Friday, 29 April 2016

Do Prisons Really Make Offenders Worse?

A lot of people think that prison is a place where crimes sits and breeds, the idea is that if you put people in prison they will get worse. Is it really unavoidable? Will offenders really turn into even more of a corrupt and violent person when they leave prison?

The main conversation topics among prisoners is generally crime, drugs and gossip about who did what and to who. They often brag about what they have done and even team up with other criminals in jail and hatch new plans and schemes. Some carefully engineer crimes that are committed by other people outside prison. These inmates are often gang leaders who can influence people outside the prison walls.

A number of offenders were recently interviewed in numerous institutions about whether or not jail really makes someone worse than they were before.

Their answers may be surprising! Inmates emphasize that choices are continually made about how time is served. Some aspire to be prison kingpins.

Confinement is just one more arena in which to conduct criminal operations. Others, however, have an entirely different view and make choices in an entirely different decision. They adhere to the prison rules and policies while remaining out of the "action." Fed up with how they have lived, they desire to change or, at the very least, not risk incurring new charges which will extend their time in prison. They participate in programs and try to get along with other inmates and with institutional staff.

Inmates who abstain from criminal activities in prison remain cordial, to other inmates. Not wanting to be tagged as "snitches" or informants, they participate in a variety of activities that do not violate the rules. And they have no interest in committing new crimes. Some develop disgust (that they do not express publicly) with their fellow inmates who are perpetually devising new schemes, con games, and manipulative maneuvers. They report that others leave them alone and do not try to pressure them into involvement in more violations and crimes. They have found that, usually, the other inmates respect them.

In short, just as he did in the free world, an inmate chooses the people with whom he develops close associations. He makes decisions about the type of person he wants to be. He decides what temptations he will resist.

By no means is it inevitable that he will become a more hardened criminal or a more dangerous person because he is serving a sentence in a correctional institution. In fact, spending time in prison marks a turning point toward a positive direction.  A prison expression is to make time serve you not just you serving time.

NICRO is committed to turning lives around - We encourage all South Africans not to stand back, but become involved either by donatinga monthly amount, a once-off donation or look at the NICRO wish list for support in kind for around the country and see how you can assist.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

5 Tips on how to raise your teenager successfully

Raising a teen is not as simple as you think. It takes a lot. especially time, effort and attention. The worst part of raising a teen is not knowing if you have done a good job until your teen is all grown up. So, in order for a parent to believe that they have been successful in raising a decent human being, they need to know that their teen will be places in their lives.

Lets take a look at some helpful tips that will help parents to raise their teenagers successfully...

  • Keep your eyes on the prize. The main goal for every parent is to bring up a happy, successful human being who will have the best life. With that being said, it can often be simply impossible to do. At times you may want to give up on raising your teen, but always keep your goal in mind and this will help you and your teen through the tough times.
  • Learn to communicate with your teen successfully. Communication surrounds everything we do, it goes so much deeper than just talking to your teens. It includes a need for parents to convey their unconditional love of their teen, employ a discipline that works for both the teen and parent, show a teen how to successfully use the world around them and more. Sometimes communication with teens means no communicating. By the time your child is a teen, parents should know body language that points to the fact that something is wrong - or something is right. But because your child is a teen, they might not share what is wrong or what is wrong may just be the growing pains of the teen years. Parents of teens will be willing to not bug their teen and just keep an ear out for when their teen does want to talk - and an eye out for any trouble.
  • Build your teen's confidence and self-esteem. When your raise a confident young adult with a healthy self-esteem, they go on to do things in their lives that bring happiness and joy to themselves and those around them. They are not afraid to achieve or to do the work it takes to achieve their best. You can be less worried about what is going on in your teen's world when they have a strong self-esteem because that means they will be able to make the right choices.
  • Support your teen's need for individuality. Children need time to become who they will be. We know people don't just start out being who they are. But parents do have a glimpse and can help guide their teen by supporting their teens choices in activities, hobbies and friends. Being available to drive your teen to practice, purchasing art supplies and seeking out opportunities for your teen to develop strong friendships are all things parents, who want to be successful at raising their teen, can do to support their teen's individuality.
  • Employ fair and firm discipline. Discipline changes as your child grows up and becomes a teenager. But it doesn't stop. Your teen will still need your guidance and discipline. You will still need to say 'no'. You will still need to have consequences in place if your teen refuses to adhere to your family's rules. Basically, fair and firm discipline is you, the parent, creating a discipline plan for your teen that is fair to both of you and sticking to it using a firm and loving approach. When you employ the fair and firm discipline approach your teen will learn the value of doing what is right along with how to take responsibility for their actions. It's a win-win that leads directly to raising your teen successfully.
NICRO is committed to turning lives around - We encourage all South Africans not to stand back, but become involved either by donating a monthly amount, a once-off donation or look at the NICRO wish list for support in kind for around the country and see how you can assist.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Racism 101

