crime

Ehime’s new women’s prison decorated powder pink 'to relieve feelings of oppression'

33 Comments

In Japan, there are currently 3,440 female inmates confined to seven correctional facilities which all together are built to hold 3,342 women. These statistics come from a spokesperson for the newly opened Saijo branch of Matsuyama Prison, which was built to address this overcrowding problem.

The new prison reportedly offers various facilities and services to cater to women’s needs, but most striking by far are the doors, barred windows and furniture all over the penitentiary, which appear to have been painted a soft pink color, as if to remind the inmates that they’re ladies first and convicted criminals second.

The prison’s general manager, Hidehito Nakahira says that the prison was designed with the inmates’ comfort in mind. In addition to lessening the distance some detainees need to be from home, better facilities help them focus on work and rehabilitation while also allowing guards to supervise more easily and safely.

In addition to the pink color scheme, the prison also has a special area for prisoners with children under a year old. There is also a gynecology department and the majority of the guards are women. The facility was completed on Aug 18 at a cost of about 160 million yen.

A prison spokesperson said that the originally white doors were changed to pink in order to relieve the inmates’ feelings of oppression. This move prompted many news readers to ask why, wondering why a prison of all places should take such steps.

“Are they stupid?” “There’s a need to relieve the feeling of oppression?” “Don’t waste my hard-earned tax money on this crap!” “It looks so cozy someone might want to commit a crime to go there.” “It’s a matter of time before there’s a beauty and nail salon there too.” “Discrimination! Men’s prisons should also get pink walls!”

Clearly many of these Internet users feel that prisons ought to be places of punishment rather than rehabilitation. However, as Dostoyevsky once said: “You can judge a society by how well it treats its prisoners.” In this way I guess we can say Japan is pretty caring and accommodating to people’s needs, but at the same time perhaps a bit sexist and patronizing.

Sources: Yomiuri Online, Itai News, Japan Crush

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Prison Culture Festival: All the fun of incarceration, none of the crime! -- Art Created by Criminals Condemned to Death to be Featured in Hiroshima Exhibition -- Chinese women’s prison puts on Lunar New Year fashion show, wows the world

© RocketNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


33 Comments
Login to comment

Men feel discriminated, what a joy !

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Pink????????? how deressing !!!!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I guess in Japan it is "Pink is the New Black", rather than Orange.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

'to relieve feelings of oppression' Aren't they supposed to feel that way? They are being punished you know.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Waste of tax payer's money. Some of these women have committed heinous crimes like killing their own children. Why are we "comforting" them? And what a double standard! I don't see the government comforting male inmates. This is outrageous! This money could to better places like comforting the victims that these women committed crimes upon, or to house and feed the homeless. Damn this angers me!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

110% agree with Sensei258 & Mirai's comments. Isn't prison supposed to be a harsh place?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

great, so now when they get out and kill their remaining children, they will know they have a nice cozy place to return to.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yeah..I could never understand this. In the states too, people say stuff along the lines of "well it's not so bad...roof over your head and 3 meals a day"

Prisons should be places to be avoided at all costs..not "ah well I'll just go to jail for a little while, no biggie"

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Anyone wants to bet that no murderer will go to this prison? One word: Rehabilitation....

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Wow, what a great concept, let rehabilitate murderers so they can kill again later on. The plus side is they get to go back to the spa afterward.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Pink color is believed to put people in a "passive mood", used as decor for lockers for guest teams:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinnick_Stadium

Agreed that the same should be done at men's prisons.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

jojo_in_japanSep. 08, 2014 - 09:25AM JST 110% agree with Sensei258 & Mirai's comments. Isn't prison supposed to be a harsh place?

No, prison is supposed to be a place for people to be turned back into decent members of society. Until that time they're kept separate from society, for the protection of society and so they have access to specialised resources to help them rehabilitate.

Anyone with even the most basic understanding of human psychology knows that negative reinforcement doesn't work. You don't make someone a better person by yelling at them, beating them and breaking them. The military uses precisely these techniques to DEHUMANISE soldiers and make them capable of killing another human being.

But most people just think crime -> punishment. It is idiotic, produces more hardened criminals who are less likely to get caught a second time, and increases the danger to society.

Frankly prisons should be taken away from the police and handed over to people who understand how human minds work. You'd see much lower rates of recidivism, much shorter sentences (which means less tax money spent on prisons), and a much happier society in general.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Yeah, that'll help! I suppose it's better than using Disney characters. It's prison! It should be depressing!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Prison is holding tank for justice system feedstock. Of no benefit whatsoever to people not in or dependent on the system because too many inmates eventually make it out again, trained in their new occupations.

If the holding tank were an island with one-way tickets, justice system would shrink drastically, but that is not feasible in a government led by attorneys (I guess feasible is not the right word here, obtainable would be a better fit).

If things ever change, I believe Amchitka Island in the Aleutians is unpopulated and available for dumping male prisoners, and could probably find a less radioactive island sufficiently far away to dump females.

Food, vitamins, parkas for the occupants, chum for the sharks and killer whales, navy patrols (and no onsite guards): probably really REALLY cheaper to maintain open-air island prisons than the typical labor-intensive ones we have now.

