Prisoners' Rights in the Us

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Prisoners’ rights in the United States

2011-2012

Contents

Foreword

Chapter 1 – History of prisons ………………………………………… 4

Chapter 2 – Death penalty ……………………………………………… 6
2.1 History of the death penalty ………………………………. 6
2.2 Death penalty in the U.S. ………………………………….. 8

Chapter 3 – Infringed rights ……………………………………………. 10
3.1 Abuse in prisons …………………………………………….. 10
3.2 Prison labour ………………………………………………… 12

Chapter 4 – Life after prison …………………………………………… 16
4.1 Education ………………………………………………………. 16
4.2 Work requirements …………………………………………... 17

Conclusion

Bibliography

Foreword

Throughout centuries, people have sought different forms of punishment for the wrongdoers. If just a few hundreds of years ago, no second thoughts would have been given to death penalty and torture, the development of our society has brought along prisons, which have changed their role, becoming correctional facilities.

The reason as to why I was drawn into arguing such a topic is the opportunity to perform an analysis of the human psyche and of trying to understand one’s struggles whilst dealing with its own conscience.

While it is true that there are mixed beliefs regarding the law system, its enforcement and the actual punishment of the outlaws, all parties can agree that the prison institution is a vivid reflexion of human nature with all its contradictory traits: it has malice, lack of shame, decay of morality, but also faith, desire of truth, and above all, it is just!

Prison is, in the society’s view, the end of the line. For some it is cruel, for some it is just. My personal view on this matter is a mixture of both with a more than slight interest in the actual crime fighting. I believe that prison is one of the most, if not even the most important establishment in any society, be it modern or not. What I am trying to accomplish, however, is not to simply argue the importance of crime punishment, but to prove the complexity of its roots, namely psychological manipulation and effectively implemented dominance of law over all individuals.

As I am about to prove next, the concept of prison has been altered severely since the first method of distancing the lawful individuals from outlaws surfaced. It is therefore important to consider the evolution of the institution itself as part of a growing cultural society; a society which has witnessed many years of tumultuous history, crimes and hazards but which, with every passing year, has learnt to come back to its conscience. It is in our nature to be complex, to desire constant upgrading and to seek right amongst wrong. This is what experience has taught us.

This project will deal with different aspects of a prisoner’s life such as the life after prison, assistance, parole, probation, but also with the history of prisons and prison conditions, using prisons from the United States as an example.

Chapter 1
History of prisons

From the birth of modern civilization in 3rd millennia BC, almost every major ancient civilization used the concept of prisons as a mean to detain and remove personal freedoms of incarcerated people. In those early periods of history, prisons were often used as a temporary stopgap before sentencing to death or life of slavery, but as time went on and our civilization developed, prisons started morphing into correctional facilities that started implementing the concept of rehabilitation and reform of prisoners. In addition to holding convicted or suspected criminals, prisons were often used for holding political prisoners, enemies...
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