A major portion of an inmate's helplessness, deprivation, depression and self-loathing etc. arises due to physical and psychological victimization that he or she has to face. Physical victimization includes homicide, assault and rape. These arise due to poor staff supervision and keeping defenseless prisoners with the violent ones. On the other hand, psychological victimization involves verbal manipulation and harsh psychological attacks of personal nature.
The stronger inmates attempt to create their own subcultures that show their dominance, rule and assertion on all prisoners (Heilpern, 1998). To fulfill the maintenance of these subcultures, they resort to rape, riots or even homicide spreading mental illnesses like stress, phobias, enhanced criminal activity, shame, guilt, etc. among the weaker prisoners.
Imprisonment: Eliminating or aggravating crime?
It is not a hidden matter that jails, even after intensive care and security, are not free of brutality, stress and violence among the inmates. The safety of each and every inmate is threatened as well as the prisoner himself is a threat to other's safety. Record of prisons show that constant fear and stress hardly cure the offenders. More than 2.2 million Americans are imprisoned at this time; this population remains dynamic and the number of people released is quite near to the number of people who go back (Gudrais, 2013). The released persons, although apparently lucky, have to face the world from where they were rejected before with an even more smudged past. Unfortunately, more than two thirds of the people released are arrested again. This ratio raises a very significant question on the status of prisons as remedial facilities for offenders of the society (Gudrais, 2013).
Lack of social support and rehabilitative services to the prisoners carry a heavy cost to the offender. Locking up people and being ignorant towards their basic human needs is not humane as well; this strategy does not work anymore. Crime itself is stimulated by society's wrongdoers and not to compel them to loathe the society even more. They are in actuality correctional facilities doing a noble job for everyone in the world. Instead, now prisoners go to jail and return even more psychologically disturbed and contorted. Social security institutions have to develop methods and living conditions in jails and prisons that provide a reformatory environment to the prisoner; he should be able to recognize his crime as a 'crime and wrong-doing.' Once out of jail, the formerly incarcerated person should ideally be able to live a productive life without being a public safety threat.
Psychologists and psychiatrists play a significant role as well as people who have had spent some part of their life in prison are now functional citizens. Inspiration of seeing a similar person living a wholesome life can be the very best incentive. Psychologists, on the other hand, are able to understand and manipulate the mental situation and turmoil experienced by the prisoners and recommend programs that will suit best to an inmate for his mental and social remedy. A person in prison has to be helped in dealing with the reality that he is facing in a way that he grows out of it as a better and improved individual at the very least.
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Gendreau, P., Cullen, F.T., & Goggin, C. (1999). The effects of prison sentences on recidivism. Ottawa: Solicitor General Canada.
Gudrais, E. (2013, March). The Prison Problem. Harvard Magazine.
Heilpern, D. (1998). Fear or favour: Sexual assault of young prisoners (Vol. 35). Lismore: Southern Cross University Press.
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