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Crime and punishment - Essay Example

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Prisons in many cases are located in rural areas, long distances away from urban life. The study by Johnna Christian was aimed at bridging the knowledge gap with respect to families’ management of…
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"Crime and punishment"

Download file to see previous pages Christian’s study was ethnographic in nature. The study involved observation of families as they travel to various New York prisons to visit their loved ones. The study also involved observation of family members during family support group meetings for prisoners’ families and related activities for a period of 200 hours (Christian 35). In addition, the study involved open-ended interviews with prisoners’ family members. The interviews featured 19 family members with the samples comprising girlfriends, wives, one brother, and mothers (Christian 35).
The study established that many prisoners are never visited by their family members for a variety of reasons. Some of the main reasons behind this trend include financial constraints, distance between home and prison, severed or strained relationships with the person incarcerated, and issues related to prison bureaucracy. As such, the study reveals that visiting a prisoner involves the expenditure of finance, time, energy, and other resources (Christian 44).
The study established that the family members that visit their loved ones in prison do so for a variety of reason including: to provide moral support to the prisoner; to watch over the prison system against mistreating prisoners; to secure hope for a different future (parole), and to provide basic needs to the prisoners (Christian 40-44).
The study further established that the relationships between prisoners and their family members are fluid and change over time. The research reveals that incarceration has unintended consequences on families as some people end up severing their relations with prisoners (Christian, 46). The relations are also affected due to the high demands associated with prison visits. Yet another factor that affects families’ visits relate to their relationship with the prisoner before incarceration and the prisoner’s efforts toward self rehabilitation.
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