Most people would do anything to get out of jail. Some prisoners risk their lives in attempts to escape and regain their freedom. But some South Koreans actually pay money to spend time in a mock jail to escape the pressures of daily life.
The detention center, called “Prison Inside Me,” opened in the South Korean city of Hongcheon in 2013. Since then, more than 2,000 people have put themselves through the prison-like experience.
Many of them are tired, overworked office workers or students. Some say the complete isolation of a jail environment can help them break free from day-to-day pressures.
The building looks like a real prison. Inside, individuals are kept alone in small “cells.” There is no bed in the room, so many sleep on the floor on a yoga mat.
These “prisoners” receive only a blue uniform to wear, a tea set, as well as a pen and paper for keeping notes. Prison rules are strongly enforced. Electronic devices, clocks and other personal belongings are banned. Talking among the prisoners is not permitted.
Food served is simple. It includes rice porridge in the morning, and steamed sweet potato and a banana drink for dinner.
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