The Prison System Essay

1478 words - 6 pages

Canada reached its utmost population rate in 2013, with 15,000 inmates; this is a drastic increase of 75% in the past decade. Incarceration rates are rapidly increasing as crime rates decrease. Upon release, former prisoners have difficulty adapting into society and its social norms. Criminologist, Roger Graef states that, "the vast majority of inmates, the loss of local connections with family, job, and home sentences them again to return to crime." Prisoners often result in lethargy, depression, chronic apathy, and despair, making them ultimately rigid and unable to assimilate back into the public. Depression, claustrophobia, hallucinations, problems with impulse control, and/or an ...view middle of the document...

Not only does the prison system fail to educate the prisoners in Canada, but the California Prison and rehabilitation system spends only $558 of the educational allocation per year for each inmate; this amount does nearly nothing in educating inmates and it also increases recidivism. It is shown that post-prison programs such as, the Recovery program and The Substance Abuse Treatment, drops criminal acts by over 79% after they have successfully completed a program in California. The CSC’s work programs in Canada are too negligible of a system for a vast amount of inmates to undertake and provides minimal opportunities to obtain the skills needed for a job outside of prison. This clearly indicates that prison programs help rehabilitate former long-term prisoners, however the lack of such programs fails to do so. The prison system's lack of structural functionalism fails to provide prisoners with the basic needs for rehabilitation upon release.
The prison system relies on violence as a primary source of social interaction where guards frequently physically abuse prisoners, but vainly interfere in prison fights; prison guards are known for abiding or boosting ferocity between prisoners to avoid violence upon themselves. This ferocious treatment and behaviour may affect prisoners upon release, leaving them with a violent attitude; the rate of violent recidivism drifts around 80% for former prisoners with PCL-R (Hare Psychopathy Checklist) scores of 31-40. The standards of the prison system differs by state but they all generally result in violent transgressions and defilement of prison rules or relationships with gang members. Canada’s prison system is now double-bunking cells, implicating an unavoidable lack of privacy, and accumulating the possibility for strain and violence between cellmates. When released from prison, former abiding prisoners frequently join with other previous offenders to conquer a sense of belonging and persistence as they are not welcomed back into society; this leads them to form a subculture, amplifying the high recidivism rates. Individuals occasionally feel alienated from the dominant society and accept new customs and morals; in this case, prisoners continue violent acts of crime in order to fit in with their subculture. With the constant violence in prisons, the prison system unsuccessfully rehabilitates previous long-lasting prisoners into society.
Apart from the violence, and the lack of extra-curricular programs, the prison system has former abiding prisoners coming back because of the familiar isolated environment within the prison. Former prisoners have trouble rehabilitating back into society as the prison system fails to provide much exercise, sunlight, social interaction, and visual stimulation. Researchers say there are neurological, physiological, and psychological effects of isolation; former prisoner, Robert King experiences the negative effects of long-term isolation, “I’ll be going out and...

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