Riesa 25km., Dresden 36km., Leipzig 101km.,
Cottbus 121km, Berlin 177km., Magdeburg 218km.,
Erfurt 224km., Braunschweig 319km., Nürnberg 330km.,
Augsburg 455km., Wien 522km.,
Köln-Bonn 578km., Saarbrücken 646km.,
Budapest 726km., London 1109km.,
Harlow 1126km., HMP. Wormwood Scrubs 1172km.,
HMP. Bedford 1208km., Dublin 1698km.,
Санкт-Петербург [Sankt-Peterburg] 1815km.,
Vyborg 1942km., Bilbao 1971km., Istanbul 2033km.,
Coimbra - Porto 2636km., Faro 2933km.
REALITY -v- FANTASY
Frank's Report Introductory notes
Arrested, sentenced, captured. Why? For how long?
Only a fool talks about things that can be used against him.
I will only report on four days in JVA Grossenhain prison, four days in the custody of Governor Nick, four days in which fantasies gave way to reality: By the way, you may see it all very differently than I do, given that a stay at JVA Grossenhain prison remains a very worthwhile experience.
You enter the JVA. The command tone is harsh.
"Face the Wall!“.
Your right hand is grabbed. The handcuffs click. Left hand.....
next click. Clicks where the cuffs are set. You're fixed.
You're made helpless. You ask yourself... do you really want this?
You want this exactly. You are still in the fantasy mood.
You go into the Governor's office. The handcuffs come off.
Your clothing comes off, shoes, shirt....
And meanwhile ever further searches: Mouth, Feet, Genitals and, of course, also your arse. Then reality sets in.
You are issued with prison flip flops, shirt, underpants, and trousers...
"This is your Uniform"
Clad completely in orange, you may know from the USA, and maybe also the prisoners of the terrorist organization ISIS,
with plastic slippers on their bare feet and with their hands restrained, again it's these handcuffs: Go to the cells, to your cell, Double bunk bed, table, cupboard, sink, toilet - you breathe out, there are also cells without sanitary facilities - a small window, grid in front, there you do not simply come out. You're given water and the door is locked, a heavy old wooden door.
It's an old jail, this JVA Grossenhain prison....
You are alone. Are you really alone? You cannot escape from this Cell, four times eight steps in width and length - that too will change. But he can come to you whenever he wants. And he can do whatever he wants. You have nothing to decide about it.
You have wishes. You're hoping for a lot. It's not in your hands. By the way, your hands are still in the cuffs,
and this restraint is not always pleasant.
Spring is warm this year. Your cell is warm. You would like to take off the shirt. This is not possible because of the handcuffs. You read about prisoners whose hands are tied up for days. Can you stand it?
The fantasy mode remains active.
The cell door opens, you are ordered to the back of the cell. You turn around, face the wall and window, barefoot,
with bound hands. Come along! Should you wear your flip-flops?
And you get strengthened by what comes, a guided tour of the JVA, by the Governor himself.
Would it also be like that in a real prison?
Day 1 (cont.’d)
You are looking around, starting to realise the details:
The walls – grey at the bottom, at the upper half they must have been white formerly. The floor is made of very old wooden panels.
It feels good to walk on them even with bare feet. Your shoes are lined up under the bed. Eight steps forward, eight steps back. Soon the soles of your feet are covered with grey dust. Sipping at the water bottle, adjusting the handcuffs, they are too tight,
but isn’t that what you wanted? What can one do in such a cell, in an orange prison uniform and cuffed?
There even is a mirror displaying you as a prisoner.
You could lay down on your bunk, dream, sleep. But is that allowed? And if it is not what then would the punishment be?
Don’t you want to be punished? Maybe - or better not? Reality is starting to push back fantasy. Handcuffs are re-adjusted,
climbing on the upper bunk, looking out of the window: A parking lot, houses. People could watch you if they wanted to.
But no one out there is interested in you. What fascinates you seems to be normality for the people on the outside,
unimportant for them, not worthwhile noting.
Down from the bunk, adjusting the handcuffs, eight steps forward, eight steps back.
Spring is warm this year. Your cell is warm. You would love to take off your shirt, but with the handcuffs on this is not possible.
You read about prisoners who had been cuffed for days. Can one stand it? You read about a convict who said how relieved he was
to arrive in jail – not only because he met fellows there with the same fate, but also because finally the handcuffs were taken off. Yours are still on. For how long will they stay on? You don’t know, you lie down on your bed and start to understand the other prisoner. Oh – you fell asleep. You do not want to sleep. When you sleep during the day you will be awake during the night.
But you prefer to sleep during the night. You could get up. And then do what? You decide to stay on your bunk.
