Punishment Or Rehabilitation For Its Inmates Essay

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While the debate of whether prison is meant to serve as punishment or rehabilitation for its inmates is one that remains hot in America, people can still agree that the conditions of prison should not be so abysmal that they cause immense misfortune and pain to its occupants. In fact, guidelines, design capacities, and the U.S. constitution are all set in order to protect the basic rights of inmates, and to prevent things such as “cruel and unusual punishment” in the penal system, so it seems as though the American prisons should be a total reflection of this idea that prisoners should not be treated in radically destructive manners. Unfortunately, this is just not the case. “Inside the center, in the [San Quentin] prison 's West Block, are three tiny wire cages for inmates either waiting for a transfer or who have caused trouble. On a visit this winter, the three cages held men barely able to move in the narrow enclosures. Just inside the interior doors to the shadowy block were two more cages, both filled. Above rose five tiers of cells, some of the doors left open as the inmates simply roamed at will. Each cell is 4 feet by 12 feet, with a double bunk, an open toilet, and a small sink. It is cacophonous, and a constant rain of refuse floats down from the open tiers. The guards chat with each other and sit at battered desks. The nearly 900 inmates, the majority of them parole violators, spend most of the day indoors” (Sterngold). This excerpt, taken from the article “Worst…

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