April 1, 2012
Prison reform is the equivalent of a double edge sword with a spike at the bottom of the handle. It is made to cut for protection, and prevention, but also is made to cut so that things can be built. The sword cannot hunt for you but if used properly you are able to provide food for yourself. Throughout the existence of modern day prisons, people have commented that prison only makes criminals better criminals. Other people have disagreed due to the numerous amounts of people who have come out of prison more successful and became productive members of society. Throughout this essay I will discuss the pros and cons of prison reform by having exclusive interviews with family members that have been or still are incarcerated in prison. I believe I will have a firsthand experience in seeing the true meaning of reform, on both sides of the sword. I made the first part of reform being protection, and prevention, because our system has been based around protecting our society and preventing crime from happening. The reform process behind the walls starts with correctional officers doing their best to protect the inmates from crimes. Thus giving these people a feeling that there are police officers in their community. Part of the protection process is preventing crimes from occurring. This is done by housing inmates with their own race and at times their own denomination of street gangs. The prison also goes to great lengths to segregate inmates according to their danger levels 1-4. Also people who have committed crimes that are frowned upon within the prison community in order to prevent violence. This part of the segregation is called protective custody or special needs. By separating inmates by danger levels this calls for different means of reform through each level. Starting from level 4 in which the most dangerous inmates are housed. The two different designs 180 and 270 are specified to protect and prevent. With the 180 design being a building that holds 200 inmates, being cut off into sections of 50 people. Where everything from the inmates doors to shower water is controlled. Inmates eat all their meals in the cell, and are split into two tiers in order to cut down the number of inmates officers have to deal with. It is not abnormal to hear inmates in this setting with sentences like double and triple life without the possibility of parole, or inmates with 300 plus years. When looking at the willingness for these inmates to reform you can see why the mentality and atmosphere would be entirely different. The only thing that changes from a 180 design to a 270 is the sections are knocked down in the building. The inmates still are controlled but given more movement such as walking to eat meals at the dining hall located on the recreation yard, more job opportunities, and as well as education. Although inmate’s participation is minimum due to lockdowns, the sentences on these settings still range from inmates with 15 years to life without the possibility of parole. by these inmates being found guilty by a Jury that was considered their peers, and handed down large sentences the prison deems them the most dangerous due not only the nature of their crimes but because of the mental stability these inmates have. When looking at level three inmates. The mentality begins to change dramatically. With convicts processing time that ranges from six years to life with the possibility of parole. The risk degrees greatly giving these inmates more movement through the prison community. Reform becomes more relevant as the prison provides job opportunities, trades, and self-help programs. However by these prisoners still being deemed the second most dangerous in the correctional system the participation in these activities are at a medium. In order to control the number of inmates officers deal with prisons only allow 600 people on...