Life behind bars at Kajang Prison
MalaysiaNow gets an exclusive look at the life of prisoners serving their sentences at the famous Kajang Prison.
Photographs by Djohan Shahrin
Kajang Prison is located in Sungai Jelok, some 3km from the Kajang city centre. Built in 1975, it stretches across 161.3 hectares and is home to those sentenced for criminal offences.
A prison warden from the treatment and drug rehabilitation centre closes and locks the main gate.
The entrance to a prison cell at Kajang Prison. This block is home to 287 inmates who are serving time in jail.
A prison officer gives a briefing to a group of drug offenders.
He reads out the rules that must be memorised and followed as part of the self-disciplinary process.
New inmates are given a week to understand and memorise the contents of the prison manual.
The weekly schedule for prisoners stretches across one of the walls in the jail.
A prison officer speaks to drug offenders during an 'encounter group' session in the rehabilitation wing.
Each inmate carries his own chair into the room.
Prison officers keep an eye on the prisoners throughout the session.
During the session, inmates hammer out the differences they have with their fellow prisoners as part of a learning process on how to receive feedback and criticism from one another.
Those who are criticised have an opportunity to respond under the supervision of the prison officers.
At the end of each hour-long session, the group leaders hand over their report to the officers for evaluation.
Prisoners who are found to have erred will be punished through a period of isolation from their fellow inmates. The length of time spent alone depends on the scale of wrongdoing. They are also made to wear placards around their necks.
A prisoner on duty blows a trumpet outside the prison block, in a call for the wardens on shift to conduct a headcount of the prisoners inside.
A prison warden supervises an inmate carrying a bag of personal possessions.
Prisoners assigned to work in the main kitchen help unload vegetables from a lorry bringing in fresh stock.
In the kitchen, they set to work preparing to cook rice for the other prisoners.
One of them slices watermelon to be served with the meal.
Two others prepare to scoop out white rice from huge plastic buckets.
The daily menu is set by the prison officers in the main kitchen according to the schedule determined by the prison department.
Each prisoner gets an equal share of rice, vegetables, soup, and in this case, fried fish.
The containers of food are wheeled out for distribution on large trolleys.
The prisoners queue to wait for their meal.
Those on duty distribute the containers of food to the rest.
One by one, the prisoners accept their food, thanking those on duty as they walk past.
Some of the inmates participate in an arts course as part of the skills training arranged by the prison department.
What they create depends on their individual interests.
Those who are interested in sewing are allowed to use the machines supplied by the prison department.
Here, too, they are under constant supervision by the prison wardens.
A prison officer prepares a report at his desk.
The inmates also participate in religious sessions.
Some of them receive the first religious teachings of their lives in prison.
Prisoners of other faiths are also allowed to pray and worship according to their own beliefs.
A group of drug offenders practise for a singing competition with inmates in other prisons throughout the country.
A prison warden carries a sheaf of documents into the waiting area for inmates in need of medical attention.
A prisoner holds his medical records under the watchful eye of the prison wardens.
The medical worker on duty checks one of the patients who has come for treatment.
A warden stops to talk with one of the prisoners in the ward.
A prisoner still under observation sits handcuffed in a separate section of the ward kept for those who exhibit aggressive behaviour towards the other inmates.
A dentist extracts a tooth from a prisoner at the clinic, as prison wardens keep watch.
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