waiting

i spent yesterday afternoon at MAP – the Melbourne Assessment Prison. MAP is in the melbourne cbd. i’ve passed it often and not realised that this innocuous brick building with landscaped edgings is a prison. this is the place where the men who are in the court processes wait… those on remand wait for their court cases, those who have been convicted wait for sentencing, those who have been sentenced wait to find out which prison they will be doing their time in.

for some the wait is short – ten days or so – for some it’s months.
there’s a different atmosphere in MAP to the other prisons. In the other prisons, there’s absolute certainty about the next years – which, of course, causes its own issues. In MAP there’s the anxiety of a completely unknown future – of there being numerous possible outcomes, and of those outcomes depending completely on other people.…