Shannon in Prison (1)
https://www.deviantart.com/mjaager/art/ ... -699463257
Shannon is an inmate serving a 14 year sentence in isolation at a SE Asian women's prison. I work as a guard on that isolation unit.
I arrive at isolation cell #11 today with two guards and peer inside; Shannon, the 30-year-old inmate who resides here, is looking absentmindedly out the narrow slit window in the back wall of her cell. The brown-haired blue-eyed inmate is completely nude; inmates on the isolation unit are not allowed clothing, although here in Southeast Asia it is not really needed as it is hot year-round.
I pound on the window on the cell door, rattling the thick vertical pane. "Security position PLEASE!" I holler. Shannon immediately turns away from the window, puts her hands behind her head and strides a few steps to the left hand wall of her cell. She then stands perfectly still like this, staring intently at the painted grey wall, hands behind head awaiting orders. The cell she is standing in is extremely sparse - just a raised concrete bunk with a sleeping mat and a toilet. That's it. No foreign objects of any kind are allowed in isolation which is the highest-security zone of the women's prison.
Shannon is 5' 6" and exactly 133 pounds. I knew I was going to be writing about Shannon next, so a few days ago I looked it up (ie. read her last medical) so I could give you readers exact figures. She is a little different from most Western inmates in that she is not in prison for drug or sex offenses; rather, she is serving a 14-year term for attempted murder. She tried to kill her sister one night during a family vacation to this country; I guess they were on the beach and she just snapped - she took the iron rod used for stoking the beach fire and started beating her sister with it, who barely survived. I know about Shannon's crime in such detail because she won't shut up about it, that's all she ever wants to talk about. Like I'm her therapist instead of her jailer.
If I had to sum up Shannon's personality it would be '30-year-old urban professional', as cliched as that sounds. I know this again because Shannon likes to talk about her life before prison - for example she's told me all about the office she used to work in. Most inmates in isolation, especially Western ones, don't talk too much about themselves (or anything). Shannon is the opposite - returning from shower or rec you will often see her standing in the doorway of her cell, hands on hips, chatting about something with a guard, not a stitch of clothes on her. Usually you just politely listen for a couple seconds and then order her to get in her cell.
The two guards behind me are holding shackles; with Shannon in the 'security position', I open the heavy cell door and enter Shannon's small, hot cell. The two guards proceed to the raised concrete bunk and set up the shackles - two at the foot of the bunk for Shannon's ankles and two at the top for her wrists, which means she will be restrained face down. We're here because today is Thursday and Shannon spends eight hours shackled to her bunk in four-point restraints on Thursdays as part of her 28 hours a week of Administrative Restraints (AR).
AR is used frequently in the isolation unit, either as direct discipline for an infraction or precautionary reasons. This is an actual, real 'tough on crime' country and they don't bother with chemical 'restraints' here when cold hard steel is so much more effective. Shannon has very good compliance so she doesn't usually spend much time in AR, but she's doing a small 28-hour-a-week stint right now for an incident that happened a couple weeks ago.
(In case you are interested, a 28 AR would be served like this: 4 hours on Mondays, then 8 hours each on T-W-R).
Unlike Emma, whose cell in #8 remains empty while she serves her time in the Hole, Shannon did not deliberately choose be adjudicated an Isolation inmate. Rather, at her pre-sentencing hearing, her medical record showed significant antidepressant use from 2007-2011 and again from 2013 to 2015 which prompted the judge to assess her as a psychiatric risk (again all details courtesy Shannon). All inmates assessed as such live in isolation; when Shannon arrived at this prison she was processed and sent directly to the Unit, an intake which I still remember (and maybe will tell you in a later entry).
As the shackles are set up Shannon stands still in front of me, staring at the wall, no expression on her face; she has been in isolation since she arrived in prison 4 months ago and going in restraints is now routine for her. Her fine brown hair is pulled back in a tight ponytail which stands in profile against the pale grey of the back cell wall. She has round, C-cup breasts with small nipples and a small tuft of fine brown pubic hair pokes out from between her legs. Finally, the preparation is done, and each guard stands still awaiting Shannon's entry.
"Bed. Now." I order, pointing to her bunk for emphasis, and she turns around and pads the short distance to it. It's weird, even as I'm watching her pale round ass stride into bed, for me what really drives home the total nudity of an inmate is the sound of their bare feet on the tile floor. Shannon has good compliance with getting into restraints but Thursdays can be a little trying for her - it's her fourth straight day in restraints and at this point in the week she's getting tired of them. It's irksome when you consider how little time Shannon spends in AR compared to some inmates.
Shannon just lets out a sigh as she climbs into her bunk and says "I guess we're doing this again!" in a sarcastic tone of voice. Shannon really dislikes restraints - she's not an overly active inmate but she's told me she doesn't like the feeling of being physically held down, which makes them an excellent disciplinary tool for her. She lies still on the bed, face down with her hands over her head as the guards secure the shackles in place on her wrists and ankles.
Finally the guards click the final shackle in place, leaving Shannon lying nude on her bunk, wrists above her head and legs slightly apart in an elongated 'X' shape.
"Are the shackles too tight?" I ask.
Shannon hates this question - if you say 'no', it's like you're acquiescing to your own shackling.
"No" mumbles Shannon. Then she looks up at me and says:
"You know six months ago I could be trusted with clothes and I didn't have to be chained to my bed for safety. I don't think I need to be now, even just panties would be OK too." Now this is precious - a violent offender lecturing me about safety.
Remembering the details of her case I simply reply "Well maybe you should have been. Double restraints for you today - 16 hours." Shannon pressed her head into the mat, arching her long neck, and let out an angry, frustrated groan. Although in a way it's too bad that Shannon finally snapped in this country and not back home, where she could have served a cushy sentence in a Western prison, maybe this way she is getting the real punishment/correction a self-centered girl like herself needs.
As we leave, Shannon deliberately shakes her shackles and says "Bye!", with a wide, sarcastic smile on her face. The best response is to simply close the heavy cell door behind us.
Shannon in Prison (1) by Mjaager
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Shannon in Prison (1) by Mjaager
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