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Life in an Indonesian Prison

Schapelle's address:
Schapelle Corby
LPM Kerobokan
Jl. Tangkuban Perahu
Kerobokan, Denpasar 80117
Bali, INDONESIA

Schapelle will serve her 20 year sentence at Kerobokan prion in Bali, where she has been held for the past seven months. Here's what she faces.

Abanana, some pawpaw, five slices of white bread and a half-bowl of vegetables is the daily ration for Schapelle Corby and each of the other 20 or so Westerners serving time in Bali's Kerobokan jail.

...The jail .... provides almost nothing to its more than 600 inmates - no drinking water, coffee or tea, bedding, toiletries, clothes, medicine, amenities or work.

...The women are locked in from about 5pm until 9am and Corby's cell is so small that the bodies of the seven women she shares with touch as they rest. With no beds, they sleep on mats, and with no fan, they sweat. Each woman gets a bucket of water a day to wash herself with.

That being said, apparently this prison has some benefits. Everything and everyone is for sale, beginning with the guards. So if Schapelle gets donations, she can live like this:

Prisoners can eat and drink whatever friends bring them, furnish their cells, own mobile phones and have full contact visits five days a week, which is unheard of in most jails. ....if you are discreet, you can buy cold beer for less than $A2 a can and pay to have the odd day outside with friends.....Phones, televisions, liquor and other luxuries are illegal, but prisoners with money have no trouble keeping them, or buying them back when they are confiscated.

Corby, like the other prisoners, will take her visitors to a small grassed area where someone will appear, spread a straw mat for all to sit on, and offer cola, lemonade or sweet tea. This area is small and can be cramped when it's busy, but no one minds if you have a picnic and a glass of wine, provided you make a small donation to the guards, who depend on visitors to make their living.

And, how ironic is this?

For those who want something stronger than the tea and soft drinks available at the stalls, they can buy bottles of arak. Hashish is readily available for about $A16 a gram.

The newspaper sent out questionaires to other prisoners to obtain information about prison life. Here's some of what they had to say:

  • You can get a day out, but it's expensive
  • Expect to pay double at the clinic for medicine
  • Don't trust lawyers
    "Ninety per cent of them are liars. Many people pay money for their cases twice, the first time because the lawyer runs away with the money and then you have to look for another."

Justice is for sale:

One European prisoner says he paid $A35,000 to get his sentence brought down from 12 years to five. He says a further reduction to just 18 months was on offer when he appealed to the Supreme Court, but he could not raise the extra $A25,000 needed....

Other prisoners confirmed this:

You can pay early, before the prosecutor makes his request for a sentence, or you can wait and try to organise payment during the appeal process that Corby is now heading for, when there are no hearings and there is less public scrutiny. Payments of six-figure sums are not unusual in big drug cases.

And this inmate says it is the best prison in Asia:

Robert Fraser, a 45-year-old from Scotland, nearing the end of a four-year stretch for possession of hashish, says it is ridiculous to compare Kerobokan with the notorious Bangkok Hilton or Turkish jails made famous in the book Midnight Express. "It's no hell-hole here," he says. "If you are going to be in prison in Asia, this is the place to be."

Schapelle sites (including donation information) are:

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  • Re: Life in an Indonesian Prison (none / 0) (#1)
    by The Heretik on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:24 PM EST
    This tale is just so wrong. It reminds me that once a process starts, it takes on a life the life of its subjects, feeding on them like a virus. So we need to be most juidicious in our application of the tools we use to achieve our goals.

    Re: Life in an Indonesian Prison (none / 0) (#2)
    by wishful on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:24 PM EST
    "Justice is for sale" in Indonesia? That is different from the color of justice in the USA only by shades of green. We of course are much more discreet. We are civilized and sophisticated, and we don't sell justice in the open here. Feel that we're better than Indonesia? We are, only to the extent that we have much more elaborate ways of hiding our dirty truth. Oh, and finally, there are greater percentages and raw numbers of us that can't afford ANY justice at all. At least in Indonesia, a prisoner can have a real meal with visitors and an occasional day out, if s/he can't afford total freedom. Not so here. You are either free or you are not even afforded the term "human". Still feel better?

    Re: Life in an Indonesian Prison (none / 0) (#3)
    by Beck on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:25 PM EST
    It sounds like the punishment there is as it should be; loss of freedom.

    Re: Life in an Indonesian Prison (none / 0) (#4)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:25 PM EST
    Holy cow, I don't know how much an Australian dollar is worth, but 16 of anything for a gram of hash...!

    Re: Life in an Indonesian Prison (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:26 PM EST
    Twenty years, now maybe life, to smoke hash, picnic, drink wine and frolic about on days out sounds like paradise. Maybe a twenty year sentence is a blessing in disguise. Better than the so-called 'American Dream' that the hoi polloi, the American untermenschen, encounter everyday.