Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Naboro prison
Why Do They Escape?

Around 27 years ago when I was living in Nadera, I met a young man who had been released from prison. While having a yarn he said that he liked to escape  from prison because it gave him a high. He had been to jail so many times that he had lost count.

Then he said that escaping from prison was like an adventure, he had to scale the prison walls and then when in town he had to disguise himself, and each time he would go pass a police officer he would look away and pretend to do something. He said that the best part was when the search party was closing on him, he would treat it as a thrilling adventure until he was caught and given a smack on the wrist.

Recently there have been a number of prison breaks and one would ask why do the prisoners choose to escape? Are they like the young man that I describe above? Does it give them a thrill to escape and be hunted like an animal? I would really like to know why they escape because it only increases their prison time and of course they get a beating.

Could someone interview the escapees and ask them why they choose to escape? Is it to visit family, or attended a party or whatever?  Or are they fed up of prison life?

The Prison Department could interview the escapees and publish the report.

Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Fiji. I thank Allen for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.


Anonymous said…
Prison life has a culture of its own, with the oldest inhabitants holding more power than anyone else. prison officers are not always the enemy. Many prison officers empathize with the prisoners and are always asking for better prison conditions. So are judges who put them there in the first place! The fact is that no one in the law enforcement business wants prisons to be inhumane places because they are a constant reminder of the conscience. Escapees are often subjected to assault not because they are held in contempt by police and prison officers, but because the officers are frustrated by the waste of human resources running through jungle and bush for days and nights looking for the escapees while the rest of society lives in fear and puts the officers under pressure to arrest the escapees.As to why they escape, it would be difficult to generalize. They escape for a myriad of reasons - getting home to see a baby, going home for Christmas or a funeral, or going to check if wee wifey has decided to cut her losses and move on. The stories from prison never reflect one theory of why people are there, or how the courts treated any one offender, or how the prisoner is treated in prison, or why one would escape and not the others.To generalize would be a mistake.

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