Life in Prison and Correctional Policy

Prison life has changed completely, especially in the 21st century. Prison life of the past lacked a lot of improvements that are present in the current prisons. Nowadays, prisoners enjoy freedom of activities, an aspect that was not found in the past prisons. Despite that they are prisoners they are engaged in various activities both inside and outside the prison. This has brought to them human expertise to their environment. Prisoners not only receive correction of their behaviors, but they are also trained on various issues (Bosworth, 2009). This enables them to resettle in their communities as people who can contribute to the development of the society with their acquired knowledge. This as well reduces their chances of getting involved in law breaking.

Prisoners are now provided with the media information to update them on the happenings. In the past, no prisoner would be in a position to discover whatever is happening outside. Some special days are introduced in prisons where the prisoners meet their family and friends. In the past, prisoners would only meet his people in a short while with limited talks.

Professionals and religious leaders are allowed to visit prisoners and lecture them on various issues. This has contributed greatly to the process of reforming prisoners and making them better persons (Schmalleger et al, 2009). A great change in prisons has also been seen as far as their living conditions are concerned. In the past the living standards of prisoners were pathetic, with high risks of contracting diseases. Great improvement has been realized in the cleanliness of their environment.

Some policies need to be enforced to better the life in prisons (Winfree & Mays, 2008). A policy regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender should be enforced in all prisons. To control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases that is the primary cause of death for many inmates should be emphasized. A lot of trainings should be conducted to inmates on these diseases and regular provision of condoms to them. All possible strategies should be compounded to ensure there is minimal spread of sexually transmitted diseases among the inmates.

Different ways of encouraging them for regular HIV and AIDS check up should be conducted. This will help those who are positive to accept their status and live positively. Those who will test negative will know the kind of life to adapt. Medical management of inmates with other form of diseases should be given some guidelines. For instance, those with lipid problems should have regular screening and readily available medication (Schmalleger et al, 2009). This will curb many causes of deaths that happen in prisons annually. Sexual misconduct rules should be enforced. Issues like prison rape and the staff-exploiting prisoners sexually should be considered and be dealt with by the administration.

Many policies regarding the prison life has been made, but has failed to bring positive change to inmates. Policy makers design them together with the administration with a positive theme of improving the inmates’ conditions. An idea of involving inmates in policy making would make them much useful to them. Inmates know best the challenges that they face in their day-to-day life (Schmalleger et al, 2009).

They understand each other better and aware of most common problems that they face. The idea of involving prisoners in policy-making decisions can bring the possibility of making better policies. Policies that can change the lives of prisoners to the best within the shortest time possible.

Inmates require to be respected, to be given some hopes, and also provision of safety to act as ingredients to their correction process. Although prisons have been seen as dog eat dog world, there are more positive things in them (Winfree & Mays, 2008). Officers in charge of correction introduce ways of assimilating the inmates through a fashion that limit the negativity and promote the positive ways. The main theme is to transform the inmate to a better person, but not to make the situation worse than it was when they arrived.

Generally, inmates are human beings just like others (Bosworth, 2009). They are people who deserve to be respected and be assisted to find hope and maintain hope within them. Just like any other person, they deserve to feel secured while in prison. If the people who are closely working with the inmates show courtesy to them, they can also try to show the same. This is an indirect way of correction to the inmates. Nobody would like to be treated like an abnormal person.

The bad act done by prisoners does not qualify them to be disrespected. Promising an inmate of good things that can happen in his future has a great impact in him. This will enable them to start seeing some hope in the future, and start preparing for it psychologically. With hope some inmate will start to set goals and objectives to be achieved in future. The way the dream becomes a reality hope also does the same. It’s a good way of correcting the inmate by making them forget about their past dreams and start focusing on new dreams. Reviving the lost hope of inmates is making a great positive move in their lives (Winfree & Mays, 2008).

