Institutionalization In Shawshank Redemption

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To be institutionalized means to gradually become unable to think and act independently due to having lived for a long time under the rules of an institution. An example of this would be a veteran in the military, unable to adopt a civilian lifestyle after spending so much time service. In the case of Brookes Hatlen, he had been “institutionalized” in that he had been in prison so long that the only life they he knew was the one within the prison walls. Having served as the prison librarian for over fifty years, Brooks has no idea how to live in the outside world when he is released. The world had changed rapidly and entirely in the time Brookes was in prison, and he has no role to fill in it. In the prison he had been secure; he had a job…show more content…
When Andy arrives in prison Red is serving a life sentence for a murder he committed when he was a young adult. In the film Red introduces himself as “the guy that can get it for you”, him being able to get certain items into the prison for other people. Because of this ability Red is placed on a certain pedestal of importance when looked at by other prisoners. Red’s only purpose in life and in the prison has become smuggling items into the prison. If he were to be let out into the real world, that purpose would be taken away, and he would have a very hard time finding meaning in his life. In this matter Ellis was institutionalized, just as Brookes had been. A moment when this is supported in the film is when Red tells Andy "These walls are funny. First you hate them, then you get used to them, until it gets to you depend on them. That 's institutionalized." Red has grown dependent on his role in the prison for meaning in life, and without it his life has no…show more content…
This objective rests on the assumption that there was some factor going into why the crime was committed in the first place, and that that factor can be either fixed or eliminated. There are many different approaches to rehabilitation including therapy, education, or some combination of the two. Generally the rehabilitation process begins with addressing the problems which led to criminal behavior, and then helping inmates find other ways to solve those problems that do not include criminal

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