Prison Life Essays

1953 Words May 28th, 2001 8 Pages
Prison Life
Most people have no idea what it feels like to be in prison, statistically only one out of every five people will know what its like to be in prison. Approximately 1.4 million people out of the U.S.'s 280 million people are in prison. (Thomas, 2) The only reason people know about prisons is because of the media. The news, movies, and books all contribute to people's stereotypes about prisons. Prisoners receive three meals a day, workout facilities, a library, as well as other things. People are also given the idea, through the mass media, that prisoners are free to walk around certain parts of the prison. All of these ideas are cast upon prisons so that people will not be afraid of them. Society has been given the idea
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Prisoners have many things that they have to cope with while in prison. The most common thing is missing one's family or friends the next being missing one's freedom. (Zamble, 91) These are only two examples of the numerous things that inmates have to cope with. They are moving into an environment in which most of them have only heard about in movies or on television so they do not know what to expect. "The prison experience is sufficiently powerful that it nullifies much of the variance among inmates, and they come to resemble each other much more than before imprisonment." (Zamble, 92) Everything in prison is basically uniform and routine. When you create uniformity it takes away people's sense of self, it causes them to act similarly over time. So, if you were to imprison a person over time he would lose his sense of self and would become more like the people that surround him.
Most prisoners try to keep as busy as possible in order to keep their minds off of family. The more that they occupy their time the less they will think about things that they miss. By keeping busy the prisoners are able to keep themselves in higher spirits. If they have nothing to do some inmates turn to reading letters or writing letters. "‘When I feel down about [being lonely], I read a letter or write one. If I don't have a new letter I read old ones, they're still a pick-me-up and I feel better until I get a new one.'"

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