Exercises would be good. The abdominal muscles can be trained lying on the bunk. You grasp the upper bunk and pull yourself up. The biceps tightens, again and again, 4 times 10 repetitions. Now down from the bunk, hands on the shoes – you don’t want your hands to look as grey as your bare feet - and doing push-ups, as many as you can. You stop when reaching 50. More would be possible, but you don’t know what is expecting you. Maybe you will still need your strength. Steps – you rise.
Clicking and clacking, the Governor is looking at you.
“Face the wall!”
You are turning around, facing wall and window, with bare feet and cuffed hands.
“Come with me!”
Should you put your shoes on? You don’t know what to do. It is permitted. The fantasy mode remains active. And it is elevated to a higher level by what it is coming – a guided tour of the prison by the Governor himself. Would that also take place in a real prison?
Showers, they have real showers. A fitness room, they have a real fitness room. Also a dark cell and a punishment cell with a punishment block and several hitting instruments. Your fantasy goes berserk. You are wearing the handcuffs for a long time now. How would it feel to be punished? What do you want? What would a real prisoner in a real prison want? You know the answer.
Back into the cell, the door bangs close, more questions than answers. And still you are wearing these inflexible cuffs, black connector, silver coloured cuffs, little room for movements. You are looking out of the window, through the bars, into the sky, watching the birds. They are free. Freedom is valuable. Only who is imprisoned can really understand that.
Do you begin to understand?
Steps, clanking, rattling.
“Face the wall!”
You know that already.
You are noting with interest what is being served. What a service, you think. It is edible, you think. You know you have to eat. You are losing your strength fast if you do not eat. It doesn’t have to taste well, but it should supply you with calories and nutrients. That’s what it does. And something else – the handcuffs come off. You are not disappointed.
You finish supper. The meals can become a highlight. They are a change to the routine and they fill your stomach. What happens next? Nothing happens. All is quiet. You are not cuffed anymore; you can finally take off your shirt. What about a little rest on the bunk? You don’t want to gain weight. So, you are walking again – 8 steps forward, 8 steps back. This can be changed: Setting your steps as if forming an eight, trying to avoid the creaking panel. You could also wear your shoes. You don’t do it. Better let your bare soles collect the dust on the floor. For how long are you walking? For how long are you here? Can you tell the time? You are losing the sense of time. You are losing your fantasies, a little bit at least. Boredom - that is real prison. Don’t let yourself go. These are the thoughts also in the mind of a real prisoner. You are starting to feel the reality.
You usually do not drink tea at this time of the day, at least not black tea.
Doesn’t matter, tea is better than boredom. And it is never a bad idea to be on good terms with the Governor. Bad boy – bad life. Good boy – good life. Isn’t this what it is in jail? And if you have to sit in jail, wouldn’t you like to live well, at least as well as possible? You take the tea, say thank you and let the Governors face look mild. He is closing and locking the door, putting you behind locks and key again. You wanted this? Yes, the fantasy is not overcome.
The tea is hot, the tea is good. Will something happen? Nothing happens. Finally, you are lying on your bunk. You fall asleep despite the black tea. You are waking up, but not because of the tea. You are waking up because you are cold without the shirt. But under the blanket it will certainly be too warm. The blanket is not cosy enough to cuddle with it. That would only remain a last resort. Put on the shirt and lay on top of the blanket. This looks less sexy than with a naked upper body, but it is better for your sleep. And you want to sleep, you want to sleep well. You don’t know what will be coming. You do not want to put your strength at risk. You are realising an eye peeping through the hole in the door. It catches you half asleep. You are not chased up, are allowed to sleep. Good boy – good life. You are learning fast.
The window is not too big, but sufficient to flood your cell with light. At least it does on a sunny and warm morning like today. How late is it? Your sense for time never was good. Now it is gone completely. Didn’t he say to wake you up early? Maybe it is simply too early. But you are lucky having an own toilet and an own hand-basin in your cell. You don’t feel bad. Still not yet as the Governor appears.
“Face the wall!”
“Come out! Face the wall! Hands on your back!”
This model of the handcuffs is different. The inflexible connector is the same. Your cell is searched but nothing is found.
“You get to shower!”
The handcuffs are taken off. It is nice to have the shower. First hot, then cold – that is what you want. You find a razor, single use, you are aware that this means cuts and blemishes. Still you are using it. Soon you are bleeding. The towel can cope with it. It reads “Penitentiary” on it. You shall not forget where you are. You don’t want to wait naked. Better the orange uniform than nothing.
“I said shower, not dress. This will be punished.”
Can one live here without mistakes? Didn’t you exactly want it like this? But first it goes back into the cell. Breakfast is served. Breakfast? Porridge!
“Enjoy or tolerate!”
