Relaxing in a Women's Prison in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Concrete block walls and harsh lighting—the massage parlor looks like prison. Almost feels like prison. But the crew of grateful, motivated, smiling women, appearing from the prison's inner maze to wash feet and to pull, prod, and twist their clients into relaxation, insist otherwise. The Chiang Mai Women's Correctional Institution has a massage program, plus a pleasant cafe, a boutique full of prison-made handicrafts, and a hairdressing facility. It's all part of an innovative program that enables soon-to-be-released women to prepare for release by earning with a small bit of savings and a set of marketable skills. Customers leave the prison feeling relaxed and restored. Rehabilitated inmates leave standing up.