When one commits a crime they are tried and if found guilty they are incarcerated in the prisons where they are held. When they are put in these prisons the intention of the justice system is to rehabilitate the individual. The reason for rehabilitation is the fact that when one commits a crime it is because of social and economic problem. However the life and set up of prisons does not seem to offer the kind of rehabilitation that the justice system intends rather prisons are seen as a form of punishment to the individuals. Hidden from the view of the public, prisons are now terrifying institutions of torture, disease and degradation.
First there are strict sentencing guidelines and punitive philosophy of corrections that has made prisons very unpleasant and more inclined towards punishment than rehabilitation. Most of the criminal and justice systems are punitive in nature that makes it hard to develop any effective rehabilitation programs there. The inmates in jail suffer from inhuman treatment within the prisons; this is from the guards who go to the extent of beating them brutally. The prisoners are confined within the walls of the prison cells solitude is not for of rehabilitation. This is clearly a punishment since the inmates are completely set aside from the rest of the world for a considerable amount of time. Visits from family and friends are usually limited to the prisoners’ .within the prisons there are very unsanitary environments coupled with overcrowding. This overcrowding can lead to fights from the inmates and various forms of misunderstandings since there are many people in a crowded and small area there is bound to be conflicts. These are not healthy conditions for people there and thus seen as a form of punishment to these individuals. Benson, 2003).The inmates are forced to work at hard labor and the guards really brutalize them. There are also violent confrontations between rival prisons groups that have been formed by inmates within the prisons this leads to the inmates hurting each other in one way or another.
The prisoners do not enjoy some things like people in the outside world they are denied the access of nay form of recreation like weights, movies and televisions. This is seen as punishment to the prisoners, if the prisons were really intended for rehabilitation then these activities would be at least available for them to make sure that hey are kept busy and out of trouble since they have such a lot of time in their hand which can result to evil thoughts. There is also no privacy within the prisons diets and also the deprivation of food and healthcare (Inayatulah, 2010).
Prisoners in the maximum facilities spend almost twenty three hours in a day in solitary confinement. There is a high level of anxiety and other negative emotions building up in such areas .there is no transition for these prisoners in lower security facilities so that they can be decompressed emotionally. These prisoners have therefore social or occupational skis that they acquire that will help them succeed in the outside world therefore these prisons are seen to be a serious form of punishment for these individuals. Since there is no effective rehabilitation in prisons then the numbers of crimes have subsequently increased which has led to an increase in the number of prisons
Therefore prisons should be reformed so that they can provide rehabilitation to the individuals who are held there. First the prisoners should be encouraged to develop their occupational skills and resolve their psychological problems that include substance abuse and aggression that might interfere with new they relate to people in the society. There should be proper implementation of work programs, education and psychotherapy which will make the transition of the prisoners to the world an easy thing. The psychology of criminals should be studied and the basic philosophical problem understood which should be their rehabilitation and how they can be corrected. An attitude towards rehabilitation that is intended for prisons should used to change the punitive prison policies .Therefore the criminal and justice system should strive to shift and reform the prisons so that there can be shift from punishment to rehabilitation ( Benson, 2003).
Benson, E. (2003).Rehabilitate or Punish. Retrieved December 6, 2012 from
Inayatulah, S. (2010). Crime and Prisons: Beyond the rehabilitation and punishment debate.Retrieved December 6, 2012 from http://www.proutglobe.org/2011/05/crime-and-prisons-beyond-the-rehabilitation-and-punishment-debate/