Eyes of a Convict A Term Paper

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The above relates directly to the destruction of a prisoner's basic right for respect. Indeed, all rights, basic or not, are removed when the inmate enters the prison system. This is part of the system that destroys the former identity of the prisoner completely. Not only all self-respect, but also all respect from others, are removed from the prisoner. This destruction of respect is used by the prison system in order to keep control over the inmates. The only way in which inmates can the react is to become part of the subcultures, where they can at least earn respect from their fellow inmates, and perhaps regain some sense of self-respect.

Finally, the ideal of hope is also completely destroyed within the prison, and it is directly related to the prison sentence. A person with a life sentence for example, has little hope of release, even on parole. The destruction of hope is part of the destruction of the other basic elements of humanity. It is also one of the tools that officials use to keep control of the prisoners. Together with fear and a lack of respect, the prisoner's dehumanization is complete when removing his sense of hope. And indeed, hope is the one element that cannot be regained by joining a subculture, unless it the hope for advancing to a leadership position, or the hope of not being injured or killed by one's rivals.

Every human being has a basic need for respect, hope and safety. The correctional policy at the facility where Inmate is housed is particularly aimed at the destruction of all these in order to keep control of the prison inmates. The policy is therefore not aimed at any form of rehabilitation, but rather at punishing prisoners in the most senseless way possible for their crimes. This punishment relates to dehumanization, and the ultimate effect is that prisoners who do manage to reenter society, find it very hard to readjust to the world outside of prison.

d. In the light of the above, I would suggest several changes to the facility, and indeed to the entire prison system. Firstly, I would advocate the preservation of a prisoner's dignity and sense of safety. I would then use these as a basis for rehabilitation rather than control. As it is, officials are focused on control, based upon a paradigm of assumption. Officials assume that prisoners will reoffend once they reenter society. They also assume that prisoners will never change and therefore do not give them the opportunity to do so. The current system is therefore locked into a cycle of ineffectual and overcrowded prisons.

The first change I would therefore suggest is better treatment once prisoners enter the system. The shower, searching and other procedures should be handled with more respect towards the prisoner. Officials should not act as if they enjoy the procedure, and should make prisoners aware that it is a necessary step in ensuring that the prison remains targeted towards its goal of rehabilitation.

The goal of rehabilitation should also be implemented by starting with a change in official attitude. Officials should recognize prisoners as human beings, and not as sub-human souls who do not have any hope of improving themselves or their lives. Education programs should be targeted towards making prisoners understand that they have committed a crime and should make amends for this. When they understand the basic truth of their offense and its effect, they must be aware that they can change if they want to. The whole prison system should then be targeted towards affecting this change.

Psychiatrists and other medical professionals should also be employed not only to take ineffective tests, but rather to provide prisoners with the opportunity to talk about things that bother them, and particularly about the lives and actions they chose to lead to their prison sentences. This is one of the ways in which prisoners can be made aware of the necessity to take responsibility for their crimes. The prison should therefore not be an establishment outside of society, but should rather be used as a facility to help inmates learn to become part of society again. Each prisoner should be infused with the hope of reentering society. Rewards can be offered in this regard. Prisoners should for example be offered the opportunity to perform some public service in return for which they can be allowed some supervised time outside of the prison walls in order to once again prepare them for society.

A cannot imagine what it would be like to be in prison. The complete loss of freedom to do something I take for granted in general life is a horror I cannot contemplate. I cannot imagine being unable to go to the movies or play pool with my friends. I cannot imagine what it would be like to not be able to shop for a new pair of jeans when I feel like it, or to have to ask for something to read when I'm bored, or indeed be unable to watch television when I want or to what I want.

In the light of the above and after reading the documents, I by no means deny that some form of correctional facility is necessary to curb the escalating crime in modern society. I just feel the form that it currently takes is hopelessly ineffective. This is proven by the statistics. While I do not claim that my solutions are perfect, some form of change is necessary, and should be implemented soon, if officials do not want a crisis on…[continue]

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