Possibility of Eliminating Prisons - Free Paper Sample

Published: 2023-11-02
Possibility of Eliminating Prisons - Free Paper Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Penal system Police Society Human Criminal justice Social issue
Pages: 8
Wordcount: 1943 words
17 min read


Prisons are mostly used as correctional centres to punish those who committed various crimes in the society in that its primary function includes practising incapacitation, retribution, and rehabilitation in the society to ensure that justice is achieved. Prisons also seem to affect the officer's mental health, for example, the nature of one's job, in that one fears for his or her life when waking up early in the morning to go to work.

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The prison environment that the lawbreakers are confined in cannot be considered as a haven since, most of the prisoners are used as entertainment and economic tools rather than being shaped into better persons, also the prison systems implements on the rule of segregation which can also influence racism inside the prison systems.

Prisons Used as Entertainment Commodities

Incarceration gets usually used as a tool to restore social control by correcting the wrongdoers in the prison system. Its primary purpose is to discipline the prisoners; however, the prison systems have been misused and abused into entertainment commodities (Lynch, 2004). An example is the case of the installation of Surveillance Cameras in the prison systems, instead of the cameras to be used to monitor the prisoners, they are used for entertainment purposes (Gowan, 2002) Most websites used the prison cameras to capture explicit pornographic contents, like some show the audiences the women's washrooms and how the women behave when they are confined in their cells.

The main aim of the surveillance cameras was used to show the public that the prisoners were not discriminated against, but it later took a turn and became an Entertainment reality show, which eradicates the moral upbringing of the society. For example, the jail cam released a video of women in the toilets, this video attracted many fetish persons, and through this, it disrupts the moral code of society. Also, some of the videos were leaked and now are used at various pornographic sites to serve the interests of many individuals, and through this, it leads to increase in rape cases, "In the case of Jail cam, there is a certain irony that its image was reproduced and re-interpreted by so many pornographic websites," (Lynch, 2004, p. 263). It also serves as a significant point as to why prison systems need to get eliminated.

The Process of Prisonization

The correctional officers in the prison system whose primary role is to ensure that the inmates are well fed and that order gets maintained at the prison areas. Officers get affected by work-related stress, and these affect their relationship between their families and also their work colleagues. The nature of the prison job is usually termed as dangerous (Crawley, 2004). It is because the correctional officers working at the prisons wake up every day in fear of their lives. It is because hell may break loose, and one may get attacked by the inmates.

Most of the officers undergo increased levels of stress, and this is because one fears opening up to the colleagues about how the job affects them mentally (Crawley, 2004). The prison systems tend to be related to emotions both to the correctional officers and to the prisoners since when the prisoners get confined in one's room, one develops the feeling of resentment and insecurity. Thus, they become more prone to increasing violence and also beat up the correctional officers.

Most of the officers develop emotional stress and anxiety concerning their job, and this is because the nature of their job is disturbing since one has to strip the inmates naked and search them to confirm that one does not hide any sharp objects which can be a danger to the other inmates.

The lack of leadership in the prison systems also imposes a threat to the safety of the officers. Also, one may work with a colleague who only likes to provoke the inmates and thus cause fighting at the correctional centres (Wacquant, 2000). Due to an increase in stress among the security workers, it brings about affecting the mental status of the security officers, in that one develops irrational behaviour such as one can come home after work and decide to tear and rip off their uniforms (Wacquant, 2000). Most of the officers develop a fear of not able to manage the prisoners and that they cannot act emotionally, such as a person cannot cry before one's colleagues because one will be considered as weak and unfit for the job. It forces them to make stern faces during their work hours to make the inmates fear them.

Dirty Work

Most officers working at correctional facilities get discriminated by society, and their work referred to as babysitting of the inmates. The term dirty work refers to the type of works that persons find it humiliating, disgusting, and thus, one cannot earn respect in a particular society. A person's work can be tainted, either physically or socially. When work is tainted physically in this case, like the officers, it refers to the type of job that is usually related to death or working in harsh environments (Tracy, 2006). The officers work mostly tainted; this is because the job itself is disgusting in a variety of ways. For instance, one has to clean up the messes one has made or take care of victims of rape; for example, the inmates who were physically abused by others. It affects one since society despises this type of work, and thus one can be despised and not earn a place in society.

Prisons As Economic Drivers

The prison systems are usually used to confine lawbreakers, but most of the government officials have resort to using the prisoners as a driving force to ensure that the economy of the country gets managed effectively. It gets achieved through the building of the correctional facilities in rural areas. These facilities are considered as the positive contributors to ensure that the economy is rising, the inmates are used to offer the workforce in that they are employed and used to work in various farms and mining grounds.

