An experiment at Stanford University provided a significant critique of the impact of a total institution. Philip Zimbardo and a team of social psychologists carefully screened more than 70 volunteers for participation in a simulated prison. It is important to stress that the two dozen males selected were mature, intelligent, emotionally stable college students from middle-class homes. Subjects were paid $15 a day to live in a mock prison created in a classroom building. By a flip of a coin, half were arbitrarily designated as prisoners and the others as guards.
Solitary confinement. What is it? One definition states, “Solitary confinement is the practice of isolating a prisoner in a closed cell for 23 to 24 hours a day-often for weeks or months, and sometimes for years or decades at a time.”(Rodriquez, S. 2011) What is a supermax prison? The National Institute of Corrections defines a supermax control unit as “a free-standing facility, or a distinct unit within a facility that provides for the management and secure control of inmates who have been officially designated as exhibiting violent or serious and disruptive behavior while incarcerated.” (Perkinson 2005) Being held in solitary confinement is, for most prisoners, a stressful experience with potentially harmful health effects. The prisoner is socially isolated from others, his human contacts reduced to superficial transactions with staff and infrequent contact with family and friends.
The film, Quiet Rage: The Standard Prison Experiment, shows a real life example of how a person’s thoughts, attitudes, and behavior can be easily altered according to environmental changes. When exposed to changes in social situations, our mindsets and behaviors are easily influenced. In this experiment, male college students were randomly assigned roles as either a prison guard or a prisoner. Although the participants were fully aware that these were only roles and not their true identities, the participants were already experiencing changes in their own behavior by day two. The prisoners began adopting prisoner-like behavior such as rebelling and swearing at the guards as they walked by.
The first institution houses 2,343 inmates that live in a closed prison system. The second prison houses 354 inmates in a semi-open prison system (Pondé et al., 2011). In a semi-open prison system, prisoners are allowed to leave the facility during certain holidays and are allowed to work outside the institution, but they must return after work. The closed prison system would be equivalent to a maximum security prison in the United States, a semi-open system would be equivalent to a medium security prison, and an open system would be equivalent to a jail. In the first prison individuals were randomly selected from the roster list of inmates.
They were completely convinced that they were actually being arrested. Researchers set up a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford University psychology building, and they chose 24 of the 70 students that had responded to the newspaper advertisement. Those 24 were chosen because they did not have a criminal background, psychological problems, or special medical conditions. Ex-convicts and prison employees helped to replicate the prison environment to make it as accurate as possible. Laboratories were turned into cells by removing the doors, and a closet was turned into solitary confinement.
Correctional officers also do cell inspections for potential weapons and contraband. They also inspect the inmates’ mail to and from the facility. To become a correctional officer you must have a high school diploma or a GED. Some agencies require some college level study or two years full time working experience. Prison guards must be 18 to 21 years of age, have no prior felony convictions, and be U.S. citizen or a permanent resident.
They break us down. But there is no buildup. It’s like prison” (37). This is the same kind of feeling most of the new officers shared with Moskos. After the academy he talks about how the first few months of policing are in field training with a training officer and they show you the ropes of policing.
Shins’ inhumane treatment in Camp 14 forced him to fend for himself from a very young age. Everyone in Camp 14 has to learn how to have self preservation, how to make sure that they can have the tools in the camp to simply stay alive. They are taught that being brutally beaten for making a simple mistake is what happens in a normal society. Prisoners in the camp are taught to become “informers”, to inform the guards or teachers of knowledge they have come across from a fellow prisoner, whether it is something as simple as taking a corn kernel from the dirty floors of the school room, to plotting an escape plan. Many times, the prisoners would be commended for informing a teacher or guard of information that would be valuable to them, like an escape plan from another prisoner, or the fact that someone in the camp had a stash of rice grains they were saving.
Currently Division IX, which is comprised of two interconnected three-story buildings, houses general population inmates with a maximum security classification.Opened in December of 1992, Division X is a four-story maximum-security structure designed to hold 768 male detainees. In 2008, Division X was converted to medical and acute psych dose-by-dose building which accommodates inmates of all security level classifications.Opened in 1995, Division XI is a state of the art 640,000 square foot, medium-security facility. Consisting of central core surrounded by four housing PODS, Division XI can house 1,536 male
The Auburn System was created in 1821, it had individual cellblocks and required inmates to work ten hours daily, six days per week. Prison reformers believed that by allowing the inmates to work in an atmosphere free of corruption or criminal behavior, would give the inmates a new set of values. This was based on discipline and order and a sense of purpose. The Auburn system seemed to offer prisoners a form of rehabilitation, when the Pennsylvania System only offered isolated prisoners with no evidence they had been rehabilitated. Soon the prisons that were built under the Pennsylvania System was switched and operated under the Auburn