Sports day at a Japanese prison for women

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    An excerpt from a news segment that aired last week about a Sports day held at a prison for women in Japan:

    The event was modeled on Sports days held every autumn at elementary schools across Japan. Instead of class-based teams, they had cell block teams, each with its own distinctive uniform. Prisoners of all ages participated, and many of them could be seen cheering on their cellmates with childlike excitement.

    Just like at elementary and junior high schools, the main event was the relay race. Victory was decided by a race between two foreign inmates who had been chosen as the last runners for their teams. The white woman in blue won the race, and the narrator commented on how the event had brought together inmates of all ages and nationalities.

    The clip ends with some comments from a 19-year-old prison guard who had recently started working at the facility and had never before seen such an event. She had previously seen the inmates as mainly criminals who deserved imprisonment as punishment for their crimes, but seeing them participate in the event has made her see them more as fellow human beings (or so the narrator concludes).

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