Pains of Imprisonment - Suicide and Self Harm

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Critically consider if self-harm and suicide by prisoners may be a response to the pains of imprisonment HHB1032 WORD COUNT This essay will critically analyse the pains which imprisonment can cause on inmates and how these pains dramatically affect the way in which inmates perceive themselves, the people around them, their own lives and their futures. The pains will be critically considered to see if they cause prisoners to respond through self-harm and suicide. Prisons are an example of total institution, inmates have practically no contact with the outside world and are left to adjust to the inmate world in order to be segregated from the community in an attempt to reduce recidivism and protect the general public. Foucoult (1977) suggested that prisons were closed institutes where prisoners were isolated from society in an attempt to change inmates so they conform to concepts of normality within the community. To do this they exercise disciplinary power in a concentrated and pure form. Goffman (1957) suggested that prisons act to preserve social isolation and to classify prisoners as abnormal through social segregation. Even though Foucoult and Goffman do emphasise different intentions of imprisonment they do agree that prisoners are socially isolated with no independence and are given a forced structure of living. Jewkes & Johnston (2006) stated that imprisonment is painful due to the frustrations and deprivations that prisoners have to experience and suggests that it is imperative for us to recognise them. Goffman (2009) stated that an inmate’s moral career is a personal process that an inmate goes through in prison, relating to how they think about themselves and significant others. Jewkes, y. & Johnston, H. (2006) suggested that every prisoner has a different experience throughout their prison life; every prisoner interprets their time
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