Effects Of Violence In Prison

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“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” was Mahatma Gandhi’s fundamental tenet on the subject of violence1. However, most prisoners do not subscribe to this particular point of view. Violence has become an engrained part of prison culture and it is an age-old problem in our society. This violence is not just between inmates, it also takes place between inmates and guards or prison employees. In some cases, violence can lead to riots and also the death of inmates and/or prison staff. People are sentenced to prison as a punishment for dangerous and violent crimes which they have committed against individuals and therefore against society. It is ironic that even though deterrence is one of the goals of sentencing a violent person to prison, …show more content…
There are a wide variety of reasons for the violent behavior of inmates in prisons. Some of the most common reasons are overcrowding, gangs, the need to establish hierarchy and supremacy over other inmates, self-defense, and rebellion against prison officials concerning matters of rules, discipline and conditions of the prison2. Due to overcrowding, inmates may not have proper access to inmate recreation such as yard time, telephone, prison store, and physical or mental healthcare3. These insufficiencies lead to increased stress and rise of tensions among inmates. This poses a great risk not only to the safety of the inmates but also endangers the safety of the officers and other employees of the prison. In some cases, these fights may lead to prison riots4. For example, overcrowding was one of the factors which created disorder and lead to the 1980 riot at Santa Fe in the Penitentiary of New Mexico. It was the most brutal, violent, destructive, and disorderly riot in U.S. penal history5. In this riot, 33 inmates were killed by other inmates, 90 were injured, and 200 inmates were beaten or raped. Of the 12 correctional officers who were taken hostage, 7 were beaten, stabbed, or …show more content…
Some examples are segregation, solitary confinement, rehabilitation programs, anger management programs, educational and vocational opportunities, cultural diversity awareness, gang diversion programs, and improving public knowledge and awareness9. Even though some of these programs seem to be working with varying degrees of success, many improvements are still needed. For example, there are anger management programs for inmates who have committed violent offenses before being imprisoned and also for those who are violent during their period of incarceration. It would be a good idea to extend these anger management programs to prevent the commission of violent crimes, like domestic violence and sexual offenses, even after they are released from prison. Research has shown that inmates who avail of the educational and vocational opportunities while in prison, reintegrate better into the community and the probability of recidivism is also much

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