Everybody whether an inmate or a free person needs to feel safe in whatever circumstance. An inmate requires to be protected from other inmates and prison staffs. This creates a calm mood in them knowing that there is nothing to harm them. This feeling make them relax and have enough sleep at night, leading to a day full of positive thinking. Feeling safe will promote normal body and mind functioning. Anybody feeling secured can achieve things that appear impossible to him or her.

If the tread of mistreating the prisoners continue in this era, many inmates will leave prison being worse than they were. Giving them a chance to express their feelings and air their grievances is very crucial. If prison staffs learn to address inmates with respect, they will also receive kind response (Winfree & Mays, 2008). This will improve the communication between the inmates and prison staff making the process of correction successful. Crude conversation between the inmates and the staff may worsen the situation.

There are several changes that need to be implemented in prisons. For instance, there should be an aftercare program. This would make the correctional system more effective. Once the inmates are out of jail, availability of a specialist who they can always contact is very crucial. Putting into practice what one has been learning in prison is a great challenge. The family members of the inmate and his close friends should also participate in supporting him.

Temptations are always with an inmate after leaving the prison, so there is need for support and encouragement to avoid them from going back into negative acts. Another change to be implemented is about toxic shame identity. This occurs in cases where an offence by one member of the family is repeatedly committed within the family and by the coming generation (Schmalleger et al, 2009). In several cases, it has been noted that a person brought up in an environment of crimes, has a higher chances of committing a crime of his own. There is a way this issue should be dealt with. Members of such a family should be regularly influenced towards the positive way. Through this the toxin that rotates among them will slowly diminish.

There are several reasons that are behind people becoming criminals. To begin with, increasing level of unemployment. Its evident that there are so many graduates who are staying for a very long time without jobs. At this level family members stay with high expectations from him or her (Bosworth, 2009). They look forward to receive some financial support from that graduate. This pressure may lead to this graduate to go for anything that can earn him some money. For such a person to meet his needs and that of his immediate family, he may end up committing serious crimes.

Some people become victims of crime due to their high ambitions. Some people desire to enjoy all available comforts in life. They desire to be the highest achievers, hence their financial status are limited (Bosworth, 2009). To fulfill these ambitions, such a person may use unfair means. To find the easiest way to get money to satisfy him, crime becomes the first option. Incase such a person succeeds in committing that crime for the first time, he finds himself in that crime over and mover again. Coming back to their normal life of justice and honesty becomes a challenge.

Another reason for committing crime is advancement of technology. This has sharpened peoples mind coming up with unique ways of committing crimes. Weapons for committing crimes are now made available than before to many people.

The idea of committing a crime is sometimes brought by the availability of these deadly weapons. For instance guilt by association is one reason (Schmalleger et al, 2009). If a person witnesses a certain crime he or she has a higher chances of committing that crime. Incase a person witnessed someone shooting another; this may affect him or her for the rest of life. Although he or she did not participate in the actual act, the feeling of being guilty is instilled in him or her. This happens because someone feels that it was his responsibility to stop the victim from committing that crime. This feeling of being guilty may influence someone to commit a crime in the future.

In conclusion, life in prison for both the inmates and the prison staff is hard. Prisons call for change day in and day out and more research is supposed to be done to bring some development. Behind the bars lot things happen some of which inmates fear to disclose (Bosworth, 2009). When they get a chance to speak out, prison administrators feel challenged. This is an indication that more changes are required in prisons. The truth is that the changes that have been proposed will take some time to be effected. Through continued efforts by the staff and inmates more changes will come and make prison life a better place.

Reference List

Bosworth, M. (2009). Explaining U.S. Imprisonment, SAGE, London.

Schmalleger, F. et al. (2009). Corrections in the 21st Century, (5th ed), McGraw-Hill Higher Educations, New Zealand.

Winfree, T.L & Mays, L.G. (2008). Essentials of Corrections, (4th ed). Cengage Learning, Michigan.

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