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Prison journalism: Life behind bars – Connections with wardens

Lincoln Raker was incarcerated at Pollsmoor prison from 2013 until 2016 and participated in the restorative justice programme while serving his time


Image via Unsplash

I believe that having a connection with a warden is beneficial. In prison, it’s every person for themselves, which involves a lot of internal power dynamics.

The Benefit of a Relationship with a Warden

Having a relationship with a warden can significantly ease prison life. Being incarcerated cuts you off from your supplies, and a warden can act as a middleman for your needs and wants. The advantage is that no one would suspect the warden of doing your bidding. Gaining leverage over the wardens is a major advantage in prison. If you need something from outside your reach, the warden can assist and keep you informed about any developments, putting you ahead in the prison hierarchy.

Risks and Consequences

If a warden is caught with contraband meant for you, the responsibility falls on him. He will face consequences, possibly involving higher authorities. Prison can be a depressing place, filled with people seeking retribution. Being part of such a scheme is risky, but having someone else to take the blame can be a relief, though it comes with its own set of moral and ethical concerns.

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Reintegration into Society

Returning to your community after spending time in prison is challenging. Things change; boys grow into men, and girls into women. The influence of drugs can be damaging, often leading to devastated lives and fractured relationships.

The key is to gain control over your life and stay ahead in your personal journey, focusing on positive growth and better decision-making post-incarceration.

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DISCLAIMER: Submission published as received

RESTORE is an NGO based in Cape Town, South Africa, providing inmates at Pollsmoor Prison with restorative justice opportunities.

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