Inside the Walls: Exploring the Key Areas of Prison Life - Free Report Example

Published: 2024-01-26
Inside the Walls: Exploring the Key Areas of Prison Life - Free Report Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Government Security Behavior
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1473 words
13 min read


Prisons are designed in a particular way to ensure the well-being and security of both prisoners and prison staff, including the warden and prison officers. For this to be achieved, prisons usually contain different areas that perform various functions to ensure prison life is better because prisoners have basic human rights. These areas might include;

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Control Units

In many prisons, members have the freedom to socialize freely with each other and talk about any topic they wish. This gives them the freedom of movement where members can freely move in areas where the general population freely. Significantly, there are control units in prison that are used for the well-being of the general population. These are usually highly secure areas of a prison facility where prisoners, who have either caused trouble to others while in prison or those who need to be placed away from the general population because of protective custody, are placed in solitary confinement (McGeachan). These facilities are usually built to protect the general public; for instance, when a prisoner is seen posing danger to other prisoners, they are usually taken to the control unit. This prisoner might have the intention of hurting others or trying to bring violence to the prison in any way. Another set of prisoners that can be taken to the control unit are those on a suicide watch. These prisoners are usually assumed to cause danger to themselves or others to avoid any uncertainties. It is better if they are taken to a special care unit until they change their behavior or intentions.

Recreation and Fitness Areas

In many prisons, there are limited recreational and fitness facilities provided for the benefit of all prisoners in a given institution. In many instances, recreational facilities have faced a lot of criticism from the public, claiming that many prisons these days are being “soft” on prisoners, which is why they are giving them time to go to these recreational facilities (Frey and Delaney). To ensure the recreation of prisoners, they are provided with gyms, television sets, arts and crafts, and various sporting activities, such as basketball and soccer.

Prisons need these recreational and fitness facilities as they can significantly help reduce the rate of sexual assaults in prisons, fighting, challenges with correctional personnel, boredom, and temper flare-ups (Frey and Delaney). Reducing these activities, for example, prison fights can lead to prisoners’ emotional and physical well-being. This is because, long ago, before introducing recreational and fitness facilities, many people came from prisons with emotional instability and physical unstable. This was because of the harsh living conditions in prison, which led to many ex-convicts joining gangs after prison because that is what they were used to survive.

Additionally, prison administrators usually find these areas beneficial for the whole prison. This is because, through the provision of recreational opportunities, order is usually maintained in prisons. After all, many prisoners are usually focused on these activities rather than causing any problems for prison staff, such as fighting. Through the use of these facilities, prison wardens can decide to use them as leverage when a prisoner is caught on the wrong side of the law. For example, they can decide to deprive prisoners of recreational opportunities to punish any wrongdoings.

Library and Educational Areas

Generally, most prisons contain libraries where prisoners can study a topic they are willing to. These libraries’ primary roles are to act as a roadmap to good practice and provide knowledge to all prisoners (Finlay and Bates). With the highest numbers of prisoners having achieved basic education alone, libraries are essential as they can help them develop different skills that can be useful when they leave prison. This is because, when someone is looking for a job, they are required to have reached a certain level of education, depending on the job category. For example, a company might require its employees to have graduated from high school for them to be employed.

Additionally, some prisons offer educational services for inmates, including basic literacy, and secondary or college education but in rare cases. Prisoners usually enroll in education services for various reasons. For example, when inmates need to please the prison staff, they can enroll in an education program, which usually earns them an early release from prison due to their excellent behavior. Significantly, prisoners can use the library to do further research on their cases, which is usually done by those who understand the law and then use it to advise their lawyers on various decisions.

Moreover, libraries can improve the quality of life of inmates because many of those who attend these libraries can improve their literacy and increase their ability to understand the prison rules and regulations, which can in return lead to good behavior. Prisoners can also improve their ability to read books, which will encourage the inmate’s self-reflection.

Healthcare Area

These are usually found in wealthy and industrialized countries like the USA and England, where they provide medical care for most prisoners depending on their health conditions. Moreover, the medical staff in prisons can significantly monitor, organize, and control the prison population by using psychiatric evaluations (Moran and Turner). The use of these evaluations is necessary when trying to determine the mental health of different inmates to decide which correctional facility they can be taken to. For example, when an individual’s behavior changes drastically, the medical staff can do some psychiatric evaluations on the inmate by using psychiatric drugs to determine the cause of the problem.

Moreover, the provision of medical care in prisons has highly been criticized by the general public as inadequate, understaffed, and underfunded. The federal government and the state government in the country need to fund these medical facilities to ensure better health for prisoners. This is because the highest percentage of prisoners are from marginalized communities, which means that they have excellent substance abuse rates, chronic illness, and even mental illness. High levels of medical attention are needed in prisons due to fighting, leading to different individuals being stabbed.

Lastly, medical facilities are necessary for prisons because they can treat mental illness. It is always important for prisoners to maintain their mental well-being because when prisoners’ mental illness is not treated, it can lead to a high recidivism rate caused by severe mental disorders.

Kitchen and Dining Area

Just like any other human being, prisoners need a kitchen and dining facility that they can use to take food for their well-being and development. In prisons, kitchen facilities are usually more extensive than those in other institutions as they have larger populations to feed. Additionally, eating in prisons is associated with great power and significance as it allows inmates to build themselves (Godderis). During feeding hours, prisoners usually perform rituals that enable them to locate and create consumption spaces always to take their meals. Through this, they create “families” that give them a feeling of togetherness, making them enjoy their feeding times.

Moreover, additional security is always provided in prison kitchens to ensure that the kitchen staff, who are prisoners, do not leave with any cutlery equipment, or food. For instance, in most cases, some prisoners hate going to take their meals in the dining area, so they decide to pay the kitchen staff to steal some food for them (Godderis). Food stolen is sometimes used as payment for something in return. In prison, everything comes at a price; to prove this, prisoners always trade different valuables that are rare for different goods and services. So, it is always important for prison security to ensure that everything in the kitchen area stays intact to avoid any unnecessary events.

Lastly, inmates in the control units usually have trays of food given to them through holes that are on the door. This ensures that everyone in the prison facility gets a meal. In most cases, food found in prison usually has nutritional value, which means that it is suitable for every inmate’s growth and development. To ensure there is enough food in prisons, the prison can receive funding from either the government or different private organizations that give feeding programs to prisons to ensure inmates’ well-being.

Works Cited

Finlay, Jayne, and Jessica Bates. “What is the role of the prison library? The development of ...”, 2018,

Frey, James H, and Tim Delaney. “The role of leisure participation in prison.” Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, vol. 23, no. 1, 2008, p. 7989., doi:

Godderis, Rebecca. “Dining in the symbolic power of food in prison.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 30 May 2006,

McGeachan, Cheryl. “‘A prison within a prison’? Examining the enfolding ...” Wiley Online Library, 2019,

Moran, Dominique, and Jennifer Turner. “Turning over a new leaf: The health-enabling capacities of nature contact in prison.” Social Science & Medicine, Pergamon, 17 May 2018,

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