Discuss about the Positive and Negative Impacts of Imprisonment.
According to Liebling and Maruna (2012), imprisonment refers to the state of being held as captive thereby restraining an individual’s liberty. The prisoners are provided with sentence, which defines their penalty scales for the crime committed. Imprisonment has both positive and negative impacts on the individual as well as their families, which have been thoroughly addressed in this essay. The psychological effects on both individuals and families have been assessed. Moreover, the essay intends to state the positive effects of imprisonment, which may help in reducing crime rates.
The thesis statement of this essay will analyze the positive and negative effects of imprisonment critically. There is no particular reason why individuals turn into criminals. The scholars will identify several principles and urges such as satisfaction, poverty, gratification, hunger and others, which make people commit crimes. The roots of criminal are in the way individuals think or take decisions. Nobody is born a criminal, but the societal and environmental factors make them so. The main purpose of imprisonment is to reform, deterrence and removal of criminals, which pose a threat to the society. The essay will discuss the rehabilitation of the prisoners, abuse of prisoners, mental problems and effects of imprisonment on children. The researchers argue if prison is effective for deterrence or rehabilitation.
The aim of this essay is to address the issues faced due to imprisonment in detail. The challenges faced by the prisoners after they serve their sentencing period are also identified. Not only the family and wider community, this essay intends to specifically state the impact of imprisonment on children (Baron and Kennedy 2014).
All these negative symptoms and the disorders follow the individuals even after they are released from the prison. Not only that, all these disorders most of the times prevent them to live a normal and peaceful life. Many social workers have suggested rehabilitation programs as effective solutions to this issue and thus thorough research works have been made on developing several other effective ways of assisting the released inmates. However, it is necessary enough to demonstrate that there is still a great deal that all the common people have to learn regarding the negative impacts of prison as well as how to effectively treat them (Baron and Kennedy 2014). The extent of the jail sentences in all these circumstances is significant because those with long verdicts are not capable to avoid observing some traumatizing actions. These proceedings leave them expressively spoiled and transform the way they outlook further human beings (Darley 2015).
Mental/Physical Health Concerns
World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledges that some people who were in the prison can cause some serious health damage to others. In spite of this fact, the World Health Organization Mental Health in Prisons Project settled that for the mass of captives, incarceration was probable to have the mentioned impacts. It leads to segregation from the relatives and other social networks (Donohue 2012). The imprisonment leads to strict surroundings, hammering of privacy and the criminals shall be deprived of physical and disinfected circumstances. There is lack in determined movement of personnel control and loss of individuality. The prisoners undergo a pressure to flee or to intake drugs (Donohue and Siegelman 2014). Apart from the above issues, the prisoners also face disgrace and stigmatization (Johnson and Easterling 2012).
Being in Prison Too Long Causes Problems
Arditti (2012) has stated that for the prisoners who were in the cells for a long time, it becomes both exciting and daunting for them to watch the world outside the prison. It is argued that the prisoners who were close to the release from prison life faced anxiety, irritability, restlessness as well as inability to sleep properly. All these feelings were reasoned by the dread of being unsuspecting for the earth that they were away for a long time (Geller et al. 2012). There is a need to conduct rehabilitation programs in prison to maintain positive psychological health. For example, the cognitive skills can be improved which would helped the prisoners in solving their problems. Moreover, it would enhance the prisoners to understand their personal values. Vocational programs may be conducted that would help the prisoners n obtaining a job after they serve sentence period. The prisoners must also be rehabilitated using correctional programs for preventing crimes in future (Maschi and Aday 2014).
Dmitrieva et al. (2012) have mentioned in his research paper that although imprisonment seems like a distant possibility for many peoples in the society, incarceration rates in different parts of the globe, especially in Australia are steadily increasing. A recent study has revealed the fact that 41% of the youthful adults have been detained by their age of 23. The justice subdivision of Australia has accounted that there is 6% increase in the number of prisoners in adult corrective service custody (Abs.gov.au 2016). However, it is necessary to mention that this statistics has gone up to 32% for African-American men. These reports presently have stated that more than half of the prisoners are identified with a psychological physical condition disarray (Haskins 2014).
