Prison Me No Way

Prison Me No Way, also known as Prison Me? No Way!, is a 1999 video produced by the Singapore government with the intention of deterring teenagers and youths from crime. The video dramatizes the life of a young male convict in prison and showcases various aspects of prison life -- starting from the first day and ending with the social stigma the young man faces after his release. The names of all the actors in the video are not revealed.


A young man has just started serving his jail term. He reflects on what he has done to cause himself to end up in prison -- the brief flashbacks suggest that he was involved in a gang fight that resulted in someone getting seriously injured, and he was sentenced to three years imprisonment and six strokes of the cane. He goes through some administrative procedures, like registration and surrendering his personal belongings (which will be returned to him when he is released). He is then given a crew cut and a set of prison uniform (T-shirt and shorts) to wear. A male prison officer brings him to a private room and orders him to strip naked for a visual inspection of his body to ensure that he is not hiding anything on his body. The prisoner is then shown to his cell. Later, a senior prison officer interviews him and asks him why he is in prison and explains to him what is expected of him.

The video then shows several aspects of his daily routine -- marching and foot drills; meal times; sleeping on a mat in his cell etc. He also has flashbacks on his life outside prison and compares the harsh life he is leading now with his normal life in the past. His mother and his girlfriend visit him, and his girlfriend says she will wait for him. One day, he hears that his father is very ill, and is allowed to visit his father in hospital, under the supervision of prison guards. His father refuses to talk to him, while other people give him disapproving looks as he is escorted back to prison, with his hands cuffed behind his back.

The caning scene is then shown. He is brought back to his cell after that and he immediately lies face down on the floor. The video then fast-forwards to showing him being released after spending three years in jail. His father had died from illness. His girlfriend has abandoned him even though she promised to 'wait for him' three years ago. When he is filling in a job application form, he sees a question -- Have you been convicted in a court of law before? -- and pauses. The video ends here.

Caning sceneEdit

Viewers should take note that this scene is a staged reenactment, and is not the real thing.

The judicial caning scene is quite vividly portrayed. The caning trestle looks like the one used in real life and its details are clearly visible. The prisoner, completely naked except for a cloth covering his genitals and padding around his lower back, is bent over on the trestle and his wrists and ankles shackled to the frame by leather cuffs. Someone says, "Six strokes of cane. Caner, are you ready?" The camera then zooms in to his bared buttocks before zooming out to a view of the prison officer's hand wielding a rattan cane. The officer gets into position and when the command "One!" is shouted, he swings the cane down. The camera then zooms in to the prisoner's face. The camera then alternates between the prison officer swinging the cane and the prisoner's facial expressions for the next two strokes or so before fast-forwarding.

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