The Psychological Impact of Incarceration

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Not only do inmates lose their freedom; they also lose their independence, self-worth, identity, recreational outlets and above all else their privacy. What people in general fail to realize is that everything that we have and that is around us take for granted. Anything and everything can easily be taken away from us, which is how prison security trumps everyday activities, leading all inmates into questioning their personhood. Not only are prisoners stripped of their status to call themselves human beings, prisoners also have to conform to a new type of community, and if you do not do it, you will become a victim. In mainstream America, it is viewed (for whatever reason) that men should not show emotions because it is considered ‘unmanly’. I must say that showing one's true emotions does not matter in the real world (I do not think any ways), though that is completely different in prison life. If even for a second you show feelings of being scared or sad, it will be taken as a sign of weakness and other inmates will take advantage of it. This is how prisoners turn into apathetic individuals. They hide their feelings because it is difficult for them to trust other inmates. Everyone who is still smart, will be ever vigilant in their efforts to keep themselves from getting harmed. What most if not all people fail to put into though is that many of the prisoners who are presently incarcerated have experienced some sort of childhood trauma. That is actually a very bad thing to have added into prison culture, such as being harsh, punitive, and having an uncaring environment may cause traumatizing flashbacks, which will entail in some sort of violence. That is, some prisoners find that constant exposure to the stringent and uncompromi... ... middle of paper ... ...his ordeal, you slowly start to lose the will to live because you no longer have anything to live for. Which is understandable since it is people who love you and care about you that keep you going throughout the tough times of life and when they are taken out of the equation, and so no longer being around is starting to look better and better. It is a sad thing. No one deserves to have psychological problems this severe due to the lack of funding and treatment for these individuals. Literally, all they have you do to prevent you from trying to commit suicide have you strip down naked, take anything that you may use to hurt yourself with. Then the guards have you put on a green felt smock, and you have to use that until the psychiatrist deems you fit to no longer be under suicide watch, which is slim to never. My thought is that it is upsetting to look at and know.

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