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Lessons Learned From ‘Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons’

Raphael Rowe was wrongfully charged with murder and sentenced to lifetime in a optimum stability jail at the age of twenty. In the course of his time in a 9-foot by 6-foot mobile, bodily exercise and meditation have been the only escapes from confinement.

“It was crucial to my survival that I did everything feasible to stay healthy,” Rowe tells Men’s Journal from his house outside the house London. “As the days handed, convicted for crimes I did not commit, the only way to purge the anger was powerful exercise.”

The convictions in opposition to Rowe have been sooner or later overturned, but not ahead of he spent 12 a long time of his grownup lifetime behind bars. Once absolutely free, he focused his electrical power on a job in investigative journalism. Subsequent a successful operate with the BBC, he moved to a matter close to house, exploring the humanity among prisoners in a docuseries called Inside the World’s Hardest Prisons for Netflix.

Rowe spoke with Men’s Journal about the lessons he discovered even though locked up, switching the prisoner narrative, and dealing with isolation.

Can you describe your environment in jail immediately after the conviction?

Currently being a twenty-yr-old male at the time ahead of I went into jail, I was on the fringes, smoking and consuming. I did some sports activities schooling. I studied taekwondo. But as soon as I acquired locked up, performing out became completely vital. Due to the severity of the crimes they charged me with, I was place in a cage in a cage. Being in a optimum stability jail meant I was on my individual for the most part, isolated for 23 hrs a day. For one hour they moved me to a larger sized wired cage, about twenty-foot by twenty-foot, the place the other prisoners would seem in. In their minds I was the most “dangerous.” I experienced nearly no conversation with other human beings through that time. When they moved me, I was escorted by two jail guards. There have been CCTV cameras everywhere.