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Thread: Life in Azkaban

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    Life in Azkaban

    What was daily life like in Azkaban? I know that we get a little insight from Sirius in PoA, but I'm looking for a bit more detail. What kind of food did they eat? How many times a day did they eat? Were there windows in the cells? Beds? Toilets? How about proximity- would people share a cell? Anything is appreciated, not just these questions. Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Ashley
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    Heya,

    There's not much canon evidence for this, but we can infer and use comparisons to our own prison system to give us clues.

    What kind of food did they eat?
    I'm thinking school cafeteria food, only a little worse. Maybe plain bread, meat, and water. Very basic and simple. These people wouldn't be given very good treatment after all.

    How many times a day did they eat?
    Probably three, perhaps one or two if the subject had been behaving badly (or if the guards/warden was particularly cruel).

    Were there windows in the cells?
    I could imagine maybe one *tiny* window completely covered in bars, for the cells along the outer wall. Cells along the inner wall would obviously not have windows.

    Beds? Toilets?
    Perhaps a small cot with a flat, old mattress and a shabby blanket and pillow. I would assume some form of waste disposal system would have to be in place also, as the guards wouldn't want to risk letting prisoners out all the time to use the bathroom.

    How about proximity- would people share a cell?
    I highly doubt it. Most of Azkaban's inhabitants are considered very dangers and would most likely be kept out of the vacinity of other people whenever possible. However, if your story requires that prisoners have cell mates, I could see instances wherey you could make it fit.

    Good luck with your story!
    Ashley

  3. #3
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    Hm, I think life in Azkaban was pretty boring and well-structured, not giving the prisoners much distraction from the misery they are stuck in.

    Cells:
    I believe each prisoner has his/her own cell. In PoA Sirius told he used to change into his Animagus form to stay sane. If he had shared his cell with another prisoner, then this person would have known about his Animagus form. And keeping people in solitude lets them break faster. When you have no one to talk to, you loose hope. But you try to stay sane as long as possible, clutching onto every single happy memory you can think of. And this makes it easier for the Dementors to feed on those happy memories when they're already on the surface of your mind. At least I believe it this way.

    Consistence of walls:
    I also believe that each cell is kind of a closed ward. I imagine three of the walls to be of solid rock. We know that Azkaban is built on a rocky island in the North Sea, and there waves can get pretty wild with enough wind - solid rock walls would protect the prison from being flooded over and over again. Windows are probably only for the cells that are situated near the top of the prison, where waves have small or no chances to ever reach that height.

    The fourth wall, the one with the door, might either be bars (similar to the ones in the TV series or movies) where you can look into the cell from the hall, or it's again made of rock, with a door which opens into the room. I tend to the former, because when Sirius changed into a dog, he needed to hear when anyone (human) was approaching to change back into man. With bars he'd hear who's nearing the cell, but with walls all around, it's rather hard to hear anything, because if the rock is thick and hard enough, then little to no sound gets through and Sirius wouldn't get warned early enough to change back.

    Meals:
    I'd say that the prisoners eat two times a day - in the (perhaps later) morning and in the (early) evening, or around noon and the second meal at night. The Dementors bring the food and use the chance to suck out a bit happiness of each prisoner in the process, thus feeding for themselves. Food would most likely be something papescent (e.g. oatmeal gruel, smashed potatoes) or different kinds of soup; they would definitely not get anything fancy like meat or vegetables. The meal could be prepared by a or many house-elves. They have other emotions and feelings and can't be compared to the ones the prisoners feel, so the Dementors won't be able to suck out their happiness.

    Drinks would have been water only.

    Furniture:
    The prisoners have most likely only some old and worn-out mattress that lie on the naked stony floor, with maybe a thin and scratchy blanket to cover themselves. Toilets would probably be only some (chamber) potty which each cell had one in. How those would get emptied, I haven't really thought about (maybe the house-elves? But this would mean that the prisoners get visitors every day which is most unlikely in my opinion), because if the prisoners would do it themselves, then they'd actually be allowed to leave their cells even if it is only for a short amount of time. And I believe they never leave a cell again once they entered it for the first time. And except those two things I don't think there's anything else in the cells. Only dust and stone.