The Governor is laughing. The door is closed. Your stomach does not want to keep it. You cannot stop to choke. But it gets better. You must eat. You are in jail. Refusing the food can lead to bad consequences. Porridge is reality. You cannot enjoy it, but you can tolerate it. Welcome to real prison life. At least you’ve got tea. Your stomach enjoys it. And what about the punishment? The door opens.
You are simply doing what he says. You are starting to function better and better.
“Get out! Face the wall!”
You already know that. You are also familiar with the handcuffs. One cuff is put around your left hand. The Governor leads you down, into the yard. The weeds shall disappear. To perform that task you have nothing but your hands, at least they are protected by gloves. You pull and you tear. The yard is large. It doesn’t matter – better than boredom. One cuff is hanging down from your left hand. Wouldn’t leg-irons be better? Your fantasy is back. But here is no room for fantasy. One promised punishment is enough. You better do what the Governor demands.
You are performing well, get a merit, go back to your cell and even the handcuffs are taken off. Your fantasy is back, demanding “more cuffs”. Your fantasy is silent soon. Only fools demand that. A sensible prisoner would not have such crazy thoughts. This experience is more real than you thought. Increasingly you are reacting like a real prison inmate, being happy when lunch is served. One can even eat it.
“Face the wall!”
You hesitate with the underpants.
“Face the wall!”
You don’t look sexy in your white underwear, loosely cut. It is not intended to look sexy. It is part of the punishment. Led by the Governor’s tight grip you are guided to the punishment cell, onto the punishment block. Your feet are put into leather shackles, your hands rest on the wood. The first hit is not very hard.
You count until six, and then your underpants are pulled down. The next blow hits your bare backside. The implements have changed. The pain is growing. Also the back gets its treatment. Somehow you hoped it would. But do you still want that? That thought you push aside. This is supposed to be punishment, not enjoyment. And it will be over, it will be over soon. Back to your cell, you think.
He leads you down the hallway, until the end, and into the dark cell. A mattress on the floor, a chair, a bucket is all you can see. Then you don’t see anything anymore. At least almost nothing. Only a very small strip of light is shining through a crack at the bottom of the door. You are putting your thoughts in order. You could simply rest and sleep. For that the darkness is even advantageous. What's so bad about detention in the dark cell you are asking yourself? What's so bad are your thoughts. They tell you that you are completely losing the sense of time. They tell you that you are getting sensitive to the smallest sensation. They tell you that you are subject to this situation. They tell you that you do not escape without help. Your punishment anytime may reach the next level. You don’t know how and when - but you will certainly know when it happens. It is not a good feeling. You have to do something. You can walk eight steps, but seven are better because then you don’t hit the heater. Also push-ups, squats and abdominal muscles exercises are possible. Activity is good for depression. You are also learning a lesson. You are starting to dream. Surely, you could wear cuffs now. But a real prisoner certainly wouldn't want to do that. And it is supposed to be real. This thought is capturing your brain, pushing your fantasies aside. This is JVA Grossenhain, a real prison in which thousands have suffered. You are a bit compassionate for them.
Some time later the darkness ends. Suddenly, light floods the room. It could shock a more fearful mind. But you are not shocked. Still not as you get cuffed with a Clejuso No. 8. How mean ….. the Governor is making the short chain even shorter by leading it through one side of the cuffs. You first believe it's a mistake and try to make him aware. But the Governor does not react. Does he understand you? You don’t have much time to think about it. With small, small steps you are walking back to your cell. This is exactly what the Governor had planned: Small steps, Catwalk.
The leg-irons do not stay on for long. You don’t have to wear any cuffs. You are even allowed to watch TV with the Governor. It is conversation time, listening and talking a lot. You are told that this is typical in detention. Well, the Governor knows all about it. He is a very knowledgeable and interesting discussion partner; provided your knowledge of English can cope. It ends up as a long evening. Tea again. You are sleeping well, even better than the night before. You keep the prison uniform on.
Again, you are awake before any other sound can be heard in the prison. Again, the day starts with waiting. Being imprisoned means waiting. There is not much happening. Meals and work are a change of the routine. You are looking forward to both. Also punishment is a change. You have heard that prisoners provoke punishment out of boredom. Can you imagine that? It is difficult to understand. Finally the Governor appears.
“Into the shower! Five minutes time!”
You think, there will be no time for shaving. Arriving in the bathroom you are told to open the window. This cuts down my time in the shower you think, slightly annoyed. The barred door closes. The Governor leaves. You are alone. The window has no handle. You are asking yourself how should I open it and you are tempted to call the guards. But you don’t do it. A wise prisoner helps himself. Another thought arises. The bathroom offers a wide variety of utensils. In the end a toothbrush proves suitable to open the window. At the moment, the window is not barred, and it is close to the rain pipe and the lightning rod. There would be a possibility for escape, albeit dangerous. A plan is forming in your head. But you are first taking the shower. A minute seems to last longer for the Governor than you thought, but you don’t really know for how long the “Governor's five Minutes” finally is.
