America's Treatment of Inmates
August 26th, 2013
America's Treatment of Inmates
Here in America there are over 2.2 million Americans incarcerated in over 4,575 prisons. In almost every prison there are inmates that are claiming that they are mistreated by the staff. When we think of prisons we see rows and rows of cells with bars and lots of concrete. People have a misconception of what prison is like by what they see on television and in the movies. This is not exactly true and I will show how inmates are actually treated by defining how some prisons and jails operate. In this country we incarcerate 730 in 100,000 people that is the highest ratio other than Russia. Inmates in most prisons are treated the same they are classified together based on the level of their crimes. Here in Ohio which is where I live inmates are classified by the level system with level 1 being minimum security and level 5 being maximum security plus you have death row. There are currently 145 inmates on death row including 1 female. These prisoners wait sometimes 20 or 25 years for the end of their sentence due to the fact that the sentence is automatically appealed by the court. Normally if you are sentenced to minimum security you will spend your time in a prison camp located outside the walls of a larger institution. I spent 6 months in a camp like this. I can tell you that most time in prison is easy time there is nobody watching your every move and you have plenty of freedom. Most level 1 inmates here in Ohio have jobs outside the prison walls working in the community doing public service like picking up trash alongside the highway or painting public buildings. Now most people have this perception that if they go to prison they are going to be beat or raped by other inmates. This rarely happens because of the possible penalties which in Ohio are pretty severe, for example if an inmate rapes another inmate they are automatically sentenced to life in prison if they are caught. The treatment of inmates is an issue that takes a lot of courts time because there are people who think they should be treated better so let’s talk about the treatment of inmates here in America. When you are sentenced to a term of incarceration in prison. An inmate will be rode out from the county jail in shackles on an uncomfortable bus to a state prison reception center, at the reception center an inmate is strip searched, shaved, given a medical examination, and tested for their education level. This is where an inmate’s classification level. Inmates spend at least 30 to 90 days in the reception center. This is the time when inmates are taught how to follow prison rules. If a prisoner follows the rules there time will be fairly easy. If the prisoner does not follow the rules than there time will be rough and they will spend a lot of time in solitary confinement. Prisoners in Ohio are treated fairly well they are clothed allowed to buy tennis shoes of their choice, have regular visits from family and friends that are approved by the prison they are given time for recreation and fed three times a day. Prisoners are also shown movies three times a week. To most people prison is not as bad as people make it out to be, yes you have some corrections officers that are in need of sensitivity training, but for the most part if you leave them alone they will leave you alone. Ohio uses a direct method of supervision which means that there is an officer on the cell block at all times. Kentucky uses an indirect method of supervision which means that corrections officers are used on more than one cell block or dormitory at one time. In a level 1 or 2 prison in Ohio corrections officers do not carry weapons of any type, if a fight breaks out or a riot occurs the officers than have the use of pepper spray. In a level 3 or higher prison corrections officers carry clubs or batons to help protect themselves....
References: Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, Gary Mohr, Director
Lorain Correctional Institution, Lorain Ohio, Kimberly Clipper, Warden
Mansfield Correctional Library, Mansfield Ohio, Terry Tibbals, Director
Michigan Department of Corrections.
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
California Department of Corrections
Kentucky Department of Corrections
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