Fuji X100S visits prison

All pics are SOOC JPEG either from Fuji, and one from iPhone. When you read the story, you'll figure out why I don't plan to develop those further. Just documented as seen and then I try to forget everything related.

Fuji X100S visits prison

The best property of the town was occupied by a prison for more than 150 years.

Ten years ago the prison was moved to new building outside of the town, and two years ago group of entrepreneurs bought the property from town and are developing the prison for apartments and for other commercial use: restaurants, spa etc.

This (2017) is the last summer public can visit the old prison and get hands-on experiment, without taking time in there :) Although demolition has already vanished some of the experience for good.

This prison, Kakola, was many ways controversial or juxtaposed. It was never meant to be prison.

It was used as a prison for the worst of the worst, but it was relatively easy to escape.

So there are many stories, unfortunately also very violent ones, of the escapes. People actually living in the neighbourhoods suffered from the runaways: they were hiding in the cellars, they took laundry from the yards to change clothes, they stole food etc. Later they build more secure wings to the prison and restricted the visibility of inmates to the activities of prison. But still, in this prison it was easy to be active and know what’s happening, who came in and who was released and when. And there was massive alcohol and drug problems in that prison.


This prison was not for the first-timers. You needed to be convicted at least three times to get ’honored’ to serve time in there.

Night cells - inmates in these worked during the day in workshops and quarry (main building is built of the stone from own quarry, as well as many buildings in the town)

And the best view to the sea was from the wing which withhold more than 6 times convicted for the same crime and violent murderers.
Wing for the most difficult inmates

The one of the meanest guy (no women in this prison) was convicted before Finland came independent. He murdered many men and women and was sent away to Siberia, where he made 4 or 5 manslaughters, run away, and walked back to Finland. Tough guy he was. Later he was desperate in the prison and tried a suicide with own handmade knife, stabbed himself to the chest 7 times, but survived. He finally succeeded to hang himself to the rope he had made in prison.


Once upon a time there was also famous bank-robber serving time in Kakola. He made his crimes mostly in Sweden, although Finnish guy. Swedish Volvo was made at that time to un-breakable, impossible to steal. Tells something about the Swedish-Finnish relationship, this robber always used stolen Volvos as escape cars. Therefore named as Volvo-Markkanen. By the way, good name for bank-robber, markkanen = little markka, and markka was Finnish currency at that time :) This Markkanen-character also told story, which couldn’t be verified nor denied before his death, that he had smuggled dynamite to the prison. Reason for this was that he suffered of claustrophobia, and was afraid that he would have been left to the cell in case of fire or something. They haven’t started to demolish his last cell, yet, but hearsay tells that they gonna be extra careful….

'Philadelphia' -style wing, where Markkanen served time

Until very recent years, participating to the service in the church at Sundays was mandatory for inmates. The chapel in prison however didn’t have any bars on windows. One trusted inmate once convinced the officers of prison that windows needed to be cleaned. He was very thorough and waited his chance, and one day he escaped with traditional rope made of sheets. Unlucky for him, church window he used as escape route was above prison warden office… This warden happened to be one of my best friend’s grandfather :)




Cell in punishment section, in cellar. The smell was still awful, although not used for ten years anymore. Once they hold one difficult violent guy there for three years in a row!

Prisons like Kakola are very sad places, and inhabitants likewise even more sad characters. There are many stories, like the one of trusted inmate who bathed every morning in the hot porridge water; shower and sauna was available for regular inmates only once a week. And you can’t be sure which stories are true and which are legends. However this last one might be true based on hearsay :) In prison inmates don’t have much, other than time. Some use it to feed ’pets’: rats, squirrels, pigeons etc.

This one inmate took his hobby to ultimatum: he tamed pigeons, and made small leather rucksacks for them, small skis from ice-cream sticks and helmets from halfs of the table-tennis balls. In helmet he wrote: ’Greetings from Kakola’. There had been a lots of surprised faces in the market square few kilometers away, when his ski-warrior pigeon landed to the square.

Builders found half of table-tennis balls, stacked between the windows. Now mostly vanished.


  • DSCF4336.jpg
    471 KB · Views: 39
  • DSCF4385.jpg
    207.1 KB · Views: 44


Hall of Famer
UK, Essex
Real Name
Peter Tachauer
thanks for that story and the pictures. Every prison I have ever been to (not as inmate I hasten to add) has had the same smell, atmosphere and sounds. It is as unique as the smell of the morgue, or 60's car interiors.

Latest threads

Top Bottom