You realize a “Governor's Minute” takes sometime. There is time for shaving, blemishes included like yesterday. There is time for brushing teeth. There is time for reaching out through the door bars with your arms. You have that picture in mind from other “real” prisons. There is time to inspect the lock. It is closed but not always double-locked. And your escape thoughts are further developing. The toothbrush proves to be a useful tool. The door opens. With the towel around your hips you are standing in the hallway. You could shift away. You could grasp something hard enough and hit the Governor’s head to knock him out. You aren't doing it; of course you aren't doing it. You are no real bad boy. You know your limits and the consequences or you would not be in this prison. You are simply standing in the doorway. The Governor’s look is enough proof for you that also a mock hit can be of sufficient effect. And the mock hit shows effect, not only for you but also for him. You are spared the porridge this morning. You could hardly have swallowed it. Instead you get 70 hits. You get to know the full spectrum of instruments. And although the Governor knows the limits he is aware, like you are, that limits can be altered. The punishment is followed by the dark cell. You know that already. You know what to do: Seven steps forward, turn around, seven steps back. Push-ups, 50 first, later another 30. Your muscles should not shrink. When your body is not supplied with energy it should get it from the fat reservoir but certainly not shrink the muscles. You have no problems in the dark cell, even with the treatment on the punishment block showing effect. If it is also showing a visible effect you cannot judge due to the darkness. However you still feel it. At this stage it should be noted that the Governor commands his place. It's not be necessary to keep certain parts of your body covered after your release.
The light flashes on. The door opens. The Governor is standing by the open door, Clejuso No. 8 in his hands. Only moments later it closes around your ankles. Again, the Governor deliberately shortened the connecting chain. With short steps you are following him into his quarters. Your clothing? Only a towel around your hips. Tea is served. You are having a long conversation. Even cake is served, a real treat after the missed breakfast. Another prisoner shows up in his striped prison uniform, but without cuffs. A sharp contrast compared to your appearance with only a towel and the leg-irons.
You go back to the cell. The leg-irons stay on. Lunch is served. The leg-irons remain on. Nothing happens beside. Walking from one cell wall to the other demands significant more steps. Push-ups remain possible with cuffed feet, also kind of pull-ups at the bed post, squats and some abdominal muscle exercises. Time goes by. Finally, the Governor comes back. You dare to ask for supper. It is granted. And the leg-irons stay on. Tea is offered. You are waiting, moving, lie down on your bunk. One can rest with leg-irons on. It gets cold, however, covered only with the towel. You could wrap the blanket around your body. You want to try something else. And it works. You are able, despite the leg-irons, to pull on the trousers. The shirt is no problem anyhow. Again walking the mini steps, again waiting. What about the tea? No Governor appears, no tea is served. And the leg-irons stay on. Finally you give up. One can also sleep in chains. You are even sleeping quite well.
It is the Governor who wakes you up. He doesn’t seem surprised to see you in your prison uniform or is he simply too tired? After almost 24 hours the leg-irons come off. You are allowed to shower. Both of you are laughing as you are spotting the toothbrush. Tea is served in the cell. Then you have to say good-bye to this room measuring eight by four steps – but only if you are not wearing leg-irons. In the office, with face to the wall the experiences and impressions are discussed. The orange prison uniform is taken off and you dress again in street clothing. The flip-flops make a clapping sound when touching your soles. The prison gate opens. You are free.
My stay in JVA Grossenhain was closer to the life of a “real” prisoner than my fantasies. I understand all those who are saying, Nick is too soft. But at the same time I don’t understand them. Which “real” prisoner is voluntarily accepting a harsh treatment? I also do not understand them because it is in their own hands. It only requires fantasy (good boy – good life, bad boy – bad life!!!). And besides the places described in my report there are many others: the basement dungeon with the heavy iron ball, the tiger cage, ….. However one thing has to be considered: JVA Grossenhain is no poor man's BDSM studio. And rightly so.
Also by the way: I have lost two pounds of weight in four days, but according to my body fat scale I have lost no muscles.
Maybe people wanting to lose weight are attracted by this. But for this purpose I would recommend a stay of several weeks.
I have acquired experiences and impressions that I do not want to miss. And all of this is also open to women.
I am now aware that there are sufficient free public parking spaces around the prison. I now know that you don't have to bring anything, but you may bring your own mobile phone. If you are not behaving too badly – and I didn't – for a limited time you are allowed to use it every day. Although I have also another life to live, I would be keen to be sent to JVA Grossenhain again. If that happens, however, I would memorize a few more exercises to train my muscles without tools.
Thank you, Nick, for the amazing time.