Essay on Life in Prison

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If you walked into a room with 84 adults, chances are two of them have been in prison. One out of 42 adults in the United States has been incarcerated. 2.3 million people serving time behind bars outnumber the residents of the fourth largest U.S. city. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many if its own citizens.” The U.S. has locked up more people than any other country (Paleaz, 2013). Are prisons in the U.S. doing what they were intended to do? Out of the millions of lawbreakers confined, how many are getting reformed, learning new trades, completing degrees or refining criminal behaviors? This would seem like a legitimate question, but the real question is, “Who is…show more content…
According to Bettina Aptheker, there are no prisons in the United States. There is a Department of Corrections, and there are “correctional facilities” equipped with “educational programs, ““vocational training” and the necessary “psychiatric therapy.” Aptheker also maintains that the U.S. has inmates and not prisoners. Political prisoners do not exist, just terrorists and those who perpetrate criminal violence. The basic premise behind imprisonment is such that a prisoner is deprived of morals and that there could be no other logical explanation for confinement. Aptheker also states that there is a slight suggestion that the system itself is at fault. At the time of Aptheker’s writing she quoted an assistant warden, who is also a clinical psychologist from San Quentin who said during an interview that prisoners suffer from “retarded emotional growth.” The warden also went on to say that, “the first goal of prison is to isolate people the community does not want at large. Safe confinement is the goal. The second obligation is a focused on a good housekeeping job, the old humanitarian treatment concept.” Which means that once the inmate is restricted and isolated as dictated by the institutions standing operating procedures, he may start to receive treatment. Prison: stimulating the economy or legalizing slavery The majority of the inmates are black or hispanic and as prisoners are forced to work for various industries for a few dollars a day. Palaez

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