The Psychological Effects of Prisons Essay

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The Psychological Effects of Prisons


"I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence"
-former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger


"If recent incarceration rates remain unchanged, an estimated 1 out of every 20 persons (5.1%) will serve time in a prison during their lifetime.
-U.S. Department of Justice


One of the largest problems with the prison issue in America today is that it gets little attention. Unlike education, pollution or gun control people are usually not concerned enough to get involved with the problem until it happens to someone they love or
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This study represents a parallel to the behavior found in incarcerated humans. Jails cause the same psychological side effects as prisons, to a smaller degree, in the effects of being en-caged, however, the overall standard of living in jails is much higher. There is a decent relationship between the guards and the jailers. The jailers are allowed to interact with the same people on their 'block' between "lockdown" times. Lock-down is when the jailers are confined to their cells, usually at night and for a short while in the day, during a change of shift. This method allows inmates to play cards, watch TV together and at very least walk around something else besides their cell. The prison system, however, usually remains in lockdown all the time, although they can speak to each other, they usually can't see each other without a mirror. Observing these two methods, and what little problems there are in jails as opposed to prisons leads me to believe that if you treat a human being like a human being they will act like a human being. If you lock them in a cage all day they may as well act like an animal. (Prison Activist Resource Center, 1-3)
People sometimes argue this case stating that the offenses committed by jailers are less serious than by prisoners and that prisons are more hostile because they house the more serious offenders. These people forget that jails hold people before they are…