Harsh Prison Conditions Prisons in America have never been considered a place free from harshness and brutality. Indeed, prisoners are not sent to prison to have a comfortable life but at they should at least be given a humane treatment. The American constitution does articulate that the prison conditions must be safe and healthier for prison inmates…
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The daily system for inmates in America is one of the harshest in the developed world and does not account for healthy physical and psychological needs. For example, inmates are frequently left isolated for long periods of time especially when given the punishment of solitary confinement which can even lead healthy people to have psychological problems. Many inmates may already have psychological problems and this type of treatment can make them worse. The extremely high level of security in many prisons makes life overly restricted. Many prisoners are confined to their cells for 23 hours per day. They have no access to daylight, fresh air or conversation with people. Many prisons lack hygiene, provide bad food, and do not allow visitors or extracurricular activities. Harsh prison conditions are a critical human rights problem. Even though they are criminals, they still have a right to live in a secure environment. The harsh prison environment is a controversial subject and gives a glimpse into the oppressive nature of the American government. While most people can agree that prisons are a place for punishment, and most can also agree that the punishment should not include inhumane treatment, the controversy lies in exactly what is considered inhumane and whether the conditions of many prisons is at the point of being unconstitutional. In humane treatments like prolonged isolation, blasting cold air into the cell, confiscating fluids and hygiene material, unsanitary living condition need to be stopped. This paper will consider both sides of harsh prisons and propose some possible solutions to the controversy. The following are three reasons that supporters of harsh prisons use to justify their beliefs Punishes criminals The people who are detained in prisons are convicted criminals who have conducted heinous crimes. These people are kept in extreme circumstances to feel the consequences of their evil acts. The prisoners need to feel pain so that they realize the impact of such illegal acts. If criminals were treated with more compassion, they would be less afraid to commit the same crimes again. The criminals need to have a scary and bad experience in prison as deterrence, so that they will avoid repeating the same crime again. Also, criminals who are given life sentences should undergo pain for all the atrocities they have committed in life and should not be given a leisurely and enjoyable life since they have taken away that possibility from their victims. According to (Stewart,2013) “Putting criminals in prisons with few if any amenities and having them spend time on a rock pile, out in the heat and cold, would be more appropriate”. Safety of public If the criminals have a bad experience in prison, and therefore avoid committing the crime again, then the public is made safer from the threat. The main reason for imprisonment is to punish, and punishment comes into effect if the criminal feel pain. Once they understand what it means to get hurt, there is less chance they commit crime on public. As per ( Buchen,2013) “A major driver of these long sentences is sentencing enhancements - additional prison time for circumstances such as using a gun, gang involvement, and repeat offending, aimed at targeting people thought to present a high risk to society”
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