Even in the human being is in a perpetual evolution, several mysteries always subsist in his mind. One of these biggest mysteries is the human nature. Everybody has seen someone react strangely at one time or another, but we don't really know why. In a similar situation, we can see people react strongly and others staying calm. Nobody is mentally identical. Nobody has the same experience of life.
However, we always know that some factors can affect our mood positively or negatively in our daily life. For example, people can be more aggressive when they are jaded. Also, there are many others factors like colours, food, health, sport, cleanliness, weather, etc. Nevertheless, for my research project, I decided to talk about one specific place and its effects on the human mind: prison life. Prisoners are people like us without one important right: liberty. Than, it is really important to talk about this subject because it can help us to know our nature and to have a better idea of how we treat prisoners.
In my text, I will try to answer to the following question: How are prisoners affected by prison life? I want to convince you that prison life has a negative effect on inmates' moral. Prison atmosphere includes many points, but in my research I will specially talk about these four points: staff control, living conditions such as sanitation and food, overcrowding and relationship between prisoners. My objective will be to show you most of these points can negatively affect prisoners' moral. Firstly, I will explain the effect of staff control on prisoner. I want to prove that bad treatments of staff in jail on inmates can trouble their moral. Prison services in most developed countries are supposed to be quite advanced as correction officer and to work with prisoners to facilitate their reform and eventual reintegration into society.
However, in many jails, guards are still working with violence; "they geared to wards containment and punishment of prisoners." (Nasr in, 2003, p. 8) As example, there is a relationship that can be developed between guards and inmates, but unfortunately some guards beat prisoners without reason. Surely, these attitudes do not facilitate the eventual reintegration of inmates. Violent behaviours on people can really traumatize a human's mental state permanently and this can lead to discipline problems in jail.
Another point concerning staff in prison is the irregularity of guards' visits. It can also be detrimental to the rights of prisoners because it is impossible for prisoners to develop a normal daily life. Guards can arrive at anytime of the day and prisoners have to be ready and to let what they are doing. In sum, I just have to repeat to you that bad treatments of staff in prison can trouble inmates' moral permanently. Secondly, I want to clarify details about the living conditions of prisoners. The living conditions in jail can be intolerable and have a negative effect on prisoners' mood.
Prisoners are sometime forced to eat meals in their cells, in which they have bathroom, or outside, sitting on the ground with the open sky, rain or shine. In certain wards, prisoners have to sleep in shifts owing the lack of space. Each prison in North America has to respect inspection standards but they do not all respect them. Many jails have several deficiencies in their sanitation.
For example, food is handled in ways that "permits spoilage and contamination. Also, poisonous or other hazardous materials are used inappropriately." (Martha, 1981, p. 78) We can talk about the uniform of prisoners too. The uniform is considered most demoralizing because there is most of the time only one colour. Also, there are no doctors available at night to respond to emergency cases. A lot of events like these happened and sometimes, nothings changed.
These deficiencies must be corrected because they affected negatively prisoners' mood and in long term, their mind. There are painful examples of the denial of the legal rights of the human. Such poor conditions are detrimental to prisoners' physical and mental health. Thirdly, I will explain the effect of overcrowding in prison. I will show you that it is negative for the mind and the mood of all prisoners. The prison environment is characterized by factors which can have adverse effects on individual inmates.
Overcrowding has two main types of effects on the daily prison environment. First, there is less of everything to go around, so the same space and resources are made to stretch even further. "The opportunities for inmates to participate in self-improvement and rehabilitative programs, such as academic, employment and vocational training are curtailed." (Ministry of Justice's, 1998) In addition, lack of resources can apply to anything an inmate might need to use, such as washroom availability, library books, television lounge seating and recreational materials. The unavailability of resources can have two consequences. One is the frustration or unpleasantness of being limited a resource, and the other is the fact that competition and conflict over limited resources often lead to aggression and violence. The second main effect of overcrowding in jail is on the individual inmate's behaviour.
Crowding creates stress because it is a lot of interaction, stimulation and noise. A prisoner can also develop several different behaviours other than stress such as idleness, fear, the inability to maintain personal identity, etc. To resume, the effect of overcrowding in prison is totally negative for prisoners' behaviours. Fourthly, I will talk about relationships between prisoners in jail. For a prisoner, it can be tough to make friends because everybody is on his defensive. The difficulty to make new friends and the scarcity of them are harmful for prisoners to keep a healthy mind.
People are not there to have fun, they are not very expressive. Also, some prisoners have an aggressive nature. Therefore, the law of the strongest can be detrimental to relationships. It is most of the time each man for himself. Weak people live under fear. It is proved that "the prison setting conditions are chronic, people prone to anti-social behaviour are gathered, there is an absence of personal control and idleness and boredom can be prevalent." (Ministry of Justice's, 1998) Then, the impact on social relations and interaction has been considered to become more aggressive and competitive, less cooperative and more social withdrawal, more you have passed time in jail.
Other individuals in a crowded situation are perceived as less attractive or interesting, and the social environment itself becomes unpleasant. Also, social withdrawal in response to relationship with others inmates manifests itself in various ways. Adopting a defensive or guarded attitude is one method of withdrawing, which by its nature decreases the quality of social interaction. Similarly, topics that dominate conversation in relationship settings in jail tend to be less personal or self-relevant, even among well-acquainted people. In sum, the difficulty to make new friends and the scarcity of friends's hip are harmful for prisoners to keep a healthy mind. To conclude, I want to say that prisoners' moral can be affected in a negative way during their living in prison.
I demonstrated it by the explanations of four sub thesis. The first one was talking about bad treatments of staff in jail on prisoners that can trouble their moral. The second one was that the living conditions in jail can be intolerable and have a negative effect on prisoners' mood. The third sub thesis was that overcrowding in jail is negative for the mind and the mood of all prisoners. The last one was about the difficulty to make new friends and the scarcity of them are harmful for prisoners to keep a healthy mind. All these four points and many others, if they are neglected, created in jail an inhuman atmosphere.
Then sometimes, we can see some signs of deep distress in prisoners' actions. When prisoners are in a bad mood, they can express it in various ways like escape attempts, but most of the time it does not work. They can show it to guards, and sometimes it creates a riot. We can also observe behaviour troubles when prisoners are liberated and they re offend. Even if the goal of jail is to punish criminals, I think that certain cases prisoner's mental are slovenly.
According to universal declaration of the human rights, on the article three, "everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person." Also, the article five of the same declaration says that "no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) These two articles really prove that something has to change because the rights of prisoners are not respected.