das volk will es so
task: editor, concept, design
publisher: mandelbaumverlag, Vienna
photos: julia dragosits
year: 2015-2017
size: 13.5 x 21cm, 169 pages

»The People Want it that Way« is concerned with the Austrian penal system and re-socialisation of prisoners. Among those serving sentences are so-called »mentally abnormal lawbreakers«. For this controversial measure there is no previously set date of release – when prisoners are released depends on a psychological examination. In this book we hear from these prisoners themselves. They are not degraded to numbers or statistics as they are in other publications. The project examines not only the evident problems of the penal system that are familiar to us from news reports, but also conveys the personal problems, concerns and stories of the prisoners themselves.

The visual arrangement conveys as authentic a picture as possible of the penal systems and related problems. The layout underlines and conveys the many contrasts in the book – for example in the appearance and the personalities of the prisoners themselves: on the one hand direct and cool, on the other hand hurt and humiliated.