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Does being in jail rehabilitate or institutionalize nimates - Essay Example

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There have been diverse studies that determine the actual impact of incarceration to errant prisoners, according to prescribed jail term, subject to the…
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Does being in jail rehabilitate or institutionalize nimates
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Does being in jail rehabilitate or alize inmates? al Affiliation Does being in jail rehabilitate or alize inmates?
The ultimate purpose of incarceration is to correct and rehabilitate people who have committed gross violations in the law. There have been diverse studies that determine the actual impact of incarceration to errant prisoners, according to prescribed jail term, subject to the crimes committed. For prisoners who had been in jail for a long period of time, the effect of incarceration could be significant in terms of the alleged adaption to prison life. Thus, instead of being rehabilitated, prison walls become an institution which is almost synonymous to life. As asserted by Red Redding from the film: “These walls are funny. First you hate them, then you get used to them, until it gets to you depend on them. Thats institutionalized” (Voegele, n.d., par. 2). The current discourse hereby aims to reflect on the events that transpired in the lives of prisoners in the film, Shawshank Redemption and to respond to the question: Does being in jail rehabilitate or institutionalize inmates? One hereby affirms that the effect of being in jail could either be to rehabilitate or institutionalize inmates, depending on the length of time that these prisoners have been confined in jail, as well as the expected life there still is outside prison walls.
The justice system has been observed to be designed in such a way that prisoners who committed a crime and were found to have made major violations of the law would be accorded the chance to be transformed, rehabilitated and reintegrated in society. One’s assertion is that rehabilitation would only be deemed successful when some factors or conditions are present: perceiving an optimistic and productive life after prison and having support systems (housing, health care, and employment). These factors were summed by Voegele (n.d.) as the presence of hope. As such, one of the major characters in the film, Andy Dufresne, remained steadfast in faith and hope that he would someday get out of the prison walls and leave a quiet and peaceful life in a little obscure place in Mexico. Prison, for Andy, would be a means of rehabilitation: a chance to reflect on the life where hard work insitutionalized him.
Concurrently, there were prisoners who knew nothing about the outside world as most of their adult lives have been spent in prison. From various studies and discourses, and from observing the lives of prisoners in Shawshank Redemption, there were psychological effects of imprisonent which could be described in the concept of institutionalization. It could therefore be inferred that institutionalization is a process wherein prisoners or inmates were observed to be transformed by incarceration, as a restrictive environment. Another character in the film, Brooks, was revealed to be imprisoned for more than fifty years. In the process, there seems to be nothing else for Brooks to look forward to in the outside world since there are no family members, no work, no access to resources, or ways to earn a living. As such, when prisoners feel hopeless, lost, and defeated, despite being given the opportunity to regain freedom and be integrated to society, then, these prisoners could aptly be categorized as institutionalized.
In retrospect, being in jail could rehabilitate or institutionalize inmates depending on the presence of clearly identified factors, including hope or optimism of the future. Sometimes, the length of time of imprisonment contributes significantly on the effect. One shares the same conviction that the presence of support systems and the innate belief of the prisoner that he or she could still do something productive and good in life would spell out rehabilitation as instrumental for change.
To reiterate, the effect of being in jail could either be to rehabilitate or institutionalize inmates, depending on clearly defined factors that impinge on the personality and perception of prisoners towards life beyond prison walls. The feeling of hope could be considered an invisible link that spells the difference between rehabilitation and institutionalization.
Reference
Voegele, J. (n.d.). The Shawshank Redemption: Prison U.S.A. Retrieved from jvoegele.com: http://www.jvoegele.com/essays/shawshank.html Read More
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