It can be easily said that still for the most hard-bitten criminal, the penitentiary can be a frightening place undoubtedly and the rules, regulations, practices and environment in that region affect them largely. According to the reports compiled by an Australian Justice Department agency, 60% of women captives in Australian prison are sexually harassed each year inside the wall every year (unsw.edu.au 2016). However, it is necessary to mention that violence is not limited among the inmates, the guards of the prison as well work under tremendous pressure and high-stress surroundings. This increases their chances of flattering in highly aggressive manner. With little wish for reporting mistreatment by the protectors, some prisoners might tolerate spoken mistreatment, bullying of corporeal aggression and even some assaults. Turney and Wildeman (2013) have mentioned in their research paper that women convicts are at a risk of being more sexually battered by the prisons protectors. Therefore, it can be stated that this ongoing climate of trauma can easily create a deep sense of apprehension, depression and terrors in the prisoners who before had no severe cerebral fitness issues.
Turney, Wildeman and Schnittker (2012) have stated that many people in the society might think that prisons are nothing but the facilities where the criminal are incarcerated and deprived of their freedoms at the time of serving a sentence for their crimes. It is expected that an inmate’s experience whilst locked up would depart such a long-lasting notion that a previous prisoners would do anything it would tend to avoid a subsequent phrase. Apart from that, Schnittker, Massoglia and Uggen (2012) have mentioned in their research paper that a large number of prisoners basically learn new as well as better ways of committing crimes at the time they are locked up with their fellow criminals (Berliner 2013).
A major negative consequence of imprisonment is at that time had been the lack of training for the employees, the potential for conflict of interest as well as the reduction of staffs in the private prisons (Johnson and Easterling 2012). Apart from that, it can be seen that the staffs furthermore had been put in the conditions where conflicts of interest could have been arrived (Wildeman and Turney 2014). This practice affected the morale of the staffs largely and this was undoubtedly disappointing. Besides, it can be found out that an audit of private prisons in Victoria revealed the fact that some incidents like violence among the prisoners as well as attempted suicides at the Metropolitan Women’s Correctional Centre often takes place and this is undoubtedly disappointing (Johnson and Easterling 2012).
Haney (2012) has stated that a curious feature of discourse regarding criminal justice system is that most of the people commonly ignore one of its major shareholders, i.e. children of the prisoners. A prisoner’s imprisonment can have a highly overwhelming effect on the relatives, particularly when the children are concerned at large scale. It is most traumatic when the captive was the head of the family circle. The children are teased, humiliated and this negatively affects them (Berliner 2013). It is understood that along with the general influences of imprisonment on the family life of the victims, children most of the times experience some particular effects and these have been mentioned here in details.
It is argued that the children of the criminals are generally at higher risks of developing mental health issues than the children without imprisoned parents. Berliner (2013) has stated that visiting can be highly difficult for the children with very little facilities that are not “child friendly” and this affects the nature of the students. Most importantly, it can be stated that in case of longer terms, the children of prisoners are generally three times are more likely to engage in ant types of anti-social or some offending behaviour than their peers who do not have a parent in prison. They show developmental delays and gaps as compared to the other students in the class. The children perform poorly in the school. They commit multiple serious criminal actions (Wildeman and Muller 2012). It can be stated that few of the circumstances that are imposed on the victims are as cruel the loss of independence. Haskins (2014) has stated that the inmates, specifically those serving their sentences in utmost amenities or in particular treatment elements, must exist in earth where their liberty of movement is strictly restricted as well as synchronised.
It can be stated that, the environment of the inmates are typified by a huge number of regulations as well as instructions that are intended to manage their performance. However, some have argued that the inmates are not inferior off than the individual in free society who is synchronised in many features of their lives by the dictates of custom (Turanovic, Rodriguez and Pratt 2012). Many prisoners express an intense unfriendliness against the far-reaching reliance on the decisions of alterations that is what makes their limited potentiality to make the choices and this is one of the main deficiencies of custody (Arditti 2012).
