Around 1820 the number of prisoners at Nya Älvsborg has increased to around 120, now made up of prisoners from all over Sweden. Each of the lodgements hosts 25-30 people. The vaults are humid and in dire need of reparations. It’s not hard to imagine that 25-30 people in a small space, many sick with just one lavatory, produce a horrid smell. There are multiple transgressions carried out by the guards. The most common modes of discipline are to place the inmates in a very bright or a very dark cell, or to solely feed them bread and water. Another punishment is being dressed in “iron clothing”, which is foot and hand cuffs. The most common “iron clothing” is called The Parade Uniform of Älvsborg and can weigh up to 80 kgs.
Prisoners who act unethical towards other prisoners, for example by stealing or telling the guards about escape plans, are dealt with at night. The “Vault punishment” is carried out by other prisoners. The inmate’s shoulders and head are pressed between his knees, shaping the body to a ball. He is then hung up over the lavatory, head down, overnight. In the morning the inmate usually gets beaten, unless he hasn’t already passed away in the night. In that case, he’s hung up and portrayed as a suicide.