Racism is when you treat someone differently of unfairly because of the colour of their skin or their culture. If you are the victim of racism, know that what they are doing is illegal and just because you are different doesn't give them the right to treat you differently or abuse you.

What exactly is racism?

Racism can mean a variety of things. It is when someone is treated in an unfair manner because of their race or culture, it is also when someone is prejudiced against because of their religion or nationality.

One example is seeing a Muslim person and immediately assuming they are a terrorist. This is wrong and not true at all!

It is illegal to treat people differently or unfairly because of their race and nobody has the right to make you feel bad or abuse you.

Racism can include:

-- written or verbal threats or insults
-- damage to property, including graffiti
-- personal attacks, including violence

Why are some people racist?

Someone who's a racist can feel threatened by anyone who's from a different race or culture.

Our views and beliefs develop as we grow up. If you grow up within a racist family, or have friends who are racist, you may believe that racism is normal and acceptable.

Prejudice of any kind is often based on ignorance and fear of things that are different. Don't dislike what you don't know. Find out more by reading, learning about things online, talking to people who might have a different perspective to you and getting lots of different views before you make up your mind.

Imagine being someone else and what this would be like. Think about how you'd like to be treated.
Being bullied or treated differently can be hard. It might seem easier to avoid situations where the racist abuse might happen, like not going to school. This usually won't help it go away. And it can make you feel worse.

Things you can try to help stop the bullying:

-- Accept that it's not your fault - It can be tough if you're having a hard time, but remember you're not the one to have caused the problem.

-- Tell someone what's happening to you - This could be a close friend or an adult you trust.

-- Keep some evidence - This could be a diary of events, saved messages and a record of when things happen. This can be useful to show others that you need help.

-- Keep yourself safe - You could walk home with someone you trust, change privacy settings online and block users who bully you.

Young people have told us:

"People laugh at me and call me names because I have red hair and freckles."

''I get told to be avoided because I'm from Pakistan and people say I am a bad person''

''Boys at school call me horrible names because my family and I are Jehovah's Witnesses.''

Whatever you're going through, you can talk to someone. Don't hesitate to contact NICRO whenever you or a loved one needs help.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Nathi Mankayi - Life after prison

Nathi Mankayi shares his inspirational story with us about life after prison and how he has decided to commit his life to something else entirely.

Just a few short years ago, Nathi Mankayi found himself in prison. Why? Because he and some of his friends turned to a life of crime and robbed someone. They were then sentenced to eight years in jail, with four years suspended.

On the day that Mankayi finally left jail, he promised himself that he would focus on one thing and one thing only - Music!

Now, the 32-year-old singer is among the most sought-after musicians in the country. His debut album, Buyelekhaya, has gone double platinum and he is among the artists who performed at the first BET Experience Africa festival.

Mankayi admits that he is feeling exhausted. “I’ve been performing so much, I can’t even keep count of the gigs I’m doing or the ones that I’ve been booked for in the next few months.”

But being asked to perform at the BET festival was a career highlight for him.

“Being on stage with some of the biggest names in music is a dream come true for me. It makes me believe that I am really doing a good job in the music industry.” Mankayi says he brought real soul to the festival, which took place on December 12 last year in Johannesburg.

“The key to my success has been the fact that I stay true to the person that I am. I grew up in a small town in the Eastern Cape where humility is very important. This is where a lot of the inspiration for my music comes from.

“So whichever stage I’m on, I want to share my upbringing with the audience and I hope that it evokes positive memories of where they come from as well.” Mankayi has also stood out as one of few South African musicians who sing in their native language, in his case, isiXhosa.

“I don’t think I’m going to be writing a song in English any time soon,” he says with a laugh. “Song writing comes naturally to me and it feels right when it’s in isiXhosa. I feel like if I sat down and forced myself to write a song in English, the song would lose that something special.