After discussing all the negative impacts of imprisonment, it is necessary enough to mention some positive effects of imprisonment on the prisoners. Johnson and Easterling (2012) have mentioned in his research paper that the prisoners are provided the opportunity to earn self-esteem. It can be stated that not all the people in the prisons are murderers and thus the imprisonment affects them negatively. Regardless it is notable to mention that some people are in the prisons, have made some horrible mistakes and thus it can be stated that working gives them the chances to feel valued. Apart from that, it can be stated that in the prisons, many prisoners learn a skill or trade and this solely assists them to someday become a productive member of the society. From the research works and the discussions of Wildeman and Turney (2014), it can be found out that prisoners work for much less money and this assists to gradually lower down the taxes. Therefore, it can be stated that imprisonment all the time not only leaves negative impacts on the prisoners, it leaves some positive impacts as well.
Imprisonment ultimately removes criminals from the society and makes the society free from any kinds of crime. It can maintain a pattern of peace in the society. Imprisonment also reduces the chance of the children to become criminal in future. The fear of imprisonment prevents them to initiate any illegal activities. Therefore, it forms a clean and secure society towards societal development. Moreover, imprisonment deters repeatable offenders and reduces the possibility of crime in the society. Apart from that, effective rehabilitation process makes the prisoners to be responsible citizen after their release.
Crime is a growing issue and a serious concern in the world. The people have a perception that criminals must be imprisoned as it would be the best way to punish them. The main purpose of imprisonment is to detain the people from committing further crimes. There are other arguments also made for imprisonment as an effective solution for punishment. It is also stated that punishment might fail but rehabilitation would work. The threat of prisons helps in changing the lives of people for good. The substance-abusing criminals can get clean and sober as they find it intimating to go to jail. The studies show that the best method to reduce crime is providing longer prison sentences. This strategy could potentially beneficial society as a whole, as there would be less scope for violence, stealing and committing murder. It is argued that imprisonment with longer sentence period gives the criminals an opportunity to re-think about the crime committed. Furthermore, by providing education in prison, the criminal may feel guilty which would help him make a better person (Chung 2012).
It is argued that imprisonment serves two main purposes: to punish wrongdoers and removing danger which are a threat in the global world. Another justification can be made regarding prison helping the prisoners to reform their characters. For example, incarceration is necessary for the people who are committing huge crimes such as serial killers. The positive side is prison helps in protecting the society from the harm that may be caused if not controlled. While there have been arguments about prison turning criminals in professionals who would reoffend as soon as they are released, there are arguments in favour of imprisonment about giving people a chance to conquer their drug habit. The people may also be given an opportunity for causing a revolution in their lifestyle (Dagger 2014).
Chettiar (2015) argues that the crime rates in Australia have significantly decreased. The Australian Justice System has stringent regulations for the criminals with tougher sentences because of which the crime rate has fallen. All the prisoners are bound by strict regime of sanction and privilege (hrlc.org.au 2016). The growth in incarceration helped in reducing the crime rates in 1990s by 5 percent (Chettiar 2015). In Australia, both low-level and non-violent criminals were sent to prison due to which the rate of crime was effectively brought down. This effect is called ‘incapacitation’ effect where the individuals are removed from society for the greater good and preventing crimes. Again, it is argued that the gender balance is disrupted for the some reason. About 2.7 million minors have their parent imprisoned, which brings about negative effects (Chettiar 2015). However, rather than making long prison sentences, community services and educational programs may be offered in prison that would make the world a better place to live in. Prison must be used as a source of changing the attitude of criminals rather than infuriating their behaviour.
Conclusively, imprisonment has both positive and negative effects. Although some people would question the necessity of imprisoning criminals or offenders, the others state that imprisonment hurts the life chances of the ones who are incarcerated. However, it is inferred that imprisonment must be considered as an opportunity of saving the conscious of people and regaining the morale of offenders. Longer prison sentences may reduce the rates of crime and violence in the society. But it does not eliminate the threat of crime completely as the criminals may offend or commit crimes right after they get over with their sentence period. The Government should especially take care of the mental health of the prisoners. It will help them keep a psychological balance within the prisoners. Imprisonment can protect the community through incapacitation as the crime rate shall reduce likely. While there are people, who believe prisons are nothing more than facilities where criminals are deprived of their liberty, it is also true that imprisonment intends to rehabilitate prisoners. The rehabilitation programs shall give an opportunity for academic education and vocational training in which the prisoners shall have an opportunity to enhance their personal values.
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