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Forced to stop


 
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Forced to stop and reflect

The experience of imprisonment, even though devastating under many points of view, has been, for some inmates, a time of forced reflection. Often, men and women forced "to be inactive" live moments of intense existential seeking which, at times, even becomes deeply spiritual. Thoughts and questions on life, human relationships, society, etc. become more frequent than in other contexts. The prison system struggles to take into account the inner rethinking process of the prisoners and often frustrates the "rehabilitation goal" which should be its primary task.

Furthermore, the prison brings out the poverty of one's fellow prisoners on a daily basis. There are cell-mates who have nothing; some inmates have to take care of those who have not received packages of food or clothing and frequently have to share that which they have received. Friendship and solidarity, at times, become a stronger daily experience than that which is lived on the outside. These deep sentiments still appeal to persons whose human journey, starting from a social condition of well-being, has been interrupted by the experience of prison. There are well-known stories of people who, once having left prison, have worked to defend the rights of those still behind bars.

Dear M., 

We look forward to receiving your group photo. If you have a few stamps, they would be useful for us because there are prisoners here with us who don't have anything and who ask me to forward their petitions and to write some letters for them, but they don't have any postage. When we receive packages with clothing, we give them some items and also share with other prisoners who have no family assistance.
Remembering you with friendship and affection, we thank you.

 


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