I’ve been placed in a halfway house. Every day of the week, I’m locked up from 8 pm to 11 am. On weekends, I can’t go out from 4 pm until 9 am the next day. Here, I can only call my relatives during the day. When I come back to the centre in the evening, I can’t phone my brother or parents. We don’t have access to any activity rooms or the radio. DVDs aren’t allowed. It’s a topsy-turvy world. I have the impression that each centre does its own thing.
To flush the toilet after a bowel movement, I have to pour litres of water into the toilet bowl because the pressure is too low. I don’t even have a brush to clean it. I’m afraid of a short-circuit because of the old electrical connections. The ventilation in the shower room has been sealed with rags, so it’s all damp. Here, we’re confined to our cells from 8 to 11 am. We’re idle. This weighs on me because I’ve always been an early riser.
I get up around 7 am, make my coffee and toast, then do my dishes. I shower; the water stagnates in the shower tray. I make my bed, watch TV, and then… time stands still. From 8:30 am onwards, there’s nothing more to do. It’s too long. Five minutes feels like an hour to me.
At 11 am, the guard lets us out. We go through the gate, sign in, open our locker, take out our stuff. Then, I go to my classes at uni. I tell the students about my confinement conditions, and they’re outraged. Totally shocked. In the evening, we have to be back by 8 pm. We can talk to the guard for five minutes; he checks our things, and we return to our cells. When I’m back, I feel really depressed and cut off from the world.