Prison Rehabilitation

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Prisoners in the United States and elsewhere have always confronted a unique set of contingencies and pressures to which they were required to react and adapt in order to survive the prison experience. However, over the last several decades beginning in the early 1970s and continuing to the present time a combination of forces have transformed the nation's criminal justice system and modified the nature of imprisonment.(2) The challenges prisoners now face in order to both survive the prison experience and, eventually, reintegrate into the freeworld upon release have changed and intensified as a result. Among other things, these changes in the nature of imprisonment have included a series of inter-related, negative trends in American corrections.…show more content…
Many corrections officials soon became far less inclined to address prison disturbances, tensions between prisoner groups and factions, and disciplinary infractions in general through ameliorative techniques aimed at the root causes of conflict and designed to de-escalate it. The rapid influx of new prisoners, serious shortages in staffing and other resources, and the embrace of an openly punitive approach to corrections led to the "de-skilling" of many correctional staff members who often resorted to extreme forms of prison discipline (such as punitive isolation or "supermax" confinement) that had especially destructive effects on prisoners and repressed conflict rather than resolving it. Increased tensions and higher levels of fear and danger…show more content…
Support services to facilitate the transition from prison to the freeworld environments to which prisoners were returned were undermined at precisely the moment they needed to be enhanced. Increased sentence length and a greatly expanded scope of incarceration resulted in prisoners experiencing the psychological strains of imprisonment for longer periods of time, many persons being caught in the web of incarceration who ordinarily would not have been (e.g., drug offenders), and the social costs of incarceration becoming increasingly concentrated in minority communities (because of differential enforcement and sentencing policies). Thus, in the first decade of the 21st century, more people have been subjected to the pains of imprisonment, for longer periods of time, under conditions that threaten greater psychological distress and potential long-term dysfunction, and they will be returned to communities that have already been disadvantaged by a lack of social services and

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