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A Tour Through Hell: Prisons 101

Varun S | Staff Writer

An exploration of the dreariest, most dreadful and repulsive places across the world may not sound like the perfect way to spend an evening to everyone, but for those with even the slightest sense of morbid curiosity or a penchant for understanding the darkest recesses of the human mind, Prisons 101 was the place to be.

With a packed room set to go, the introductory speaker set the stage, explaining how the average prison system functions. What followed was a trip across the world, with elaborate descriptions of the vilest prisons, from those in Venezuela to Hong Kong to Scotland and even the infamous Alcatraz Island in the United States. While the first set of speakers focused on establishing the atmosphere of a prison, the latter half chose to focus on individual stories of prison breaks.

In one particularly fascinating segment, Vanshika described the horrific Tadmor prison in Syria as a “kingdom of death and madness”. The prison was eventually destroyed in 2015 by militants from ISIS, leaving everyone unsure of who the good guys were in the story. The event was consistently engaging and had a great mix of personalities among the line-up of speakers.

Finally, Anusha closed out the event with a thought-provoking piece on the effectiveness of prison systems, questioning the high recidivism rates in most countries. As the event wrapped, the crowd was left with a million questions about how prisons work and the dubious morality of the legal system. Only one thing was certain: Prisons 101 went down as a resounding success in the minds of everybody present.