Prison Life Essay

1939 Words May 12th, 2001 8 Pages
Prison Life
Most people have no idea what it feels like to be in prison, statistically only one out of every five people will know what its like to be in prison. Approximately 1.4 million people out of the U.S.'s 280 million people are in prison. (Thomas, 2) The only reason people know about prisons is because of the media. The news, movies, and books all contribute to people's stereotypes about prisons. Prisoners receive three meals a day, workout facilities, a library, as well as other things. People are also given the idea, through the mass media, that prisoners are free to walk around certain parts of the prison. All of these ideas are cast upon prisons so that people will not be afraid of them. Society has been given the idea
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Some other methods of coping that prisoners' use include drug use. It is difficult for the prisoners to obtain drugs but they are still present within the prison community. A large number of prisoners' are/were drug users so if they are able to obtain any narcotics they use them as a means of escape from the harsh realities of prison life. Another method is trying to appeal their sentence, which usually ends up being unsuccessful. The belief that some how their sentence could be appealed brings some inmates hope of getting out of prison.
After being in prison, even for a short time, a person can change a great deal. "Prisonization" occurs, this is when the inmate has had extended exposure to prison culture and the routines of prison life (Jones, 75). According to Jones, "There is no one point at which new prisoners "adjust" to prison life, but the prison environment begins to seem less alien sometime between the first and second month of their sentences." (Jones, 75) During the first few months the prisoner settle in their new environment. They walk thought the prison and learn where they can and cannot go. They also learn how to go about getting a job within the prison. By working with other prisoners he learns more about the prison world. Because he is socializing with other inmates he is learning more about his surroundings, which in turn helps him adapt.

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