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Against Harsh Prison Conditions - Essay Example

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Summary
The writer of this essay aims to describe his position on contemporary convict jail conditions. The study discusses the true idea of imprisonment and how it should reflect on the prison living environment, and which steps can change the situation…
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Essay Against Harsh Prison Conditions
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Against Harsh Prison Conditions

Download file to see previous pages... Overcrowding in jails and prisons is a growing concern due to increased awareness and human rights movements. This issue has become a focus due to severely harsh and life-threatening prison conditions (Newman, 2010, p. 241). This grave challenge results in serious violations of basic human rights. Beyond the general assumption that there is an increased number of people convicted for crime, not much is known by common people as to why jails or prisons are overcrowded.
One theory on overcrowding is that jails and prisons actually motivate crime instead of having a deterrent effect (Siegel, 2009, p. 112). The atmosphere thriving within many prisons is such that the psyches of many criminals get adversely affected during their time in the prisons. The constant jeering of the guards and third-class living conditions make the prisoners more determined to spread violence in the society, which is why “the normalization of prison life” (Tonry, 2004, p. 19) is required. Our prisons do not ensure a good and wholesome living environment to prisoners who are still humans and not animals. Punishment should not be equated to unbelievably severe treatment, rather it should be equated to good mental and emotional counseling of the inmates. The tendency to engage in crime or any law violating activity cannot be killed by subjecting the convicts to atrocities. Responding to evil with even more brutal evil is not the right strategy. This is the primary reason prison conditions should not be harsh.
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Beyond the general assumption that there is an increased number of people convicted for crime, not much is known by common people as to why jails or prisons are overcrowded. One theory on overcrowding is that jails and prisons actually motivate crime instead of having a deterrent effect (Siegel, 2009, p. 112). The atmosphere thriving within many prisons is such that the psyches of many criminals get adversely affected during their time in the prisons. The constant jeering of the guards and third-class living conditions make the prisoners more determined to spread violence in the society, which is why “the normalization of prison life” (Tonry, 2004, p. 19) is required. Our prisons do not ensure a good and wholesome living environment to prisoners who are still humans and not animals. Punishment should not be equated to unbelievably severe treatment, rather it should be equated to good mental and emotional counseling of the inmates. The tendency to engage in crime or any law violating activity cannot be killed by subjecting the convicts to atrocities. Responding to evil with even more brutal evil is not the right strategy. This is the primary reason prison conditions should not be harsh. Actually, the issue of overcrowding in prisons due to harsh conditions has great depth and many factors are responsible for promoting it. Discussing this issue in reference to harsh prison conditions is specifically important because research suggests that “violence and brutality inherent in current prison systems” (Goulding, 2007, p. 128) produces a very negative impact. Some of the factors responsible for overcrowding are socioeconomic status of the country, poverty, societal norms, the judicial system, and the political system. But, the real factor ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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