If things get too crowded throw in a shipload of grizzlies.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amchitka

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

If things ever change, I believe Amchitka Island in the Aleutians is unpopulated and available for dumping male prisoners, and could probably find a less radioactive island sufficiently far away to dump females.

Under your system, why is having a patrolled island be preferable to just shooting them round the back? But you are right getting rid of justice would drastically reduce the justice system.

Waste of tax payer's money. Some of these women have committed heinous crimes like killing their own children.

Not everyone in prison is a monster - although it might comfort you more to assume that they are.

Why are we "comforting" them?

It's some paint. I don't see the need for the hysteria.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

zorken: Under your system, why is having a patrolled island be preferable to just shooting them round the back?

What?!? Death penalty is uncivilized! The Europeans told us so!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Prison is supposed to be a punishment, a place where the freedoms of normal living are taken away from prisoners.

Though providing basic necessities is understandable, but when you start pampering those incarcerated , you begin to wonder whether those in charge really know what they are responsible for?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Female guards & access to gynecological services, etc. are sensible and decent measures, but the pink seems a bit ridiculous and kind of a waste of money. On the other hand, maybe a more pleasant/less institutional environment helps prevent conflict between prisoners and with guards, etc.? And reduced psychological stress probably reduces spending on medical services, if it improves people's mood, I suppose. I find that sort of coddling a bit distasteful, but maybe it serves its purpose.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

3,440

Wow. Such a small amount of prisoners.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For the people that think prison is for torture: you are talking about decades, in some cases lifetimes of this torture. Kind a meets the definition of "cruel and unusual" don't you think? Imagine yourself in there. Could happen by mistake. I agree that the men's prison should get pink, too, and protection from rape while they are at it.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

"Some of these women have committed heinous crimes"

But most will have committed petty crimes such as shoplifting and have mental problems and/or drug and alcohol issues. Japan has a low prison population and a low crime rate compared to most countries. They must be doing something right. We would be better to learn than condemn. I'd guess better conditions also increases the motivation of staff who work in prisons.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I can completely understand the gynecology facilities and the desire to have female guards there, but the rest is ludicrous, and I love the poster's comment, "It's just a matter of time before a beauty and nail salon are there, too", or something like that. They aren't where they are for a spa treatment or to feel welcome and pampered, they are there because they have broken the law -- and this is on top of the more-than-likely slap on the wrist they have to serve. Meanwhile in the men's prison you have guards shoving fire extinguisher hoses up men's butts and cranking the things onto full, blowing out their insides. Last I heard prison's here were for punishment, not rehabilitation. I'm not saying men should get pink or blue walls as well, but if they are serious about rehabilitation here, make it universal and be serious about it; don't just put on some cutesy show.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Last I heard prison's here were for punishment, not rehabilitation.

The stated aim of the Japanese prison service is rehabilitation - not punishment. How sincere they are about this is up for debate, however.

They aren't where they are for a spa treatment or to feel welcome and pampered, they are there because they have broken the law

If you had to do hours of forced labor where you had no privacy or freedom, would painting the walls a pleasant color make you feel pampered? I don't quite understand the focus on one tiny positive among a sea of negatives. Most people who end up in prison had pretty bad lives before they got there - I don't see how petty vindictiveness helps anyone.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Staring out from pink bars... I'm not opposed to it, but I can't imagine it would make anything better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Zorken

The stated aim of the Japanese prison service is rehabilitation - not punishment. How sincere they are about this is up for debate, however.

So I guess harsh labor will build better character, and hanging them will make them better citizens....oh yeah, except for the fact that they would be dead.

would painting the walls a pleasant color make you feel pampered

I don't care if its a box of tissue, prison isn't there to make them feel better. Prison is place where no one would want to return. Its not meant to be comfortable nor calming. Your logic in thinking that these women who have had "bad lives", hence they deserve a better life while incarcerated is completely flawed. People choose to commit crimes and deserve the unpleasantness of prison as a result of their actions. I don't see why the society that crimes was committed upon has to fork up the cash to make these people feel better about where they are. Its a completely ridiculous notion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This pink cell thing was tried in some UK prisons about 20 years ago. It didn't work. You have to improve prison conditions, not splash pink everywhere.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To me it's mostly about a waste of tax money. The idea of pink paint is all well and good, but as we're talking about a prison here, the paint is going to be chipped, scratched or otherwise damaged sooner than later. This means RE-painting. Finding a matching shade of pink and making sure the walls don't look ridiculous is going to be a huge waste of time or money when it could just be a stock white that can be easily found.

Course if it's all the same then it doesn't matter to me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pink. That would depress me more than gray.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizon has done the same thing to his inmates, makes them wear pink. Although it's to humiliate them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

PInk is the color of the womb. that's why it's associated with women.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@JapanGalSEP. 08, 2014 - 03:13PM JST 3,440 Wow. Such a small amount of prisoners.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Don't compare with USA female incarceration rate. With such small amount of prisoners, Jail budget for female prisons have to be used sooner or later.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

pastel blue and pink for rehabilitable; treadmill and gallows for No Good waiting for disposal

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To those who say it's a 'waste of money' it actually shouldn't cost any more than the usual construction or maintenance budget. A prison has to have walls. Those walls need to be painted. Eventually they'll need to be repainted. I couldn't care less what color it is.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites