For many people, prison is a place to escape . For South Koreans needing a rest from the demands of daily life, per day at a prison is your escape.
“This prison provides me a feeling of liberty,” explained Park Hye-ri, a 28-year-old office employee who paid $90 to spend 24 hours locked up in a mock prison.
Since 2013, the “Prison Inside Me” centre in northeast Hongcheon has hosted over 2,000 inmates, many stressed office workers and students looking for relief from South Korea’s demanding labour and academic culture.
“I had been too busy,” explained Park because she sat at a 5-sq-m (54-sq-foot) mobile. “I should not be here , given the job I have to do. However, I made a decision to pause and look back for a much better life.”
Prison rules are rigorous. No speaking with other offenders. No cellular phones or clocks.
Clients receive a blue prison uniform, a yoga mat, tea place, a pencil and notebook. They sleep on the ground. There’s a little toilet in the area, but no mirror.
The menu consists of steamed sweet potato and a banana shake for dinner, lunch, and rice porridge for breakfast.
Co-founder Noh Ji-Hyang stated the mock prison had been motivated by her husband, a prosecutor who regularly put in 100-hour function .
“He said he’d rather go into solitary confinement for a week to have a break and feel better,” she explained. “This was the start.”
A recession in South Korea’s high tech, export-driven market has intensified a hyper-competitive faculty and work environment which specialists say increases a higher prevalence of stress and suicide.
South Koreans functioned 2,024 hours average in 2017, the next highest following Mexico and Costa Rica, in a poll of 36 member nations in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
To help individuals work less and earn more, the government has increased the minimum wage and reduce the authorized limitation on working hours to 52 a week by 68. However, the coverages can backfire and put at danger more jobs than they produce economists say.
Noh said some clients are cautious of spending 24 or even 48 hours at a prison cell, till they try it.
“Following a stay from the prison, people say,’This isn’t a prison, the actual prison is where people return to,'” she explained.