The Prison Environment

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Sociologist Erving Goffman classified prisons as a type of "total institution"- a self-contained social setting that exerts near-complete control over its inhabitants. It's a way to legally separate criminals isolating them altogether far away from society in order to punish of their cruel behaviors. As we all know, the prison environment can affect the beliefs, attitude and behaviors of inmates and correctional officers the longer the stay. Ted Conover an American author and journalist, decides to apply for a job as a prison officer after being denied a request to shadow as a recruit at the New York State Corrections Academy. As he enters the gates of Sing Sing prison he realizes through experiences that his beliefs, attitude and even behavior…show more content…
That the overwhelming environment affects the correctional officers causing them to feel dizzy or fatigue. The author writes, "Fatigue is the primary effect of shift work, and its impact has been seen on large scale..." (Swenson, Waseleski & Hartl 301). After conducting researches and searches they came up with the analysis that the prison environment affects significantly the lives of the correctional officers to an extent that their health is put at…show more content…
For inmates being respected and having control of a situation is everything for them. For example, in the book, Conover mentions that inmates wouldn't respond to strict Correctional Officers the same way they would to someone who is not that strict. While Conover was assigned to work B-block's V-gallery with Officer Smith, he realized that building a relationship with the inmates can result in a safe space to work. He realized the way Smith was treating the inmates and the way the inmates were responding to the treatment made it more comfortable. Conover writes, "It seemed to me that Smith succeeded because he viewed the inmates as human's beings and was able to maintain a sense of humor in the face of the stress of prison life--traits that are two sides of the same coin" (Conover 87). This is a great example that shows that not all correctional officers are always feeding into the feeling of stress. In the other hands, Conover mentioned, "Smith melded toughness with an attitude of respect for his inmate. In turn, he was respected back" (Conover 92). For an inmate gaining respect is very important and especially because it has to do having power. No inmate wants to be seen as an easy target in prison, so they can maintain their manhood. So, as a correctional officer building a relationship with inmates is a way to maintain peace minimize stress in
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