Introduction to “prisoner”

Long, Stephen



Stephen David Long California Introduction to "Prisoner" How prisoners are perceived by the public has a significant impact on the environments prisoners are subjected to. The public's impressions of what a prisoner is has been warped through false depictions, unsure imagination, and propaganda. If public knowledge of what a prisoner symbolizes is attached to opprobious character traits, the common-man will be insensate toward the situations prisoners face on a daily basis. I believe the way in which prisoners are generally seen by the public is dangerously distorted. Typically, a prisoner is not "legally retarded", a "malefactor", an "evildoer", a "sinner", a "wretch", or on-and-on as a thesaurus or a dictionary would convey. The synonyms associated with the word "prisoner" are deeply discriminatory invalid portrayals of people who become prisoners. Though many long-standing, untrue characterizations of people have been dispelled in America, one area of phony depiction of a particular group of people remains uncorrected-the picture of the American prisoner and the environments in which prisoners live. It is shameful and point-blank wrong to treat any person as worthless livestock. Deliberate psychological and physical abuse of prisoners by those that oversee them should astound and trouble the conscious of any 21st century freeman. But, wanton mental and physical harm is imposed on prisoners every hour of every day by the malicious actions of prison employees. Abuse is inexcusable. This abuse is able to occur and remain considerable because the door to oversight is all but closed, leaving the door to depravity almost wide open. Therefore, mistreatment and corruption exist at ease. In my judgement, a significant number of prison employees look upon prisoners as prey: easy victims to impose on. After all, a prisoner lives in a closed community. A prisoner holds only minimal constitutional rights. The courts do not want to have judicial involvement in prison affairs. The public eye rarely looks at the prison system. With all these components in place, prison employees need not be too concerned with anyone criticizing how they manage prisoners or environment factors in which prisoners live. Someone who was just yesterday a common accepted citizen is in-the-wink-of-an-eye reduced to a social outcast by the mere placement of themself into a confinement facility. It is a magical transformation, a human turned into a dumb, useless animal. Instantly, one becomes a liar, half-wit, loser, and scum. Human waste. An object of ridicule and criticism. Defilement seems to be the essence of how to manage a prisoner. And, unless degrading a person is good management practice, no good comes from such a method. I know from first-hand experience that prison guards/correctional officers (C.O.s) handle prisoners as though prisoners are sub-human and undeserving of respect. This too, beyond the insolence of C.O.s, C.O.s take joy in the sport of humiliating prisoners. This foul treatment of prisoners seems to be firmly situated behavior. Dogma for both men and women working in prisons is "use em' and abuse em'". Is it the nature-of-the-beast that the control prisoners is to abuse them??? Is the abuse rampant because old-habits-are-hard-to-break??? Well, whatever the reason for thinking that prisoners are sub-human and are open for abuse, it is bad business to worsen the already blistered self-image a person acquires/possesses when they become a prisoner. One must stand for something, lest they fall for anything.

Author: Long, Stephen

Author Location: California

Date: October 17, 2016

Genre: Essay

Extent: 2 pages

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