The main aim of the correctional facilities that get built at rural areas is to mainly ensure that the economy is boosted, even though this may seem like something positive, it also influences the job opportunities offered to persons living in rural areas (Wacquant, 2000). The inmates provide cheap labor. It means that the locals will miss job opportunities and thus not able to take care of one's family, "Prisoners themselves may also displace low-wage workers in struggling rural areas." (Huling, 2002, p.203)

By employing the inmates as workers for economic gain is not appropriate this is because some of the inmates impose more significant harm on the locals, this is because some of the individuals have committed many murders and thus by embracing them into the society will bring about a rise in criminal activities within the stipulated area (Crawley, 2004). Also, by the inmates offering cheap labor, it will lead to the displacement of locals since they will not be able to pay rent and take care of themselves; thus, they will have to move out of the small rural towns and such for a better place.

Torturing Centers

Most of the prison systems are usually confided in enclosed environments where instead of correcting the inmates, they tend to discriminate and brutally beat them up, this is regarded as an inhuman behaviour, and thus measures need to be taken place in order to stop these forms of behavior (Simmons, 2002). The nature of the prison systems, which entails high fences and high security, tends to affect the inmates mentally in that one suffers from the feeling of rejection, and also insecurity forces them to be prone to develop violent behaviors (Quinney, 2006). Also, the prison systems usually provide limited access to health to the inmates. Thus, it brings about an increasing number in mental illness among the prisoners.

Recent research conducted to try to focus on the brutal treatment and discrimination of the inmates by the officers, and there has been a rising number of these incidences. Modern prisons have adapted to the art of inflicting pain on prisoners as a way of correcting them, and many believe that by using this type of art (Whitmer, 2006). Most of the prison systems have advanced into more inhuman ways, and instead of inflicting pain on the inmates such as beating them up, many have resort to using pressure and making sure that the prisoners are overworked and are under maximum surveillance to make them very useful.

Also, the use of solitary confinements on the inmates who are usually the most violent seems to be inhuman since it affects someone's mental health status. Also, it increases the inmate's anxiety levels, causes an increase in high blood pressure, causes weight loss, and also makes one develop recurrent migraines (Wacquant, 2000). It is evidenced in "sucks the vital sap from a man, enervates the soul, weakens it, intimidates it, and then presents a withered mummy." (Whitmer, 2006, p.177)

In some of the prison confinements, the inmates are subjected to various forms of torture such as rape, sodomy with extensive physical assaults, and it can result in the death of inmates. One of the world's known prisoner abuse stories was the Abu Ghraib torture, where several detainees in the United States of America prison in Iraq were tortured, raped, and sodomized, and some were used as shooting targets in practice (Foucault, 1977). It was considered as inhuman, and various steps were taken to ensure that the detainees were well taken care of medically and released. These acts serve as the main reason why the prison systems need to be removed, and other policies developed to punish the lawbreakers more rationally.

Incarceration and Homelessness of Ex-Convicts

The prison, by releasing its inmates after serving their jail term, brings about an increase in homeless persons living by the streets. Many cities have developed policies to reduce the number of homeless persons living in the streets (Gowan,2002). Most of the research conducted over the past years concluded that it was the ex-convicts who showed up to be the homeless persons living by the streets; most of them were found out to be male ex-convicts. The ex-convicts tend to live on the streets; this is because they cannot get employed due to their bad reputation and history of facing a jail term due to the crimes they have committed.

Thus, most of them are always referred to untrustworthy and can inflict harm on anyone who decides to employ them (Wacquant, 2000). Most persons once they are out of jail, they are not given any financial aid this forces them to get back to the streets and involve themselves in criminal activities thus one finds themselves back into the prison system since one have been found on the wrong side of the law, "they consequently receive little to no financial report and are overwhelmingly caught up in the criminal justice system." (Gowan, 2002, p.530). In order for this endless circle to be broken, once the prisons are eliminated, persons may be directed into various support groups and financed with little aid, once they become stable one can pay back the loan and these will aid in reducing the number of ex-convicts in the streets.


The research conducted found out that African Americans were the most significant number of ex-cons who had gone through the justice system and became homeless after they were released (Foucault, 1977). Even though the number of crime rates over the past few years have reduced, but the prison systems bring about mass incarceration, whereby many homeless persons get jailed and are given more severe sentences even though one has been going through many hardships and that they have incurred.

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