“There are also a lot of things that I don’t know about the English language, so I think I’d rather stick to a language that I’m actually sure of. That way I can be as expressive as I want to be.” Mankayi is excited to give back to his community.

NICRO is committed to turning lives around - We encourage all South Africans not to stand back, but become involved either by donating a monthly amount, a once-off donation or look at the NICRO wish list for support in kind for around the country and see how you can assist.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Peer Pressure can Lead to Juvenile Crime

Peer pressure can lead a teen to do just about anything, even criminal activities! Read on to learn how peer pressure among teens can lead to crime and ways to prevent it.

There are a number of reasons why a teen would commit a crime - stress, a bad upbringing, drug abuse - but peer pressure is up there at the top in playing a very prominent role in it. The teen years are the years mostly made up of development and exploring life. Teenagers are young, immature and haven't experienced much, so there is a high chance they will make the wrong decisions.

Because teens are still young and stupid and not fully mentally evolved, they often do not make the right decision. This is why preventative measures must be taken to prevent acts of crime because of the dreaded peer pressure.

These are some reasons why teens end up committing crimes under peer pressure.

Check the Environment
Often in today’s society crime is a part of the regular life. There are cities where violence is an everyday affair, for instance, there are scuffles, shootouts, gang wars and so on. Even domestic crimes in myriad forms can prove to be a harmful and negative environment for the kid to grow up. Such conditions enhance the chances of the teen to fall victim to commit criminal activities under peer pressure. Besides such an environment also fosters the birth and functioning of peer groups that indulge in violence.

Bad Role Models
Usually teens follow the behaviours, look and acts of their role models. If the role model happens to be a negative one, it is possible that the teen would indulge in crime either under peer pressure readily, or commit it solo. As teens it is not easy for them to understand the implication of law and legal regulations for certain acts, so they may misjudge the impact of the criminal offense right at the beginning. Peers often instill a false belief that if they do such an act together, they can escape being caught.

Extreme Dependence on Peers
If the peer group is a negative one, it is quite possible for the teen to get involved in criminal activities easily. The first reason being that they might be bullied to become a member of the peer group as otherwise, they might be isolated and labelled as ‘uncool’. So in order to fit in, they give in and become an active participant. They also validate their ideas by the peer group and shape their thoughts as per the dictates of the peer group.

Given such a situation, it can be pretty challenging to control the peer pressure and crime relationship. Through effective parenting and guidance, this can be achieved. Put an end to aggression right at the beginning. Teach the teen to control his emotions and anger, help him learn how to exercise restraint. The first point to keep in mind here is that, you should become a good role model yourself. You must not lose your temper and maintain calm.

You can help the teen learn a lot through your composure and patient attitude. Advise him to practice exercises like meditation or yoga sessions, even regular physical workouts or sports so that he can effectively control his emotions when provoked. Teach him that issues can be resolved through peaceful communications too.

NICRO is committed to turning lives around - We encourage all South Africans not to stand back, but become involved either by donating a monthly amount, a once-off donation or look at the NICRO wish list for support in kind for around the country and see how you can assist.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Underage drinking - a deadly habit

Eight people were tragically killed and 10 more injured in a tavern in Makaza, Khayelitsha in June 2015 when a metal staicase collapsed. The most shocking part of this story? Most were underage!

After the Makaza tavern incident, the frightening truth was revealed about underage drinking in South Africa. However, has this incident really changed our youths behaviour towards drinking alcohol?

A recent study done by the Wits' School of Public Health showed that 12% of young people start drinking at the tender age of 13, and even before!

Statistics also showed that binge drinking has become a norm and is steadily increasing amoungst teen girls.

So, why do teenagers continue to use alcohol?

Underage drinking can be caused by a variety of reasons, lets take a look at the three most common reasons:

  • Boredom & New Friends

Some teenagers have trouble concentrating on school work and finding genuine hobbies. They crave taking risks and don't want to be alone. So, alcohol can be used to keep them busy and look cool in-front of their friends.

  • Lack of Confidence

Some teens may try to get drunk before going to a party to give them the confidence to do things that they would otherwise not do.

  • Rebellion

Alcohol is the drug of choice for teenagers because it frees or allows them to behave aggressively. This aggressive behaviour can be a display of rebelliousness and rejection of their parents and rules.

NICRO is committed to turning lives around - We encourage all South Africans not to stand back, but become involved either by donating a monthly amount, a once-off donation or look at the NICRO wish list for support in kind for around the country and see how you can assist.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Speak up about Physical Abuse!

