Pre-cast Concrete Prison Cell. Computer Rendering by Matt Scott

I was interested to read A Typical Day for PFC Bradley Manning, a blog post by David E. Coombs, the lawyer for Wikileaks’ leaker suspect Bradley Manning.

Manning has been in Quantico Confinement Facility, a maximum security military prison since July of this year. Manning is under Prevention of Injury (POI) watch. Whether Manning is a danger to himself or not we cannot know, but we can consider the strict regime such status brings in terms of scrutiny and the control the prison authority has over his waking (and sleeping) body.


At 5:00 a.m. he is woken up (on weekends, he is allowed to sleep until 7:00 a.m.). Under the rules for the confinement facility, he is not allowed to sleep at anytime between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. If he attempts to sleep during those hours, he will be made to sit up or stand by the guards.

The guards are required to check on PFC Manning every five minutes by asking him if he is okay. PFC Manning is required to respond in some affirmative manner. At night, if the guards cannot see PFC Manning clearly, because he has a blanket over his head or is curled up towards the wall, they will wake him in order to ensure he is okay.

He is prevented from exercising in his cell. If he attempts to do push-ups, sit-ups, or any other form of exercise he will be forced to stop.

He does receive one hour of “exercise” outside of his cell daily. He is taken to an empty room and only allowed to walk. PFC Manning normally just walks figure eights in the room for the entire hour. If he indicates that he no long feels like walking, he is immediately returned to his cell.

When PFC Manning goes to sleep, he is required to strip down to his boxer shorts and surrender his clothing to the guards. His clothing is returned to him the next morning.

The body disciplined, no?