​Bonds within walls

​A lawbreaker who was imprisoned will not tell you everything that goes on inside the fence.

It’s a silent rule perhaps - what happens on the inside, stays inside.

But one obvious thing is the bond and relationships built within.

Loop PNG had the opportunity to talk with some inmates in the Bomana prison and here are some of their views.

“We live a normal life just like anybody else outside the fence. We live everyday like any other day in here (prison),” says *Noel.

“We only go out when we have a court hearing. Those whose family come to visit, have that opportunity. But, to me, it’s like I’m still at home.”

Noel was imprisoned only this year.

Another inmate, Robin, who has been serving since 2015, also shared his experience.

“I felt like there was no hope,” he recalls.

“I’d find myself staring at the fence and thinking about home.”

Robin began involving in programs and activities that took place in the yard and eventually got over his homesickness.

Now, he is grateful for the brotherhood in the yard that will continue even outside the fence.

“This is my new family,” he says, beckoning towards the other young men who surrounded us, listening.

“I wouldn’t have met these brothers if I hadn’t come in. We spend every day together, and yes, it has become more like a home now – it’s like we’re at a boarding school,” he adds.

He says each day, organisations such as the yoga body – Yu Yet PNG – Charity sisters of Tokarara or the YWCA visits them as per the roster.

But even while life seems normal at this stage; Robin has a heavy heart, when he thinks about the day he will be released.

“I worry that when I’m released, the people who I committed the crime against might attack me – that’s the main concern,” he revealed.

(*Names have been changed. Identities cannot be revealed because the sources are juvenile)  

Gloria Bauai