Separation Exists Between Society And The Penal System

Decent Essays

Separation exists between society and the penal system, and due to this, there is a grave lack of knowledge of what is happening behind bars and how we can improve the situation we have currently in regards to the prison system. There are major flaws that exist within the penal system, and Angela Davis highlighted the main one of secrecy. We know based off of research that our prison population commonly consists of individuals who struggle academically (Petersilia, 2003, pg 32). Because of this lack of a strong education, they may not possess basic skills like reading, with about 20 % performing at an illiterate level within state facilities (Petersilia, 2003, pg 32), which prisons are not going around glorifying. Another sort of hidden and degrading factor that Davis does not directly mention is the use of solitary confinement. We learned from Maggie’s presentation the harmful mental health effects on those whom are placed in solitary confinement (December 1, presentations). While in solitary confinement, inmates are hidden away in “a place of punishment within a place of punishment” (Conover, 2001, pg 126), while being degraded with neither little to no time outside, nor any human interaction (Conover, 2001, pg 127). It’s disturbing that it was not intended as a form of punishment, yet is used as one now (October 22, film). During the History of Prisons film we watched, they explained the use of solitary confinement for reflection purposes (October 22, film).
There has

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