What is physical abuse? Well, physical, abuse is when someone hurts or injures you on purpose. No, this does not only mean hitting or kicking, it can include anything from hair pulling and beating with objects to throwing and shaking.

Even if you feel that you were in the wrong and it was your fault, NO ONE has the right to hurt you in this way!

Read on to find out how physical abuse can make you feel, what defines physical abuse and who can physically abuse you...

Physical abuse can make you feel:
  • frightened and anxious
  • depressed and sad
  • lonely and isolated
  • like you want to self-harm or run away
  • angry
  • worthless with low self-esteem
  • unable to eat normally
  • unable to sleep properly
  • numb or like you've been cut off from your feelings
  • unable to concentrate at school or college
  • guilty and worried that it is your fault (it isn't)

What are examples of physical abuse?

Physical abuse is when someone is hurting you. This could be hurting you with their hands, their feet, or an object. It can involve:
  • hitting and smacking
  • slapping
  • punching
  • pinching
  • kicking
  • shaking or suffocating you
  • scalding or burning you
  • scratching or biting
  • hair pulling
  • spitting or throwing things at you

Anybody can be physically abusive, including:
  • your mum or your dad
  • brothers and sisters
  • other people in your family
  • a boyfriend or girlfriend
  • other adults or young people.

Bullying may often include physical abuse.

Sometimes, when we are used to something happening, it feels like it is part of normal life. This can make it hard to understand that what is happening is wrong. It can happen if you are in a situation where abuse has been going on for a long time.

Always remember, it’s not your fault. No one has the right to hurt somebody else. They may say they have reasons for doing it, but none of those reasons are acceptable.

The person who is hurting you might tell you that it’s your fault or that they are punishing you. But nothing you have done makes it okay for someone to hurt you. Abuse is never your fault.

If someone is hurting you, they are aware of what they are doing and know it is wrong. They may try to stop you telling anyone about what is happening.

Everyone has the right to be safe, and no one has the right to hurt you. It shouldn’t happen and can be stopped. You can get help by talking to NICRO or to someone you trust.

If you are being physically abused and feel you are in immediate danger, you should consider calling the police or someone who can help!

Monday, 18 April 2016

Why do teenagers run away from home?

The teen years are a time for exploration and discovering about yourself, but boundaries set by parents, teachers and the world in general can cause a teen to act up. Staying out late and disobeying orders are some of the things teens may do when reacting to this, BUT some may take this to the next level by running away from home.

Having your child run away is every parent's worst nightmare! You may be used to teens running away in movies, but in real life it is more common than you may think.

A study showed that this can happen to anyone, children from wealthy homes are just as likely to run away as children from low-income households. And it is slightly more common for young girls to run away than boys.

A lot of teenagers who run away decide to do so on the spur of the moment. This means they probably won't have thought about where they'll go, where they'll sleep, how they'll get access to money or how running away might affect their family.

Often, they're running away from problems at home or at school. Some are dealing with very serious issues at home, such as neglect, drug and alcohol addiction (their own or their parents), mental health problems, violence and abuse. A few teens are even forced to leave home by their parents or careers.

Others come from perfectly 'normal' family backgrounds and are trying to escape common problems, such as bullying, relationship difficulties, loneliness or family breakdown.

But the problems teenagers face on the street are often even worse than those they have endured at home. In many cases, children and young people who end up alone on the streets are at risk of sexual exploitation, drug and alcohol dependency, abuse and violence.

Talking to NICRO, who know how to deal with these issues can help arm you with new tactics and a fresh perspective.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Confessions Of A Prisoner

Plenty of bad things happen in prison, few compare to the horrors of moving to a new jailcell in a new wing... There is a story told directly from the mouth of a prisoner...

What’s the worst thing about being moved to a new prison?  Probably the lottery you face on arrival. What’s your new cellmate going to be like?  Will he be a serial killer or an unpredictable psychopath; or will he be some poor lad suffering from some kind of mental illness who really should be in a hospital?

When I first heard I was being moved I wasn’t best pleased. At the time, I was only two years in on a life sentence, but I’d already heard so many horror stories about this establishment that I just knew prison life was about to get a lot more difficult.  In this grim environment, humanity counts for little because to the prison staff, we really are just cattle: one on, one off and make a note of the numbers in and out.

