Prison Abuse Americans all know that our prisons are the final frontier for the socially rejected criminals and violent offenders. Once they are convicted, prison is their new home. For which it can be five years or the rest of their lives until death. When the door closes behind them the rest of the world doesn’t matter. It is inside the prison that matters. Those of us who are outside the prison are unaware of what goes on in there, such as prisoner’s abuse. Violence within America’s correctional facilities has become an increasing problem in recent years.
With the largest incarceration rate in the world, it is only expected that we face these problems. Unfortunately, it is the correctional staff face with these problems. With the rising of the prison population and the decline of the number of correctional staff, it is only inevitable that violence, within the world’s largest imprisoned population, increases in America’s prison systems. Prison violence is a real issue because people every year are convicted of many different crimes, some severe and some minor.
Regardless of the crime committed, everyone in the prison and jail systems is vulnerable to prison violence. Society has even labeled these criminals “Animals” regardless of the crimes they committed. While they are in prison they are treated as “Animals”. Prison violence includes the abuse of both prisoners and the guards. This is a crucial problem here in America and we are unaware of it happening in our prisons. All of the prison violence that goes on leads inmates to be severely injured or end up dying from the beat down they receive.
There are several articles that are on violence in our prison system. One article by Dan Frosch informs us of an inmate that refuses to follow the orders given to him by the guards in a Utah prison. As a result of his insolence they stripped him naked and tied him to a restraining chair for sixteen to twenty hours then released him to his cell in which he collapsed and died. An autopsy showed the inmate that goes by the name Michael Valent died from a blood clot that blocked an artery to his heart. This article featured in The Nation.
Valent had died due to the fact that he was confined to the chair and could not move any part of his person for those sixteen hours when he was restrained: “The chilling incident made national news not only because it happened to be videotaped but also because Valent’s family successfully sued the State Of Utah and forced it to stop using the device” (Frosch). The guards who had done this to Michael Valent also had done the same to other inmates as well but they lived or the abuse was never recorded. It is likely that incidents like this have happened around America but never been reported or made public knowledge.
In some cases the prisoners do not speak out about what is happening to them fearing the consequences from the guards or fellow inmates. Another incident of prisoner abuse was a thirty-seven year old inmate strangled a fellow inmate who is a former priest to death. He was given no protection whatsoever. A former priest who was put in prison for either a minor crime shared a cell with a prisoner who killed someone. The only logical question is whether the law enforcement system inside these prisons or jails goes downhill once the criminals are put behind bars?
Should the incarcerated be punished severely by the men that watch over them? Do the guards have a right to use sheer force on these men who haven’t done anything particularly wrong inside prison? Why don’t the guards prevent or stop other inmates from fighting amongst themselves. As we have seen the violence in America’s prisons has gone from bad to worse. There is no way to stop it. There needs to be a solution to this crisis that will not fail at all and will stay solid throughout the years that will not falter what so ever.
A solution will protect inmates from the danger that lies within those walls. Works Citied Frosch, Dan. “Exporting America’s Prison Problems. ” TheNation. com, May 12, 2004. Web. 12 Nov. 2009. http://www. thenation. com/doc/20040524/frosch Seabrook, Norman. “Prison Violence on the Rise. ” BNET. USA Today Magazine, 25 Sept. 2005. Web. November 17, 2009. http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m1272/is_2724_134/ai_n15380394/pg_1 Chapman, Stephan. “The Prisoner’s Dilemma. ” New Republic 8 March, 1980, Print.