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Response of chapter 2 of Inside Rikers - Essay Example

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Chapter 3 of Inside Rikers, written by Jennifer Wynn, looks into the world of inmates and corrections officers (COs) at the Central Punitive Segregation Unit (CPSU). It is part of Wynn’s investigation of the reality in Rikers Island penal colony Solitary Imprisonment. For this…
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Response of chapter 2 of Inside Rikers
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Download file to see previous pages Confinement may seem like the easiest way to control crime and punish offenders, but it is not entirely effective in reforming criminals. This chapter makes an interesting point that solitary confinement can be one of the most inhumane psychological punishments for criminals. Criminals are put in a prison inside a prison with almost all of their liberties controlled. It is a double-edged sword which, unfortunately, reinforces criminal behavior. Wynn stressed: “Solitary confinement itself can cause a very specific kind of psychiatric syndrome.” She is saying that solitary confinement should be considered as a strong independent variable for “random violence and self-mutilation, suicidal behavior...” She gives examples of how the CPSU breeds the most violent behaviors and thoughts among criminals which Captain talks about. Captain admits that isolation can turn criminals into worse personalities. He knows how unsafe it is, for instance, to have a normal life outside prison, knowing that any ex-convict might get back on COs. Through these examples, Wynn and the Captain make a good point on how detaching inmates from social contact and treating them like animals intensify their criminal attitudes and behaviors.
Corrections officers are human beings too who are trapped in prison like inmates and they often suffer from the psychological and social effects of their jobs. William West, a former CO, said: “It’s the dirtiest, most thankless job in law enforcement” (Wynn). Wynn also cited a joke that accurately portrays the effects of this job on COs: “What’s the first three things you get when you become a CO?” The answer: ‘A car. A gun. A divorce.’” Harry, one of the COs, provides an example of a CO, the first man to be punished with death penalty. Harry has a calm attitude towards COs who turn into criminals themselves, as if he knows that such consequences of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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