After a long journey, I was herded onto a new wing and stopped on the landing outside the door of my new lodgings. As cellmates go, ‘Joe’ seemed to be OK. But over the years, especially in prison, if there’s one thing I have learned, it’s this: trust no-one.

Over a couple of days, I settled in and it was shaping up bearable enough; that was until I was approached on the wing by another prisoner who gave me a ‘friendly warning’.

Stay away from Joe, he said, something bad was about to happen to him and it would be better if I made myself scarce while it was occurring.

Moral dilemma time. My predicament was this: First off, I couldn’t sit back and let it happen without giving him at least a heads-up.

But if I tell him, I’m a grass and trust me; to put it delicately, that’s not a good thing. At the same time, my ‘friendly warning’ came with the clear message; stay out of it.

You’ve also got to ask yourself; are you really prepared to start inheriting the enemies of a bloke you just met two days previously?

But I knew I had to warn Joe; I’d already seen too much suffering in my own life to idly watch him suffer. So I told him. I tried to reason with him: he would be better off on another wing; even if it was the VP (vulnerable prisoners) wing.

Let’s just say, Joe wasn’t the advice-taking type and about an hour later, four lads came in on top of him in the cell. He was ready for them and a can of tuna in a sock gave him at least a fighting chance. And to give Joe his due, he put up one hell of a fight. In fact, even after being stabbed in the leg, he came out better. His attackers went away beaten, bruised and black-eyed. It was still unfinished business.

Joe was taken away to healthcare to receive stitches. Now, to my knowledge; the staff has a duty of care and a set of procedures to follow in these kind of incidents. Photos should be taken of the injuries; incident reports need to be filled out and most crucially, for his own safety, the prisoner should always be moved immediately.

For reasons I can’t fathom, none of these things happened and after a brief stint in healthcare, a patched-up but wounded Joe duly arrived back onto the same wing...

Later on that day, I was again approached on the wing by one of Joe’s attackers and the warning was the same; stay away from your cellmate, it’s going to come on top.

Why was I given this warning? I think word had already got around the wing that I was the bona fide victim of a serious criminal justice stitch-up, and I suspect it was probably felt that they should look out for people like me.

Lots of prisoners will tell you that they are innocent. But the prisoners who actually maintain their innocence are few and far between. I am one such prisoner. I don’t consider myself a criminal; far from it, in fact.

Maintaining innocence, I can assure you, doesn’t make for an easy ride from the prison authorities. Not surprising really when progressing through the penal system depends in large part on your acceptance of your crime and punishment.

Whatever about mine, I was pretty certain that Joe’s punishment was imminent if he lingered any longer on the wing. Again, I pleaded with him and again he remained resolute and unmoved.

I left the cell reluctantly. My sense of foreboding was broken shortly after by a scream; I’d never heard anything like it. I turned in time to see a filthy junkie walking quickly out of the cell with a flask in his hand.

Joe came crawling out after that. As it turned out, that wasn’t too far from the truth. It was boiling oil that the junkie had thrown in Joe’s face. I heard subsequently that it had been heating in a pot for a half hour; it was so hot, it had melted the flask’s plastic lid-casing when it was being poured in.

I wanted so badly to help him but there was nothing I could do. And all the while this going on, the prison guards were down the other end of the landing doing their crossword; exactly where they’d been conveniently plotted up when Joe was attacked the first time. Some duty of care.

That was the last time I saw Joe; after that, he never returned.

This story was written as an open letter to all the ‘plastic gangsters’ out there on the social networks, bragging about what a holiday camp prison is; like it’s the Thug Life version of a finishing school; like going to prison is a good thing for your bad boy CV. The awkward truth is that if these wannabes had any brains, they probably wouldn’t be inside in the first place.

I am now five years into my life sentence, and I can tell you from bitter experience that prison is not a holiday camp. This was just one of the many incidents I have witnessed over these years and it was never cut out to be the last.

NICRO is committed to turning lives around - We encourage all South Africans not to stand back, but become involved either by donating a monthly amount, a once-off donation or look at the NICRO wish list for support in kind for around the country and see how you can assist.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Why do some Teens use Drugs?

Yes, teens are known to experiment with a variety of drugs, from alcohol to prescription pills, but the real question is – Why do they do it?

There are a number of reasons why teens take drugs...

To fit in. Many teens decide to use drugs because they think that is what all the cool kids are doing; they feel it is necessary for them to do in order to fit in.

To feel good. Some drugs affect the brain in a way that produces feelings of euphoria or pleasure. The intensity of these good feelings differs depending on what drugs are being abused.