    Visitors:
    There are probably few to none. I think there's no visiting room; visitors are required to walk through the prison until they reach the cell. Talk would only be through the bars.

    Hm... I think that's all I can think of at the moment. If I have more ideas, I might come back and edit this post or post another one.

    I hope I could help you a bit.
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    Life In Azkaban

    Hey!

    I think life in the jail would be pretty dull... As we know the island is made out of rock and it is hard to escape.... Knowing this we can guess that there is no way to visit, as many people would not visit, seeing as the Dementors always sucked any happiness away and could possibly mistake the guest for a prisoner.

    It is possible that the prisoners got food, but I think it was mainly bread and water and they had it brought to their cells, rather then it it together.

    I agree with Bine - I think that it is very improbable that there is alot in the cells... I think it is just dust and stone, with a possible bedroll, for something to sleep on, but that is pretty much it...

    As to the prisoners getting vistors, I do believe that Barty Croutch Jr. said that his father would visit. Towards the end of the stay, he said that his father and mother came to visit and covered his sickly mother in an Ivisibility Cloak and snuck him out . This was probable as the Dementors could not see the prisoners, they only felt them.

    I am sure however that there is more to life in jail, but a wizarding jail could be tough...

    Thats all the ideas I have, hope it helps..

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  6. #6
    xCheersForTheEnd
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    Life in Azkaban is nothing short of what it seems - A life in prison. In your worst sort of (real life) prison, the inmates are nothing short of tortured. Especially in places where laws of welfare and humane treatment aren't as strict. Azkaban strongly reminds me of Alcatraz - a notorious prison off the coast of San Francisco, California. (Actually, when I was at Alcatraz I kept calling it Azkaban and my friends kept laughing at me! ) Both prisons are infamous for doing what they do best at - driving prisoners to the brink of insanity and breaking all spirits.

    I'd imagine that Azkaban would have certain cell-blocks, like a regular prison. From the General Population, to areas such as Death Row. I'd imagine that Azkaban would probably have some sort of PC unit - although, I doubt they'd care much about the supervision of suicidal prisoners or former ministry officials and such. Although they might. In my mind Death Eaters are given free range around areas such as Death Row. They're going to be dying by kiss soon enough anyway, the Dementors would just enjoy being around more. I doubt that prisoners would be allowed any sort of recreation that relates to modern prison. They'd be kept with the bare minimum to survive. Remember, Azkaban's intent is to destroy all soul in a human being.

    The prison, like Alcatraz, is situated on an island. A very rocky one. I'd image around the rocks and "beaches" there would first be retaining walls, with maybe one gate for an entrance. I believe there would be guard posts here for keeping watch. The prison would be situated in the middle, at the island's highest point. It would obviously be made out of rock or something that can sustain harsh weather. As for an individual cell, I don't believe that a prisoner would be able to have roommates. A simple 5 x 5 cell perhaps, surrounded by stone walls with a door of bars. The interior of the cells would be completely plain. Naked stone, cracked, with one slit of a window for the outer cells. Much like castle windows would be for Archery. (if you understand what I'm talking about.) They would be covered with bars. Inmates would probably receive between 2 - 3 meals a day unless being kept under maximum security or being punished for some discretion in the prison. The meals would be incredibly meager, maybe corn mush or potato soup. We're talking your basic bread and water deal here. The cell itself would probably contain a cot, with a pillow. Maybe not even a blanket. I'd imagine that there would be some sort of toilet in the corner of a cell. It would probably run by magic, so that no one would have to enter or leave the cell to empty it. Routine torture of inmates is entirely possible.

    In any case, use your imagination and base it off of real prisons if you wish. Alcatraz is a good bet. (:

    ~ Jen.

  7. #7
    leahsm2
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    I think the fact that it is mentioned that Azkaban was altered when a saner Ministry took over denotes the fact that life at Azkaban was very tough. Everyone who came out of there, (except Lucius Malfoy, maybe) seems to have been brought to the edge of madness, if not toppled outright over it. We do know, however that prisoners with connections had access to visitors, but I would think most were left alone to rot.

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