Evonne Barry, in Brisbane's Courier Mail
October 25, 2009
Corby biographer Kathryn Bonella spent 18 months interviewing prisoners and guards from Bali's notorious Kerobokan Jail, dubbed "Hotel K".
Ms Bonella said she encountered a world in which the unbelievable soon became ordinary.
In that mixture is Corby, who has spent the past five years in the jail for marijuana possession, and who, Ms Bonella says, has become immune to the daily horrors.
"Finding a dead prisoner hanging by a noose one morning barely caused her to react," Ms Bonella wrote.
"I saw her shortly afterwards, and she was totally calm. Her detachment was chilling. (And) the inmates all knew this was murder."
Ms Bonella also details how guards routinely accept hundreds of dollars in bribes for upgrades to better cells, and for allowing sexual partners into the prison.
One prisoner estimates "80 per cent" of the guards are corrupt, with many running drugs in and out of the lock-up.
Renae Lawrence, the only female member of the Bali Nine heroin-smuggling syndicate, is depicted as "the playboy of the women's block". "She was big, muscular and masculine, had money and was western. Women threw themselves at her."
The three Bali Nine members awaiting execution for attempting to smuggle heroin from Indonesia to Australia in 2005 – Myuran Sukamaran, Andrew Chan and Scott Rush – live in the so-called "death tower". The other six are serving 20 years to life.