To feel better. A lot of teens suffer from depression, anxiety or high levels of stress, teens use drugs to escape these feelings.

To do better. In today’s society there is so much pressure on teens to do well academically and athletically, but the truth is for a lot of us that’s just not possible. Teens may turn to drugs, like illegal stimulants to boost their performances.

To experiment. Teens are usually curious to look for new experiences (like drugs) that they may find exciting, risky or daring.

There is no single reason why teens use drugs, but it is up to us to talk to and help the younger generation – NICRO is committed to turning lives around, contact NICRO today for a variety of programmes, including the Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention Treatment.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

What A Day In The Life Of A Woman In Prison looks like

Despite what you may see on the TV (Orange is the New Black), life as a woman in prison isn't exactly what you believe it to be.

It is boring, and that is the best-case scenario! When we look at the worst case, a female in prison can be the victim of abuse, sexual harassment and high levels of neglect. The truth is, being a woman in prison is far from ideal!

In the world right now, there are millions and millions of women serving criminal sentences, most of which are for non-violence crimes. Even though women are seen as low-risk prisoners, the way that female and male inmates are treated are very much the same. (This even effects their prenatal care and feminine hygiene product allowances).

Female prisoners follow similar daily routines as male inmates. Here is the daily schedule of a prison, filled in with details from former female inmates' accounts...

6 A.M.: Hello World

Prisoners typically wake up between 5 and 6 a.m. in the morning to be counted and checked by guards. Almost all prisons have inmates share cells. Sometimes women will share with one or three other women, but some prisons have up to 20 women sharing one large room. If the inmate has a job in the prison's kitchens, the day can start as early as 3:30 or 4 a.m.

Right after waking up, inmates will go to breakfast, where they typically receive about 30 minutes to eat. Then they go to their various jobs. Every prisoner is expected to have a job, ranging from working in the kitchen to taking out trash. Prisoners fulfill janitorial roles, serve food, work on construction crews, do laundry, and other miscellaneous tasks. Depending on how time-consuming the job is, prisoners are expected to work until lunch time.

12 P.M.: Lunch is Here

Like breakfast, inmates receive 30 minutes to an hour to eat lunch before returning to their jobs or enjoying their free time. Depending on the facility and the nature of their crime, female prisoners can receive more freedom than their male counterparts, and during the day, they often have access to the gyms, bathroom facilities, library, and other recreational areas. Or they can visit the prison commissary.

All of the wages that prisoners make during their incarceration are handled electronically and can be spent in an in-prison store. Family and friends of the women can deposit money into their account each month, which can be used to purchase toothpaste, deodorant, soap, snacks, and other food. But commissary prices are expensive, and if women do not receive outside support, they are often unable to buy anything but absolute necessities. And, given their low pay, they often cannot afford even that much.

3 P.M.: End of the Work Day

At the end of the work day, inmates can go to the prison yard for an hour or return to their cells, depending on how much freedom the facility gives them. At 5 p.m., they have dinner. Depending on the facility, some inmates can make their own food. Commissaries sell various types of groceries, and some prisoners find creative ways to make meals or desserts.

After dinner, their schedules are flexible. Some facilities offer religious services in the evening, and some provide counseling or rehabilitation courses. However, due to low budgets, many women's prisons do not offer these types of resources for their inmates.

8 P.M.: Goodnight World

In the evening, prisoners can go to sleep anywhere from 8 p.m. to midnight. Many facilities typically turn out lights around 11 p.m., but during the time when prisoners return to their cells, they have relative freedom to choose their activities. Because prisoners who don't have heavy work schedules can have downtime during the day, women tend to bond closely with the other prisoners, creating prison "families" for support and companionship. At night the inmates are counted again — they're counted several times during the day — and they go to sleep. The next morning, the entire cycle repeats.

While the daily routine can be monotonous, weekends can be a reprieve to some women. Most facilities have visiting hours on weekends, although women's prisons don't tend to get as many visitors as male inmates.

The life of a female in prison can be lonely, with few opportunities for rehabilitation. Prisons are overcrowded, and physical health can often be ignored or endangered. As laid-back as it may seem sometimes, you wont want to sign up to join the fun.

We have a wide variety of services here at NICRO, including individual counselling, anger management programmes, adult life skills and even a positive parenting programme. We focus on providing services to the community in general – take a look at what services we have on offer.