Prisoners are confronted with a unique set of exigencies and pressures to which they are forced to respond and adapt to, in order to survive. In Jimmy Santiago Baca’s memoir “A Place to Stand,” he tells his courageous story. In Baca’s book, he identifies the prison system as being flawed and the immense amount of torment he had become accustomed to while incarcerated. When describing the terrible reality of prison, he reveals the effects of prison on the lives of the people around him, and how the human spirit can only take so much before it breaks.
At twenty years old Jimmy Baca discovered himself living a life he did not want. Convicted of drug charges and sent to Arizona state prison, he found himself serving his sentence in a place filled with hardened criminals. Prison takes young rebellious men and women and turns them into serious offenders. For instance, Baca was not imprisoned for a violent offense; however, the situation he found himself in, forced Baca to brutally attack a black inmate that was making advances toward him. While, he tried to ignore the man, Baca realized he had no choice but to handle the situation or risk becoming an easy target to other convicts. Macaron tells Baca, “. . . this is the way it is . . .fight or get punked, step out or be turned out, cash in the wolf tickets or be eaten -- it’s real” (119). Macaron explains to Baca that life in prison is merciless and only the strong survive. In certain circumstances, people are forced to protect themselves by any means necessary. Every day is a fight for survival.
After so long people become accustomed to a certain way of life and once they become set in their way it’s difficult to alter. Macaron seems to know it all too well when he...
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...t of Corrections (DOC) after their release because they come out further damaged and no longer know how to interact with the public.
When people disobey the laws of society they must be punished, but is the effects of prison on a person hindering the ability to rehabilitate them? Although, the DOC is required, for those who break the law, the harsh living conditions and over population is breeding an increasingly dangerous criminal. The over populated prison system increases daily, deeply affecting the convict’s environment in many penitentiaries, which undoubtingly jeopardizes prisoner safety. The violence and crimes that occur within penitentiaries is a clear message that it is not a safe place. Inmates should be granted the opportunity to improve one’s self without causing harm to themselves or others, for this to happen prisoners must have a sense of well-being.
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