Essay Summary of Life in Prison
Prison life in most society is not considered a life worth mentioning. When a person decides to break the law and take up a life of crime, he or she should be aware of certain circumstances that lie ahead. When individuals break the law in our society, the pathway to a life in jail or prison is almost certain. Life simple freedom that most of society enjoys are limited in prison, and in some case none existence. Told where to go, how to act, when to speak, when to rise for the day or when to sleep can be torture.
While enduring this he or she is confined in a small cell surrounded by the worst criminals society has to offer can make what life one has left a living nightmare (Heydoorn, 2008). In this paper, I will discuss my personal perspective that I have on Life in Prison. I will also discuss the policies that I would enforce, inmates need for respect, change in correctional policies that I would implement, and my beliefs on why people become criminals.
After reading various topics on prison life during this course of study, along with my personal experience as a law enforcement officer, my perspective and understanding of prison life has not change. The main purpose of jail and prison has not change since the early days of our society. Prisons in our society are to house those citizens, which have committed crimes, like murder, rape, arson, and burglary. These citizens are held until their day in court, their trail has been set, and punishment has been rendered.
Our ancestors intended purpose of jails and prisons were used as a form of punishment against the offender, a deterrent against the offender from committing crimes, removing dangerous criminals from our society and rehabilitation of less violent criminals. The system I think is ineffective so my understanding is that the system works. However, I am not supportive of the harsh conditions that some inmates will experience while incarcerated. The subculture of gang life and having to choose between living prison life safe or a victim of prison life is a difficult choice (Latessa, 2004).
Some policies that I would make to aid the adjustment of prisoners to prison life are first address the subculture mentality that all inmates will experience. This unwritten inmate code, which is nothing more than a certain rules, and belief that used to bind inmates together. Prison life within this culture sees prison as nothing more than a training ground for gladiators. Here is where the strong will survive and flourish in this culture or weak shall become victims. This one area seldom addressed in the majority of prisons.
In some cases, prisons officials allow this system to operate for fear of staff safety and gang retaliation. If this were the first order of attack, an inmate might have the chance at rehabilitation and reeducating themselves for reentry back to society (De Viggiani, 2006). In prison life for an inmate, his or her very existence is based on respect, hope, and safety that he or she will survive their sentence. If respect is given to an inmate as, a human being than respect should be rendered in return. Respect can be the difference between a prison riots or safe staff.
Giving an inmate hope can change an individual whole outlook on prison life. Though hope an inmate can, one acquires his or her GED, learn a trade, kick drug addiction, and one-day walk out a free man. Other changes in policy that I would suggest in both state and federal prison would first start with the correctional management staff ideology. In almost every state in the United States prison system operates with the idea that if a plan worked good one day why change it the next. In other words if the system is not broken why fix it.
The correctional system is like any other field in our society reluctant to change even when it is long overdue. The hearts and minds of correctional professionals, is a start in the right direction. In the last 100 years, there has been very little difference in how our prisons are operated this needs to change. Just because it was successful in 1950 does not mean it is for 2011. During this course of study, I do not think that there is no definite reason people become criminals. It is hard for me to think that individuals are merely born criminals and its is beyond that person control to do otherwise.
I think that some people just take up criminal activity because the lifestyle and danger of being caught appeals to their behavior. Others might do strictly for financial gains that might override any rational thought. Some because of their environment see it as easy ticket out of poverty in which he or she grew up. The list could go on with no simple answer. However, I am confident that if the majority of our society were taught at an early age that criminal behavior is a no win scenario that will only led them to a life in prison.