Sep 28, 2013

Life after prison

If you are to look back in your life and say "I wish I didn't do that, what would that be?"

Two days ago, a friend of mine and I went to the prison to interview the prisoners for research purposes.

The life inside the prison as we know it, is uncomfortable, perhaps unbearable, and of course like any other prisons elsewhere, extremely restricted. But, here is a good news, it doesn't always give that impression for everyone, at least not for all female prisoners in Kurdistan.

I will not go about telling the story of the women inside the prison, at least not for now since I know soon (in few coming months hopefully) you will find out all about it in the research my friend is conducting with just a small help from me.

But there is one thing that's stuck on my mind and which I had the urge to say it here. Believe it or not for some of the female prisoners, prison is their second home if not the first.

When I was a freshman, I went to the prison to get some information for my presentation which I chose to be a short one about the life of some of the prisoners.

This time, we met only one prisoner, we spent an hour listening to her as she was recalling her story. With tearful eyes, she told us the reason why, when and how she was brought to the prison. She was just a year older than me, but you couldn't tell for she seemed to be a woman in her late 30s!

She had three kids whom she has lost contact with the day she entered the prison.

We asked her about her life in the prison, with a truthful smile she told us how happy she was to be in the prison and how many friends she had made there so far.

A woman with no family, a mother whom her children already believe that she is dead, what does the future or the life outside the prison hold for her really?

 I am not trying to portray the image of an innocent woman here, because I know she is to be blamed for her crime; but, aren't we also as individuals who make up the society responsible for their crimes? How does the society look at the wrongdoers, especially at the females? How does it portray them? Does the society even allow a small space for those women to adapt again into the normal environment?

For them, life after prison is way more difficult than the life in the prison. They go out to face life all alone with no money, job, or even a family around for some of them.

For someone who have been abandoned by her family and unable to adjust in a society where everyone looks at her with their doubtful and despised eyes, where else does she has to go to other than the streets? And who knows may be she will end up doing worse than what she has already done in the past, and soon end up in the prison, only this time for a lifetime.

I am not asking much, I am just asking the society to be a bit  more understanding. We really never know what these women had to put up with all their lives.
But, I know one thing and I am sure of, every single prisoner has a reason for what they have done. That behind every story  there is someone or something, especially for those who have committed minor crimes. You only need to hear it from them to truly believe that they are not to be fully blamed for their crimes.

And I also believe that sometimes destruction could be a way to rebuild something else, perhaps something better.  Because just like a deserted city, which once was full of vibration and life, those women were also vibrant and full of life at a point of their lives and all they need is a little help from you and me to rebuild what has been destroyed.