in terms of need.They have dormitories specially for inmates with wife that
want to stay for the night.Some also said that some would prefer to stay in jail rather than
being free because they say that life in the jail is more better than at the outside.

Perhaps what struck me was how they were enjoying what they are doing. I think it just
showed how restorative justice empowers even those who broke the law. There are times
when I wondered if they were actually unwilling to perform, if this was against their will. After
all, caged animals can perform entertainingly with a whip on the ringmaster’s hand. But I
didn’t think so. Instead of passively staying at the cells or toiling in the heat, they were also
given education and programs that will help them when they go out to the free community. It
does not aim to stigmatize them from society or mark them as so-called “trashes of society”
but possible agents of change.

The inmates are also separated by the degree of their crimes however as we intervied
some claimed that no all that were imprisoned are guilty. They were differentiated from each
other by number of their cells

Overall, this prison trip broadened my vision to the reality of what is going on in place
usually hidden from public view either because they were harmful or because they were
unpretty. Nevertheless, it opened my mind to a few questions that would be interesting to
find out more about. Are there certain kinds of inmates who benefit more from the
correctional facilities more? Is there some sort of a hierarchy between inmates even though
they are of the same facility? Why and how do correctional attempts usually fail or succeed?
How can corrections be improved to suit a diverse group of people where it’s not a one-
size-fits-all? What are the results of the corrections in the lives of the inmates after they go
out to the free community? These would be great studies in the future because it benefits
the rest of society and may even determine what activities could substitute criminal
behavior.
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