China may have a reputation for meting out swift and harsh justice to those who run afoul of its legal system but a Mother's Day event held at the Beijing Women's Prison proves it's not all 'Midnight Express'.
The Beijing Women's Prison opened in 1999 and its design, construction and daily operations give a nod to modern theories of criminology.
Not to say that everyday life is a bowl of cherries for the prisoners – especially those convicted of “serious” crimes – but the Chinese government does seem to be making efforts on the inmates' behalf that go beyond the prison buildings' pretty pink paint jobs.
One such example is the event staged at the BWP on May 4th, 2011, for 60-odd prisoners in honor of Mother's Day. Authorities at the Beijing Women's Prison invited the mothers and other relatives of these selected inmates to the prison auditorium where a special performance was presented.
The main event mainly consisted of a music and dance program performed by the women prisoners for the audience of mothers and relatives. One imagines that significant time was used by the inmates to practice and rehearse beforehand, activities that likely boosted their mental and physical health.
Time was provided following the performance for inmates to meet with their mothers and relatives in a more friendly atmosphere than that offered by conventional visits.
As Confucian ideals embody the principle of self-improvement as well as respect for one's elders, this special Mother's Day performance provided an example of how modern China still upholds the values and virtues of her greatest philosopher. (via Xinhuanet and BJLJ)